Of the words that sprinkle the backside of this hardback novel, “strange,” “devilish,” “beautiful,” “gripping,” “haunting,” “desire,” and “mysterious,” are just a few. I found them all to be true.
The Possessions is the story of Edie, a woman who’s spent the last five years burying herself deeper and deeper while working as a body for the Elysian Society – which means she takes a special pill called a “lotus” which then allows a dead person to temporarily occupy her body to communicate with loved ones who are grieving.
That premise was enough to entice my attention – I mean, I’ve not read a book like it before. It promised all the desire of a romance novel, the irresistibly of the paranormal, and it delivered it all within the pointed, fluid prose of the literary. It’s outside of what I normally read, but I loved it. Had I known beforehand of the literary quality, I might not have picked it up as readily, but I am glad that I did.
However, I’m not sure where this book would fall in a bookstore’s shelves. It’s fiction, but it’s paranormal, romantic, literary – I’m not sure if I can give it one solid label. It gives me the foreboding of the paranormal, the lust and hot desire of romance, and the suspense of a mystery.
This books had fantastic writing. Edie’s perspective is distant while at the same time I connected with her; this may be due to my own distant personality. Edie weaves her own mysterious background while unraveling that of a widowed client – Patrick Braddock, whose wife Edie has been channeling. As she dives deeper into the mystery and tangles, we get a little more of her – we see her change and shift. I was feeling what she felt for Patrick, and I don’t even know him – I don’t even like the name Patrick.
Edie’s voice is fantastic. She delivers the barest minimum of information, which peeks the interest and doesn’t reveal too much too soon; it’s trickled out in delicate spoons, carefully and with grace and talent. The Possessions if a fine example of what to say and what not to say.
The plot is where this book lost that last point. It didn’t quite live up to the expectation that it built. I enjoyed the ending, don’t get me wrong, but it felt a little… lackluster. However, while this book only received a 4 out of 5, Murphy is definitely on my list of authors to watch.