Book Review: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

17347382Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Length: 734 pages
Format: Paperback (15th Anniversary Ed.)
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Rating – 5 stars

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the pivotal fourth novel in the seven-part tale of Harry Potter’s training as a wizard and his coming of age. Harry wants to get away from the pernicious Dursleys and go to the International Quidditch Cup with Hermione, Ron, and the Weasleys. He wants to dream about Cho Chang, his crush (and maybe do more than dream). He wants to find out about the mysterious event involving two other rival schools of magic, and a competition that hasn’t happened for a hundred years. He wants to be a normal, fourteen-year-old wizard. Unfortunately for Harry Potter, he’s not normal — even by wizarding standards.

And in this case, different can be deadly.

I finally read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire! For the very first time! I have previously seen the movie (which seems to be a theme this month lol) but it’s been awhile so I forgot almost everything in it. This book was definitely a little more hefty in size than the previous Harry Potter books so it took me almost a month to read it, especially since I had to read so many other books this month so I had to keep putting it down and picking it back up.

In book four, we journey back to Hogwarts with our normal cast of characters except now our main crew is noticeable older and starting to deal with the normal growing up stuff like hormones i.e. Harry’s attraction to Cho and Hermoine/Ron’s growing feelings for each other. The brunt of the story takes place during the Tri-Wizard tournament that Hogwarts is hosting where three champions from three wizarding schools will compete for the Goblet of Fire and a large sum of prize money (not to mention bragging rights). The wizarding world is thrown in an uproar when Harry Potter’s name bursts forth from the Goblet naming him as the fourth wizard to compete when there should only be three. He is also under the age requirement of seventeen. This, unbeknownst to many, is just part of Lord Voldemort’s dark plot to return to power and Harry finds himself once again, face to face with his enemy.

I looooooooved this book! I definitely hated having to put it down and pick it back up again a few times towards the beginning but once I picked up back up for good, I COULD NOT put it down and actually stayed up until four in the morning reading it this weekend because I just couldn’t bear to put it down again.I think this is my favorite of the four I have read so far. It had everything…danger, betrayal, action, grief, death, suspense, and even a little bit of romance. I definitely feel like the first HP book was great, but the story and the writing just get progressively better and better with each book. I loved this story, loved spending more time with these characters, hated losing Cedric…but  I loved this book! Five stars! I cannot wait to start book five this month!

Blog Tour Book Review: The Mermaid’s Daughter by Ann Claycomb

About The Mermaid’s Daughter

• Paperback: 448 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (March 7, 2017)

A modern-day expansion of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid, this unforgettable debut novel weaves a spellbinding tale of magic and the power of love as a descendent of the original mermaid fights the terrible price of saving herself from a curse that has affected generations of women in her family.

Kathleen has always been dramatic. She suffers from the bizarre malady of experiencing stabbing pain in her feet. On her sixteenth birthday, she woke screaming from the sensation that her tongue had been cut out. No doctor can find a medical explanation for her pain, and even the most powerful drugs have proven useless. Only the touch of seawater can ease her pain, and just temporarily at that.

Now Kathleen is a twenty-five-year-old opera student in Boston and shows immense promise as a soprano. Her girlfriend Harry, a mezzo in the same program, worries endlessly about Kathleen’s phantom pain and obsession with the sea. Kathleen’s mother and grandmother both committed suicide as young women, and Harry worries they suffered from the same symptoms. When Kathleen suffers yet another dangerous breakdown, Harry convinces Kathleen to visit her hometown in Ireland to learn more about her family history.

In Ireland, they discover that the mystery—and the tragedy—of Kathleen’s family history is far older and stranger than they could have imagined.  Kathleen’s fate seems sealed, and the only way out is a terrible choice between a mermaid’s two sirens—the sea, and her lover. But both choices mean death…

Haunting and lyrical, The Mermaid’s Daughter asks—how far we will go for those we love? And can the transformative power of music overcome a magic that has prevailed for generations?

