''Murphy's sublime debut is immersive from page one.... A complex novel that is both unforgettable and impossible to put down.'' --Kiristine Huntley, Booklist, starred review
''Suspenseful....a beautifully rendered, haunting page-turner.'' --Publishers Weekly, starred review
''The numerous mysteries that weave in and out of the main plot add a page-turning element to the book, and another ingredient to Murphy's intriguing genre fusion.... The Possessions is difficult to classify but very easy to enjoy.'' --Hank Stephenson, bookseller, Flyleaf Books, ShelfAwareness
''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
''The Possessions might be the most affecting, riveting novel about love and obsession I've read in a decade. Sara Flannery Murphy possesses the dystopian imagination of Margaret Atwood and the keen feminist incisiveness of Heidi Julavits, but the haunting, seductive prose is all her own. This is a literary ghost story for a whole new generation.'' --Christopher Bollen, author of Orient
''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
''A literary descendant of the iconic novels Rebecca and Never Let Me Go, Sara Flannery Murphy's haunting, auspicious debut explores the enduring nature of grief and guilt and the myriad ways the uses of the body can stave off the loneliness of the soul.'' --Helen Schulman, author of This Beautiful Life
''Sara Flannery Murphy casts a spell as devilish and dazzling as the language she uses to cast it. Once you enter the erotically charged, psychologically gripping world of her debut novel, The Possessions, there is, truly, no going back or getting out.'' --Kathryn Davis, author of Duplex: A Novel
From the Back Cover
In an unnamed city, Edie 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 with the company for five years, an unusual record. Her success is the result of careful detachment: she seeks refuge in the lotuses’ anesthetic effects and avoids personal contact with her clients.
But when Edie channels Sylvia, the recently deceased wife of Patrick Braddock, she becomes obsessed with the glamorous couple. Despite the murky circumstances surrounding Sylvia’s drowning, Edie breaks her own rules and becomes emotionally attached to Patrick, moving deeper into his life and summoning Sylvia outside the Elysian Society’s walls. And as the lines between Edie’s and Sylvia’s desires begin to blur, Edie finds herself taking increasing risks to keep Patrick within her grasp. Suddenly her quiet life begins 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, The Possessions is a seductive, absorbing page-turner that builds to a shattering, unforgettable conclusion.