The circumstances of Molly Marx’s death may be suspicious, but she hasn’t lost her joie de vivre. Newly arrived in the hereafter, aka the Duration, Molly, thirty-five years old, is delighted to discover that she can still keep tabs on those she left behind: Annabel, her beloved four-year-old daughter; Lucy, her combustible twin sister; Kitty, her piece-of-work mother-in-law; Brie, her beautiful and steadfast best friend; and, of course, her husband, Barry, a plastic surgeon with more than a professional interest in many of his female patients. As a bonus, Molly quickly realizes that the afterlife comes with a finely tuned bullshit detector.
As Molly looks on, her loved ones try to discern whether her death was an accident, suicide, or murder. She was last seen alive leaving for a bike ride through New York City’s Riverside Park; her body was found lying on the bank of the Hudson River. Did a stranger lure Molly to danger? Did she plan to meet someone she thought she could trust? Could she have ended her own life for mysterious reasons, or did she simply lose control of her bike? As the police question her circle of intimates, Molly relives the years and days that led up to her sudden end: her marriage, troubled yet tender; her charmed work life as a magazine decorating editor; and the irresistible colleague to whom she was drawn.
More than anything, Molly finds herself watching over Annabel--and realizing how motherhood helped to bring out her very best self. As the investigation into her death proceeds, Molly will relive her most precious moments--and take responsibility for the choices in her life.
Exploring the bonds of fidelity, family, and friendship, and narrated by a memorable and endearing character, The Late, Lamented Molly Marx is a hilarious, deeply moving, and thought-provoking novel that is part mystery, part love story, and all heart.
Amazon Exclusive: Sally Koslow on the Secret to Unlocking Creativity Run, Writer, Run
Four years ago, I decided to write a novel. I confess to equal parts insanity and hubris, since at this time I’d never completed anything longer than a magazine article--and we’re talking a sprightly 3500 words, not a treatise in The New Yorker.
After I began my project, a curious thing started happening. About fifteen minutes into my regular morning runs, ideas for the book began sprouting like weeds. This source of creativity became so dependable that I hit the track with paper and pen and became Gretel in Nikes, gathering metaphors, characters’ names, dialogue snippets and whole branches of plot, which I’d hurry back home and--dripping with sweat--build into my work-in-progress.
Within eighteen months, I finished and sold my novel, Little Pink Slips. On May 19th my second book, The Late, Lamented Molly Marx, will be published and a third is well underway. I doubt I could have written so much so fast without these runs, when my brain served up ideas, almost by osmosis, and all I had to do was take dictation.
Proud of my running discovery, I mentioned it to a shrink-friend. (If you live in Manhattan, like I do, you’re required to have at least one friend who’s your own private Gabriel Byrne/Paul Weston.) What he told me was that creative types will often report doing their best work early in the morning, when they’re closest to their unconscious source of creativity. Beethoven, for example, though no jock, had the ritual of a morning stroll during which he’d scribble musical notes into a sketchbook. Having transported himself during the walk and limbered up his mind, he’d return home and get down to business.
Doing the right kind of exercise as soon as you wake up, my psychiatrist-friend explained, replicates and extends our dream state, freeing us to snag ideas, feelings and sensations generated by our unconscious. What he means by the “right” kind is repetitive--a.k.a. boring--activities where the outside world fades away, not golf or tennis or even a dance class, where you need to strategize or follow instructions. This was excellent news for a klutz like me, with so little eye-hand coordination she’s lucky she can type. It’s also important to minimize distractions, to leave the iPod at home and exercise solo.
We can all tick off the standard benefits of exercise: protecting us from heart disease, high blood pressure, insomnia, obesity, osteoporosis and stroke, along with the upbeat effect it has on both our mood and our butt. But who guessed it’s also a shortcut to creativity? Hans and Franz had it right, exercise pumps us up, making our minds more nimble, allowing our subconscious to cross-fertilize. One good idea drives another in a daisy chain, which is much of originality, connecting the dots between concepts no one else has put together.
You can’t wait for the creativity gods to send you an IM. I say, writers, lace up your sneakers. Maybe you’re just one long run away from finishing a novel that’s going to hit the top of the chart.--Sally Koslow
(Photo © James Maher)
Molly Divine Marx is dead. No one is quite sure how—murder, suicide, tragic accident?—and even Molly's own recollection doesn't explain much. Narrating this charming novel from an afterlife limbo known as the Duration, Molly follows the investigation of her death while keeping tabs on the living she left behind. Nearly everyone is a suspect: Barry, Molly's philandering plastic surgeon husband; Kitty, her controlling mother-in-law; Luke, Molly's lover; and the cabal of wifely hopefuls who line up for a shot at Barry before Molly's casket is safely in the ground. Longtime magazine editor Koslow (Little Pink Slips
) knows her way around expertly tuned phrasing, and Molly is a delightful gem of a heroine. Equal parts self-deprecating, wry and sassy, Molly is honest about her faults and easily forgiving of the others' as she reviews her life with a hearty dose of honesty and humor. Though the anticipated delicious revelation doesn't quite live up to expectations, the narrative's heavy dose of hilarity and heartbreak will win readers over. (May)
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