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Happy Monday!! I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I was actually laid up in bed for most of it, sick. Luckily I had my dog and a great book to keep me company!

Over the weekend I read The Mermaids Daughter by Ann Claycomb. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher through TLC Book Tours. 

This book tells the story of Kathleen who has been plagued by a phantom pain in her feet and her tongue since she was little. Her mother suffered from this as well, but killed herself when Kathleen was still little. Kathleen, now an adult and an opera singer, struggles with this and travels with her partner to the country of her ancestry to find out more about herself and this issue that she is having. It is the story of multiple generations of women suffering with this curse because of the decision of one woman. It is based off the Hans Christian Anderson’s Little Mermaid tale.

In this story our main character is in a relationship with Harry, a woman she met in a vocal course in college. I love their relationship dynamic and the way in which they care for each other. Harry knows about the pain Kathleen endures, she plays the dual roles of lover and caretaker for Kathleen and sort of begins the quest to find out more about Kathleen’s situation. I enjoyed the chapters we got from her perspective and seeing Kathleen and what she goes through, through her eyes. I enjoyed pretty much all of the characters in this story and I was especially intrigued by ALL of the perspectives the story is delivered from.

I loved this book immediately and could not put it down. I love dark retellings and this was definitely dark. It was dark, atmospheric, musical, and beautifully written. I felt like I was there. Kathleen’s suffering was palpable, I could almost feel it myself. Exactly how I would imagine it in our world. This was a great blend of genre – contemporary with fantasy.  The writing was gorgeous and it seemed like every sentence was evocative of the sea.

This was an excellent debut and I cannot wait to see what else this author has in store for us. Whatever it is, I will be eagerly anticipating it.

I highly recommend to everyone but especially to readers that love retellings, especially darker ones. Five stars!

 

Photo by Brian Persinger

About Ann Claycomb

Ann Claycomb’s fiction has been published in American Short Fiction, Zahir, Fiction Weekly, Brevity, Hot Metal Bridge, The Evansville Review, Title Goes Here, and other publications. She has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and has an MFA in fiction from West Virginia University

Book Review: Eric Olafson: Space Pirate by Vanessa Ravencroft

Eric Olafson: Space Pirate (Eric Olafson Series) by [Ravencroft, Vanessa]Title: Eric Olafson: Space Pirate byVanessa Ravencroft
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 589 pages
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Inkitt
Publication Date:  March 15, 2016
Rating – 4 stars

It’s the year 5019, and the Milky Way Galaxy is teeming with exotic species.

The majority of the known civilizations have formed a multi-cultural mega organization called the United Stars of Galaxies.

This Union is protected by the brave men and women of the United Stars Space fleet against external threats.
Eric Olafson, born and raised under harsh conditions of the traditional and inward looking society of Nilfeheim, left his planet to fulfill his dreams of becoming a Starship captain.

When Eric gets kidnaped by an unknown organization and brought to Sin 4, a lawless Planet deep in free space, he slowly starts to discover his central role in an ancient conflict of cosmic proportions.

“This is what Sci-Fi is all about. Reads like early Heinlein. In the style of Space Cadets. No esoteric problems..but good ol blaster and space action with a host of relatable characters.” – Reed T

“This story has all the right things such as strong appealing characters, great world building, aliens mystery,and more.” – Fran L

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review of it.

This book is about the adventures of Erik Olafson, a space pirate who finds himself in some sticky and outlandish situations. Although it is a book that takes place within a series it can definitely be read as a standalone title, which is how I read it.

Coming off of a Sci-Fi kick that most recently had me read The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, I was definitely in the mood to read this book and I rather enjoyed it. I thought it was humorous and adventurous. It had a lot of action right off the bat which I really enjoyed. I loved the characters and learning about their relationships with and perceptions of our main character.  Another thing I really enjoyed was the inclusion of certain aspects of Norse mythology in the story. While I am not super proficient in Norse mythology and it’s major characters, I was definitely able to draw some connections and recognized some key figures so those were really great Easter eggs to discover in the story. I just thought this story was really unique and original which made me enjoy it so much. An chase through space with a character that is running for their lives and discovering new places and people is always a fun time. 

