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The Possessions: A Novel

The Possessions: A Novel

Geschrieben von Sara Flannery Murphy

Erzählt von Erin Moon


The Possessions: A Novel

Geschrieben von Sara Flannery Murphy

Erzählt von Erin Moon

Bewertungen:
4/5 (12 Bewertungen)
Länge:
11 Stunden
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Feb 7, 2017
ISBN:
9780062659460
Format:
Hörbuch

Beschreibung

"I was totally immersed in the strange, beautiful world of Sara Flannery Murphy’s The Possessions. A gripping, chilling read that’s part love story, part mystery, and completely original, it’s sensuous, scary, and utterly thrilling. I’ve never read anything quite like it." —Anton DiSclafani, author of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls

"An enthralling meditation on grief and memory cloaked in suspenseful psychodrama, The Possessions dissolves the boundaries of past and present and artfully, heartbreakingly maps the consequences of transgressive desire. Sara Flannery Murphy has written the best kind of ghost story." —Robin Wasserman, author of Girls on Fire

In this electrifying literary debut, a young woman who channels the dead for a living crosses a dangerous line when she falls in love with one of her clients, whose wife died under mysterious circumstances.

In an unnamed city, Eurydice works for the Elysian Society, a private service that allows grieving clients to reconnect with lost loved ones. She and her fellow workers, known as "bodies", wear the discarded belongings of the dead and swallow pills called lotuses to summon their spirits—numbing their own minds and losing themselves in the process. Edie has been a body at the Elysian Society for five years, an unusual record. Her success is the result of careful detachment: she seeks refuge in the lotuses’ anesthetic effects and distances herself from making personal connections with her clients.

But when Edie channels Sylvia, the dead wife of recent widower Patrick Braddock, she becomes obsessed with the glamorous couple. Despite the murky circumstances surrounding Sylvia’s drowning, Edie breaks her own rules and pursues Patrick, moving deeper into his life and summoning Sylvia outside the Elysian Society’s walls.

After years of hiding beneath the lotuses’ dulling effect, Edie discovers that the lines between her own desires and those of Sylvia have begun to blur, and takes increasing risks to keep Patrick within her grasp. Suddenly, she finds her quiet life unraveling as she grapples not only with Sylvia’s growing influence and the questions surrounding her death, but with her own long-buried secrets.

A tale of desire and obsession, deceit and dark secrets that defies easy categorization, The Possessions is a seductive, absorbing listen that builds to a shattering, unforgettable conclusion.

Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Feb 7, 2017
ISBN:
9780062659460
Format:
Hörbuch

Über den Autor

Sara Flannery Murphy grew up in Arkansas, where she divided her time between Little Rock and Eureka Springs, a small artists’ community in the Ozark Mountains. She received her MFA in creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis and studied library science in British Columbia. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and son. The Possessions is her first novel.


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3.8
12 Bewertungen / 9 Rezensionen
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Leser-Rezensionen

  • (3/5)
    I was so excited about this book when it came in my book of the month box. The idea of people sharing bodies and bringing back the dead was so intriguing and such a unique plot that I jumped right in to reading it. I really enjoyed the first half of the book but the second half fell flat for me. The ending seemed obvious so I felt like I could put the book down and take a break and not miss anything. I was wrong about the ending, which typically makes me happy but this seemed like the author was purposefully pointing you in the wrong direction (glaringly so) in order to feel like there is a twist when you find out your assumptions are wrong. There is no real twist or grand moment. The plot moves along in a few weird directions but none of them seem to matter. I know it sounds like I hated this book, but I did enjoy the first half and the idea behind the story is very intriguing. Really it was just the second half and the ending that dropped the rating for me.
  • (4/5)
    The Possessions, Sara Flannery Murphy’s debut novel, examines the concept of self-identity in a world rooted heavily in science fiction. Edie, short for Eurydice, works at the Elysian Society as a “body,” where she gets paid to temporarily relinquish herself to deceased souls in order to give closure to the loved ones left behind. When Patrick Braddock, a young widower, uses her services to speak with Sylvia, his recently deceased wife, the comfortable world Edie has created for herself comes to a crashing halt.

