Book Review: The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy

Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: Two books that share the same title  (second book coming this summer) TW: Death, suicide,...

Popsugar 2019 Reading Challenge Prompt: Two books that share the same title 
(second book coming this summer)

TW: Death, suicide, stalking

I chose The Possessions as a February 2017 Book of the Month pick, but it sat around for so long before I picked it up. Thanks to Mary and Amy and their #unreadbotmchallenge, I've been more intentional about reading my backlog of BOTM selections and I've only been choosing one Book of the Month selection each month (or none at all if I'm not totally sold on one). So here we are.

The Possessions follows Edie, a "body" working at the Elysian Society. At the Elysian Society, clients can come in to speak with their deceased loved through one of the bodies who work there. Bodies can take a pill (a lotus) to channel the deceased for a limited amount of time. Edie has worked with the Elysian Society for five years and has always been able to stay separate from her work, but everything changes when Patrick Braddock enters the story. Once Edie channels his wife, she feels an instant connection with him and the lines between work and life become a bit blurred.

This book absolutely wasn't what I expected. I was excited with anticipation about the story - it seemed new and unique, which it certainly was. But it took me almost two weeks to read a 350 page novel. The pacing was weird - at times fast paced for a chapter or two, but insanely slow at other times. I couldn't connect with the characters at all. And what should've been more climactic reveals to the plot-points were so incredibly underwhelming. There was so much build-up within the storyline for the reveals to fall flat. There was a story within the story that should have had a much bigger wrap-up, but was treated with much nonchalance.

"'If it's what you want, then you should have it,' he says, as if it's always been that simple." - The Possessions, Sara Flannery Murphy

The novel was definitely unique. It's almost dystopian/sci-fi-ish, but it reads like contemporary fiction on the verge of mystery. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had read more like a dystopian thriller, but it all just felt off. I did feel that it was pretty reminiscent of Behind Her Eyes, though I enjoyed that one very much. Overall, I appreciated the direction this novel was heading in, but I don't think it was executed quite as well as I would've hoped.

Goodreads rating: ★★★☆☆

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