Overall, I enjoyed  this story and would definitely like to read more from the author and of these characters, four stars! If you are a Sci-Fi fan, I definitely think you will enjoy this book and get it. I do think that others who are not really into Sci-Fi may have a harder time getting the book and handling all of the information and detail that is given. 

You can purchase your own copy of this book here: Buy Eric Olafson, Space Pirate on Amazon

Happy Reading everyone! 

Vanessa RavencroftAbout the Author

It all started in 1989 when my friends and I played Role Playing Games such as AD, Midgard, Traveler etc. Not really satisfied with the selection of commercially available RPGames, I created a new one called Action World. Our RPG evolved into the Galactic Chronicles and I am now almost 22 years in that Universe. There are 34 handwritten 500-600 page books in the Galactic Chronicles series. I love to write and spend time in this universe.

Now I have dedicated readership from all over the world and this makes me prouder than I could ever express in words. (Sad testament for someone who claims to be a writer, I know)

Want to know more about my world? Ever wondered what a viking handshake looks like? Or what kind of licensing you need to carry certain cybernetic weapons? I have written over 13,000 pages about the Universe on my GalNet Wiki which you can check out here: http://galnet.wikia.com

You can also follow me on Twitter & Facebook for more information and sneak peeks into the Galactic Chronicles:

https://www.facebook.com/ravencroftvanessa/

Blog Tour Book Review: The Drifter by Christine Lennon

About The Drifter

• Paperback: 384 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (February 14, 2017)

Megan Abbott meets M.O. Walsh in Christine Lennon’s compelling debut novel about a group of friends on the cusp of graduating from college when their lives are irrevocably changed by a brutal act of violence.

Present Day…

For two decades, Elizabeth has tried to escape the ghosts of her past…tried to erase the painful memories…tried to keep out the terrifying nightmares. But twenty years after graduating from the University of Florida, her carefully curated life begins to unravel, forcing her to confront the past she’s tried so hard to forget.

1990s, Gainesville, Florida…

Elizabeth and her two closest friends, Caroline and Ginny, are having the time of their lives in college—binge watching Oprah, flirting for freebies from Taco Bell, and breaking hearts along the way. But without warning, their world is suddenly shattered when a series of horrific acts of violence ravage the campus, changing their lives forever.

Sweeping readers from the exclusive corners of sorority life in the South to the frontlines of the drug-fueled, slacker culture in Manhattan in the ‘90s and early ‘00s, when Elizabeth is forced to acknowledge her role in the death of a friend in order to mend a broken friendship and save her own life, The Drifter is an unforgettable story about the complexities of friendships and the secrets that can ultimately destroy us.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Happy Thursday!! It’s almost the weekend which makes me incredibly be happy because I am planning to do some well deserved reading! 

Today I am taking part in the blog tour for The Drifter by Christine Lennon. I received a free copy in exchange for my honest review of it. 

The Drifter is a thriller about a girl named Betsy who lives and goes to college in a somewhat small town. During the events of this book there is a killer on the loose in her town that is murdering young women in their apartments so it sends their campus and town into high alert.

I ended up giving this book a 3 star review. I liked it and it was certainly a little creepy in my opinion. I read the brunt of it in bed at two in the morning with all the lights off and my husband and puppy asleep so that definitely increased the creep factor for me. There were some definite creepy moments that made my skin crawl which is something I look for in a thriller read. However, it was a little slow for me. The prologue definitely caught my attention and I liked the writing style and thought it was atmospheric. I think all the sorority stuff lost me and the general girl versus girl cattiness that goes on in this book. 

I did find it interesting to explore the evolution of Betsy through time. During her college days she’s very carefree, independent and bold, but after what happens she becomes understandably fearful, dependent and protective. 

Overall it was a fast, entertaining read that thriller fans may enjoy. I recommend reading it in bed at night with the lights off (except for your reading light!)

