Book Review for THE POSSESSIONS by Sara Flannery Murphy

THE POSSESSIONS by Sara Flannery Murphy
Highly Caffeinated Rating: ☕ ☕ ☕ ☕

Suspenseful, thought provoking, and refreshingly honest. Murphy’s debut is part mystery, part ghost story, and part romance. She breaks down the essence of her characters so that the reader is constantly guessing who they really are.


What I loved about this book is the premise behind it and the questions that it raised. What would you do to be able to talk to a loved one who has passed? Would you be willing to give up your body to become someone else to help another person get through their grief? Would you be willing to loose control of your body and let someone else in? Within the pages of this book, the way in which the author writes the interactions with the "bodies" and those who have lost someone is at times disturbing, but also heartfelt and sincere. The duality to the good and the bad of what the Elysian Society is doing will not be lost on the reader. The story will push the boundaries of how some people handle grief and the lengths they will go to relieve the regret/pain that they carry with them every day over their loss.

THE POSSESSIONS really grabbed me and I am still thinking about it now long after I have finished. I am looking forward to reading more by the author.

Reviewer Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher and TLC Book Tour in exchange for an honest review.


Plot Summary:

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.


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About The Author: Sara Flannery Murphy grew up in Arkansas, where she divided her time between Little Rock and Eureka Springs, a small artistsí community in the Ozark Mountains. She received her MFA in creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis and studied library science in British Columbia. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband and son. The Possessions is her first novel. Find out more about Sara at her website, and connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.