- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Harper (February 7, 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062458329
- ISBN-13: 978-0062458322
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 49 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Possessions: A Novel Hardcover – February 7, 2017
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“A suspenseful debut novel that’s stylish and deliciously creepy.” (People)
“A Gone Girl-esque twisty thriller about a woman who tries on dead people’s souls for size.” (Refinery 29, Lead Pick)
“You’re delivered into an entirely compelling world with all the intoxicating imagination and white-knuckle plotting of high-Victorian sensation fiction...brilliantly dramatizing dizzying questions about selfhood and sympathy. The Possessions is a simmering gothic joy.” (Guardian)
“Suspenseful...a beautifully rendered, haunting page-turner.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
“Lush, hair-raising.” (Cosmopolitan)
“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)
“This poignant tale is a study of grief and obsession…. Murphy’s imaginative debut is a haunting ghost story and a thrilling mystery that will engross readers until the final page.” (Portia Kapraun, Library Journal, starred review)
“An addictive, slow-burning mystery that fuses classic noir with the intrigue of speculative fiction... Murphy ensures compulsive page-turning until the past and future of each character is unveiled, and the crescendo of that reveal is heady and satisfying.” (Amanda Trivett, BookPage)
“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)
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.
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Showing 1-8 of 49 reviews
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I liked the premise and really wanted to love the book because the writing was strong, but I got lost in the middle. I found that it dragged a bit. The ending was not exactly what I was expecting, but overall it was a decent read.
For years, she's the most reliable and by-the-book body in her workplace. Then she meets Patrick Braddock. At that point, her dedication to a life of simplicity and solitude flies out the window. Taking on the identity of Braddock's dead wife becomes much more attractive.
I was completely engrossed in this novel. That said, when I found out Edie's driving motivation for some of her actions at the very end, I wasn't completely sure I bought it. Apparently, I can suspend my judgement for the paranormal, but not for the reasons the main character made irrational life choices. The first 75% of the book makes the ending forgivable-- especially for a first time novelist. I'm definitely going to be on the lookout for Murpy's next book.