About Christine Lennon

CHRISTINE LENNON is a Los Angeles based writer. Before she moved to the West Coast and started her freelance career, she was an editor at W, Vogue, and Harper’s Bazaar. Since then, she has written for publications including, T, the New York Times Style Magazine; the Wall Street Journal; Town & Country; W; Vogue; Harper’s Bazaar; Martha Stewart Living; Sunset; C California Style; Marie Claire; Self; Net-a-Porter’s Porter and The Edit online magazine—among others. Christine lives in California with her husband, Andrew Reich, and their twins. The Drifter is her first book.

Find out more about Christine at her website.

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Blog Tour Book Review: The Mermaids of Lake Michigan by Suzanne Kamata

About The Mermaids of Lake Michigan

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing (February 14, 2017)

Elise Faulkner is more at home in the waters of her beloved Lake Michigan than on land where her beauty queen mom is always on her back about her lack of a social life; her sister is dating the boy of her dreams; her favorite penpal–the one who wrote about mermaids in Ghana–has gotten married and ended their correspondence; and no one’s allowed to talk about her glamorous great-grandmother, the deep-sea wreck diver. Elise is biding her time with books until she can flee. But then crazy Chiara Hanover pops into her life, as does Miguel, a mysterious carnival worker whose dark future has been predicted by a gypsy.

 

“A lyrical, compelling coming-of-age story with magical elements.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Elise Faulkner drew me into her head and heart so subtly, yet with such force, that by the end I was cheering her on. Suzanne Kamata has woven an honest, aching coming-of-age story that will speak to women everywhere.” ?Kristin Bair O’Keeffe, author of The Art of Floating and Thirsty

“Suzanne Kamata has written a novel of great charm and depth, with a bit of magical realism laced with humor. Elise, its engaging narrator opens her arms and her heart to life’s complexity, including family secrets and escapades with a magnificent new bestie–the irrepressible Chiara. When an unlikely romance unfolds with a mysterious drifter/musician, Kamata steers us expertly into darker waters. A jewel of a novel, set on the shores of Lake Michigan with Kamata’s signature compassion for all of its characters.” — Margaret Willey, author of Summer of the Silk Moths

“The Mermaids of Lake Michigan is a luminous coming-of-age story about a teen struggling against social norms and her own family legacy to find her way. Elise’s journey is hardly the stuff of fairy tales, as she ends up far from home, and far from the self she meant to be. Raw, real and even a bit magical.” — Kristina Riggle, author of The Life You’ve Imagined and Vivian in Red

“Suzanne Kamata’s new novel, The Mermaids of Lake Michigan, is a beautiful story about a teenage girl who must learn to balance her idealism and belief in mermaids with the harsh realities of growing up and trying to find people to love and trust. A page-turner set in the unstable years of the 1970s, I devoured it in one sitting. It brought back memories of my own adolescence and took me beyond, in that way all good novels do, into the wonderings of circumstance and the choices we would make if faced with hard decisions. Suitable for teens and adults alike, this novel will teach readers to believe in magic even in the face of tragedy.” — Cassie Premo Steele, author of Beautiful Waters

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Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Hello all! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for The Mermaids of Lake Michigan by Suzanne Kamata. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review of it.

The Mermaids of Lake Michigan is a coming of age story about a young girl named Elise. She is an introverted bookworm until she meets Chiara, someone who challenges her to be different and to push her own boundaries. When she sees a handsome stranger at a carnival and runs into him days after, it seems like fate and through her experiences with these two people, her life is never again the same.

The Mermaids of Lake Michigan and how much I liked it, was a surprise for me. It is super short in length and when I held it in my hands I was nervous for it because of the length as some shorter books feel like they should be longer but I really felt like this book and these characters accomplished so much in so short a page length.  

