Who will prevail ― the woman or the ghost?For five years Edie has worked for the Elysian Society, a secretive organisation that provides a very specialised service: its clients come to reconnect with their dead loved ones by channelling them through living ‘Bodies’. Edie is one such Body, perhaps the best in the team, renowned for her professionalism and discretion.But everything changes when Patrick, a distraught husband, comes to look for traces of his drowned wife in Edie. The more time that Edie spends as the glamorous, enigmatic Sylvia, the closer she comes to falling in love with Patrick. And the more mysterious the circumstances around Sylvia’s death appear.
As Edie falls under Sylvia’s spell, she must discover not only the couple’s darkest secrets, but also her own long-buried memories and desires ― before it's too late.
The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy was published in hardback by Scribe UK on 9 March 2017 and is the author's debut novel.
Edie is a body, she's known as Eurydice and she works for the Elysian Society. She's been there for five years, she's good at what she does. Not everyone could be a body, some people think it's strange to swallow down a 'lotus' pill and channel themselves through the dead loved-ones of the Society's clients. Edie is quiet, polite, professional. Her job allows her to fight off her own memories. That is until one day, she applies the dark plum lipstick of Sylvia, as requested by her latest client Patrick.
Edie begins to change. She starts to think of Patrick more and more, wearing his dead wife's lipstick, contacting him privately. She feels as though Sylvia is consuming her, or is she becoming Sylvia?
The Possessions is unlike anything I've read before, with a mix of ghost story and science-fiction, some supernatural happenings and an eroticism that pervades the story. At times I wondered just what was happening, but Sara Flannery Murphy's writing is so precise and lyrical that I became completely absorbed with the characters, just as Edie becomes absorbed with Sylvia and Patrick.
As the story progresses, the author cleverly reveals little snippets of information that add a depth to the plot. For me, it was the characterisation and the sense of place that shines through, rather than the actual story line. Whilst the premise is unusual and very well imagined, the setting is magically developed, from the stark rooms at the Elysian to the searing heat of the streets. Edie appears at first, to be a bland, almost lifeless character, but she is slowly and surely built up into a fascinating, if flawed voice.
The Possessions is a novel that should spark debate; about contacting the dead, about hidden pasts and the effects of secrecy. Outrageous and very dark, filled with ghosts, but teeming with life, The Possessions is a study in relationships, grief and love.
My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review and invited me to take part in the blog tour.
Sara Flannery Murphy was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. Her family divided their time between Little Rock and Eureka Springs, a small town in the Ozark Mountains. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis. Currently, She lives in an Oklahoma college town with her husband and son.
is her first novel.
Her shorter work has appeared in journals including and .
For more information visit www.saraflannerymurphy.com
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