    Murphy’s take on life and death often comes across as too ambitious, especially as she weaves in and out of the lives of Edie’s clients and other co-workers. While Edie consumes herself with Patrick and his wants and needs, everyone else falls to the wayside. When the story diverts from Patrick, it seems unfocused and meandering. The addition of a potential murder not directly associated with the main plot also confuses, and Murphy devotes so much attention to it that it becomes enormously distracting.

    While Edie possesses a hauntingly passive personality, perfect for her profession, the characters she interacts with make up for her lack of vigor and passion. Mysterious Patrick with his conflicted emotions dominates the action whenever he graces the page. His colleague, Henry Damson, and Henry’s wife, Viv, ooze insecurity and selfishness, which keeps the reader intrigued. Most importantly, despite being dead, Sylvia’s presence haunts Edie wherever she goes, giving the novel a distinct tone of fear and apprehension.

    The most off-putting aspect of the novel is its moral posturing on the subject of suicide. One of the Elysian Society’s strictest rules states that its bodies cannot be possessed by anyone who killed themselves. While this rule is believable and understandable to an extent, Murphy takes the concept much further throughout the narrative, often beating it over the head to an unhealthy level. Not once, but twice, Edie is confronted by grieving family members who just want to speak to their deceased loved one, but she callously turns them down. Edie’s boss emphasizes more than once that suicidal people are unstable and unwelcome in her facility. The subject becomes so taboo that if it weren’t so awful, it would be laughable.

    Despite channeling hundreds of souls over the five years she works as a body, Edie struggles most with Sylvia. Murphy effectively distinguishes Edie’s mundane life before Patrick and Sylvia with the confusion that envelops her after. As the end nears, the answer to the one question she keeps asking herself becomes more and more clear; does she really want to be with Patrick or is that just what Sylvia wants?

    Sara Flannery Murphy’s The Possessions takes an intriguing idea and mostly delivers. While it sometimes feels like too much happens throughout the novel, most of the plot threads come together by the end. Descriptive language and deep analysis of heavy concepts make for a fascinating, albeit somber, reading experience. I’m excited to see what Murphy has in store for her next novel.
  • (2/5)
    I wanted to like this book I really did. But it never took a hold of me. It never possessed me.... for lack of a better word (see what I did there). The main character isn't easy to relate to or have empathy for, in fact I couldn't find myself caring about ANY of the characters in the novel (and there weren't many!). In this modern society people can speak to their loved ones who have died by going to certain clinics and having people channel their spirits. Edie has been a body (one who can channel the dead) for five years, longer than anyone else ever has. She doesn't mind that her body gets more use by others since she doesn't have any life to speak of. But that all changes when Patrick Braddock comes into her room to speak to his dead wife. For some reason she becomes obsessed with his wife and with Patrick and it's all she can focus on. One thing leads to another and boom. You have a boring novel. Honestly, save your time and pass on this. It was beautifully written by I couldn't care less for the plot or the characters.
  • (5/5)
    Very intricately detailed writing. I could visualize the story as it went along, which is something that I love being able to do. It was a touching tribute to the truth of loss.
  • (4/5)

    1 Person fand dies hilfreich

    A different type of ghost story. Written so well, that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. This will probably not be my last novel I read by this author.

    1 Person fand dies hilfreich

  • (4/5)

    1 Person fand dies hilfreich

    Great read, unique and interesting until
    The very end.

    1 Person fand dies hilfreich

  • (5/5)

    1 Person fand dies hilfreich

    What a different concept! Really enjoyed this book. Well written, several twists and turns, but the author kept track of them all - there were never any inconsistencies. Will be looking for more by this author.