The writing was beautiful and gripped me from the very beginning. There were a few paragraphs and dialogue sentences that I just had to read over and over because of how beautiful they were and how they made me feel about the characters. It definitely has a “coming of age” story feel right off the bat and I really enjoyed that as well as the atmosphere of it being set in the 70s. That was really evident in the narrative and the writing made it just so easy to be transported to that time frame, I could almost see the clothes, hear the music, feel the heartbreak and the friendships.

I literally read this in a day, really enjoyed it and recommend it if you’re looking for a really short read that packs a pretty nice punch of a story. I enjoyed this so much, it was super relatable and evoked feelings from my own childhood/teenage years when you are just finding yourself and who you are going to become. If you like coming of age stories, this may be to your liking! Four stars!

About Suzanne Kamata

Suzanne Kamata was born and raised in Grand Haven, Michigan. She is most recently from Lexington, South Carolina, and now lives in Tokushima Prefecture, Japan with her husband and two children. Her short stories, essays, articles and book reviews have appeared in over 100 publications including Real Simple, Brain, Child, Crab Orchard Review, and The Japan Times. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize five times, and received a Special Mention in 2006. She is also a two-time winner of the All Nippon Airways/ Wingspan Fiction Contest, winner of the Paris Book Festival Award, and winner of the Half the World Global Literati Award for the novel.

Connect with Suzanne

Website | Twitter

Blog Tour Book Review: On the Sickle’s Edge by Neville D. Frankel

on-the-sickles-edge-coverAbout On the Sickle’s Edge

 Paperback: 432 pages
Publisher: Dialogos (January 15, 2017)

What we cannot keep. What we cannot lose.

A sweeping masterwork of love and loss, secrets and survival, On the Sickle’s Edge is told through the voices of three characters who lay bare their family’s saga: the endearing, scrappy South-African born Lena, transported to Latvia and later trapped in the USSR; her granddaughter Darya, a true Communist whose growing disillusionment with Soviet ideology places her family at mortal risk; and Steven, a painter from Boston who inadvertently stumbles into the tangled web of his family’s past. Against the roiling backdrop of twentieth-century Russia and Eastern Europe, the novel delivers equal parts historical drama, political thriller and poignant love story.

Praise

On the Sickle’s Edge takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride through some of the most tumultuous events of the 20th century. Instantly immersed in seven generations of the Shtein family, we witness their exhilarating celebrations and provocative controversies, and gain an intimate understanding of the pivotal events in South Africa, Latvia and the Soviet Union. Neville Frankel’s ability to combine historical insight and human passion is spellbinding. I couldn’t put it down. —Pamela Katz, The Partnership: Brecht, Weill, Three Women, and Germany on the Brink

In the hands of a masterful storyteller, On the Sickle’s Edge pits the weight of an oppressive regime against individual tenacity and profound personal courage. Inspired by Frankel’s own family history, this multi-generational epic holds up a mirror to a universal truth: all immigrants face the powerful tension between assimilation and cultural identity. We have–all of us–lived life on the edge of the sickle.’–Rabbi Andrew Baker, Director of International Jewish Affairs, American Jewish Committee

Purchase Links

Dialogos Books |Amazon

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for On the Sickles Edge by Neville D. Frankel.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an my honest review of it.

On the Sickles Edge is a historical fiction novel based off of the authors families own experiences. This story is a family saga where we follow generations of one family as they go through things like being forced from the only home they’ve known during World War I, the loss of loved ones and the struggle to assimilate into a different culture for their own safety. 

I loved this book. I was immediately intimidated by the size because lately I’ve been reading smaller books but when I actually dived into read it, I couldn’t put it down so it ended up going really fast. 

This story was really moving, really gripping and also very sad for me. It was a lot of things. It was a story filled with grief, loss, and struggle but it was also a story of survival, Love, hope and identity. I felt like there was a little of everything in it. I didn’t expect there to be romance or humor in this book but I was surprised to find these things in the narrative as well. 

