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"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 page-turner that builds to a shattering, unforgettable conclusion.
Audiobook Received for Review in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Oh this book was so wonderfully creepy and strange and weird and unlike anything I’ve read before. My friend Megan first told me about this book and I was so intrigued by the unique concept that I decided to listen to the audiobook of it. Like 95% of the times I read a book, by the time I get around to actually read it or listen to it, I forget what the book summary and what the book is about and I’m to lazy to go look it up again. I started this during one of my walks and I was so confused most of the time, but in a good way, because I just had no idea where the hell this book was gonna take me. I don’t even really know what to classify this book as since it has elements of mystery, thriller, paranormal, suspense and a bit of one of the oddest romances I’ve read.
Eurydice works for the Elysian Society where her strange occupation allows her to escape her past and help other people. In a world where people or ‘bodies’ can be used as vessels to communicate with the dead, Eurydice is one of the longest and most faithful employees of the Elysian Society. With the help of a drug called a Lotus, Eurydice opens up her body so that their loved ones can communicate with them. Sometimes people come once or a few times for some much-needed closure but other clients are long time customers who keep coming back to communicate with their loved ones. Some want to communicate with their siblings, husbands or wives, sons r daughters or even their mistresses. Eurydice loves her job and although it can be emotionally draining for other employees, Eurydice never gets attached…until she meets Patrick.
Patrick comes in as a client who wishes to communicate with his dead wife, Sylvia. He brings Edie some of his wives possessions, which is required for the ‘possession’ such as old photos and a tube of her dark lipstick. Eurydice feels a connection to Patrick and what starts with her helping him talk to his dead wife slowly turns into a romantic… relationship? Like I mentioned earlier, this was one of the oddest romances I’ve read. Patrick is still clearly not over his wife and even though he is now involved romantically with Eurydice, he still uses her body to communicate with his wife. Soon, Eurydice starts to share more with Sylvia than just her lipstick and her husband and it’s hard to figure out where Edie ends and Sylvia begins and which thoughts belong to her. Edie start breaking the Elysian Society rules and starts using the possession sessions in a more personal way; channeling Sylvia for longer periods of time and for sex.
See, I told you this was such a strange book. Edie was one of the oddest characters I’ve read n a while. I disagreed with so many of her choices, especially when she offered to permanently use her body to channel Sylvia, but at the same time there was just something about her that was so intriguing. There are still so many unanswered questions about Sylvia’s death and each answer reveals another secret about Sylvia, Edie and Patrick. This book reminded me a bit of the movie The Skeleton Key, not plot wise but in a way that the story ended in a really unorthodox way that you didn’t expect. I had no idea what I was in for when I started this book and even though some parts of the book really threw me off, it was so unique and beautifully written that it was kind of impossible for it not to capture your attention. If you like mystery books, The Possessions should definitely be on your list!
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