About The Possessions• Hardcover: 368 pages
• Publisher: Harper (February 7, 2017)
"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.
The Possessions is such a different story. The idea of using another person’s body to connect with a love one that you lost is intriguing. Everyone has lost someone and wishes they have more time with someone they lost and this is one way of doing so. Eurydice, aka Edie, takes her job as a “body” serious, very serious. Usually the body only last for a short time but Edie manages to make it last for 5 years.
Edie takes her clients on to help them connect with the dead. Usually she doesn’t form any relationship with her clients and has never had any memory of what actually happens once she takes the lotus pill. So when Patrick comes to connect with his dead wife she is happy to assist. For some reason she becomes more invested in his relationship with his wife. She puts herself into Patrick’s life over and over again becoming closer and closer to him. I could see where this was heading. Yet, I didn’t see the secrets of Sylvia and Patrick’s marriage. With each twist and turn I was more fascinated by the marriage and Sylvia’s death.
Edie’s history is a total wipe. There are no hints, no clues until the very end. I wish that Sara Flannery Murphy had dropped hints as the story went on. As much as I was curious about Edie her personal story did not seem to have any real effect on the rest of the story. When Edie’s past is told it did make sense as to why she acted certain ways or reacted to different events.
This was an easy read. I found it a fast read. I’d recommend picking up your own copy.