    1 Person fand dies hilfreich

  • (4/5)

    1 Person fand dies hilfreich

    I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.Eurydice is a body, a person who willingly becomes a vessel for another's deceased loved one during regulated sessions. She works at the Elysian Society, and has thrown her whole self into her work, trying to forget herself and her past.But when Patrick comes in for his first session, looking to contact the wife he lost in a tragic swimming accident, Eurydice finds herself unable to disconnect any longer. Swept up in Patrick's world and all he seemingly has to offer, the lines between her own self and that of his wife begin to blur.There is also the matter of a mysterious dead body found in an abandoned house, a murder someone wants to use the Elysian Society to help solve.No longer able to hide from the world within the memories of others, Eurydice must decide what she truly wants from life, and who she truly wants to beThis is such a unique concept for a book. It's always exciting to find a book with a concept I have never read before. Flannery Murphy is an excellent writer, and her words and writing style absolutely live up to the concept she has created.Flannery Murphy is also fantastic at pacing. I've read quite a few books lately that, while good, lose something in the pacing. This is a book that never lost my interest. Even the seemingly slower moments were tense and full of meaning, and the faster parts never felt rushed.The mysteries within the story are really well-done, and I found myself completely caught up in them.Honestly, I can't think of anything I didn't like about this book. I couldn't put it down. I don't think it's one I would re read, so I wouldn't say it's one of my all-time favorites, but that shouldn't take away from just how good it is.I would absolutely recommend reading this book. Flannery Murphy is a talent to watch.

    1 Person fand dies hilfreich

  • (4/5)

    1 Person fand dies hilfreich

    ‘The fear swirls out of my mind, the last dregs of water spinning and sliding down the drain.I open my eyes and reach for the cup, swallow the lotus. It barely takes any time before I’m gone.’Eurydice (Edie) has worked for the Elysian Society as a body for five years where she acts as a conduit connecting individuals with their deceased loved ones. By consuming a lotus pill, it allows the “body” to almost disconnect so as to allow the loved one to once again have a physical form. The physical aspects of the body never change, but their mind returns as if they were never gone. Many don’t survive in the job for long but Edie is well-suited for it, lacking any emotional connections and much preferring to relinquish her body for that brief respite from the past that haunts her. When Patrick Braddock enters the Elysian Society to reconnect with his wife Sylvia who died almost two years ago under puzzling circumstances, Edie develops an obsession in both Patrick and Sylvia. With each visit from Patrick, Edie retains pieces of Slyvia’s memory, helping her assemble the puzzle surrounding Sylvia’s death.‘I’m overwhelmed by the thought of all the women who would pour out of me if I were cracked open: swarming like insects, bubbling up out of my mouth. The women who have collected inside me over the years, filling up my insides until there’s no room left for me.’This debut novel is fascinating. Murphy combines a contemporary story with paranormal aspects to create something quite mesmerizing. The entire concept of the Elysian Society and the lotuses is written loosely and never delves into any scientific aspects to explain exactly how channeling is done, but the vagueness still makes it a credible concept. As readers, we don’t actually witness what occurs when the lotus is consumed until later in the story which certainly gets imaginations running wild at the idea of taking a pill and giving a spirit free reign of your body. The lotuses themselves and how it’s described is incredibly reminiscent of the Lotus-Eaters from Greek mythology and the Odyssey. “Those who ate the honey-sweet lotus fruit no longer wished to bring back word to us, or sail for home. They wanted to stay with the Lotus-eaters, eating the lotus, forgetting all thoughts of return.” (The Odyssey, BkIX:63-104) Obviously, this is absent any aspect of channeling the dead, but the notion of becoming mentally absent and “forgetting all thoughts” is rather comparable to the lotuses in The Possessions.‘My reflection lies trapped in the darkening window. A tree branch cuts through my torso, the spidery limbs fanned like veins and arteries spreading outward from my heart.’The strongest aspect of this story is by far the author’s skillful writing style. The elaborate and sumptuous style felt often at odds with the emotionally disconnected voice of the narrator. Edie comes across as a character shrouded in mystery that we’re told very little about but this never lessened the strength of her voice in driving the story nor any interest in discovering more about her. The weakest aspect was the parallel mystery that never coalesced quite as natural as it could have but I felt the story would have suffered if it simply hadn’t been included at all.The Possessions was a story that lingered long after I read the final page. Love, loss, and tragedy play expected roles in this tale that leaves you contemplating if you’re ever truly able to leave your past behind. Sara Flannery Murphy’s debut novel shows incredible potential for brilliant stories to come.

    1 Person fand dies hilfreich