I feel like this book is an important one and I think it adds to the conversation that we are all having and will continue to have about immigration, acceptance, and overall human rights. I think something great this book does is places you in the shoes of this family and these people who are have undergone some of humanity’s unfortunate tragedies and ugliness and you can’t help but be right there with the in their struggle to survive and overcome. I didn’t really know much about the attitude and actions towards Jews in Russia at this time so I felt like I was not only feeling a lot while reading this book but I was also learning a lot. I have seen other reviewers not quite liking the cover but I actually really love it, it is initially what drew me in about this book before I had known what it was about and now that I have read it I believe it has a deep significance to the story and to my experience while reading it. 

This was beautiful and affecting. There were times when I had to put it down and take a breather, times when I was so scared for these characters that I felt so much  compassion for and times when I just couldn’t put it down.

This is a great book, very gripping and very moving. Five stars. Highly recommend. I think I am going to be looking into Third Power by this author now. 

Happy Reading everyone! 

neville-frankel-apAbout Neville D. Frankel

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Neville Frankel immigrated to Boston with his family when he was 14. After graduating from Dartmouth College, he pursued doctoral work in English literature at the University of Toronto. While in Canada, he wrote The Third Power, a well-reviewed political thriller about the transformation of Rhodesia to Zimbabwe. He also received an Emmy for his work on a BBC documentary, The Mind of a Murderer: Part 1. In 2005 he returned to South Africa for the first time in 38 years. Over the next decade he went back several more times, researching what would become Bloodlines. He has recently completed work on his newest novel On the Sickle’s Edge, set in 20th-century Eastern Europe, South Africa and the United States.

Neville is a 2013 Jewish Book Council Author and has participated in speaking engagements around the country. A highlight of his Bloodlines book tour was addressing the Board of South Africa Partners and the South African Ambassador to the United States.

When he’s not writing, Frankel works as a financial planner. He also has a keen passion for painting. Frankel has three grown children and lives outside Boston with his wife Marlene.

Find out more about Neville at his website and connect with him on Facebook.

 

Blog Tour Book Review: The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy

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.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 I received a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review of it.

The Possessions is about a girl named Eurydice, or Edie, who works as a body. People discreetly hire her to channel their dead loved ones. They literally inhabit her body for a short period of time. She has been working in this industry for years and has been successful due to her being able to disconnect from her body and clients during these sessions. Until she meets the one client and his late wife that seem to continuously inhabit not just her thoughts, but her body as well. The book explores the mystery surrounding her death, Edie’s past and the death of Hopeful Doe – the moniker given to an unknown girl whose body was found in an abandoned house close to Edie’s work. 

When I read the first paragraph  of this book I was hooked and immediately thrust into this story. For me, it was immediately reminiscent of Atwood’s, A Handmaids Tale. It had a similar atmosphere, although not so much in the latter portion of the book. I fell in love with the writing in this book. I thought it was gorgeous and atmospheric – perfect for this type of story. 

The concept itself is one that I found to be wholly fascinating. I am not very familiar with mediums but I imagine this is somewhat similar although this seemed more on the possession side, hence the title. I found a lot about this book to be very compelling like the black market movement of this type of service vs the legit service given by organization like Elysian Fields, morality issues and this society’s views on death. 

This book was really fascinating to me and made me think about death in a few different ways. I was not expecting that from this book. I admit that I was immediately drawn in by the cover because it is absolutely gorgeous but it was a completely different book than I thought. I was very pleasantly surprised. I have a hard time placing this book in a particular genre as the author melded different aspects of many genres in this one story – mystery, obsessive romance and a somewhat dystopian feel. I had a few tiny issues with it that were far overshadowed by my overall experience with this book. It was a little slow  at times and I craved more detail about certain things. When I finished this book I definitely wanted more of it. I read this book with a glass of wine after a long day of work and I enjoyed it so so much. 

The story  was fascinating, shocking, interesting, provocative and eerie all in one breath. This is a debut novel and since it was so great, I can’t wait for more from Sara Flannery Murphy. 5 stars! 

About Sara Flannery Murphy

Sara Flannery Murphy grew up in Arkansas, where she divided her time between Little Rock and Eureka Springs, a small artists’ 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.