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All booksFantasyThe Possessions
The Possessions by Sara Flannery Murphy

The Possessions

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Sara Flannery Murphy, on your first book!

by Sara Flannery Murphy

Quick take

The Possessions channels many forms: it’s a mystery, a romance, a ghost story, and an erotically-charged thriller.

Why I love it

Liberty Hardy
BOTM Judge

In a 'œlimbo of a neighborhood', where 'œthe streets are populated with abandoned homes and condemned buildings' sits the headquarters of the Elysian Society. Made of cool white brick, 'œat a squinting it could be a church, or a museum'. It’s an appropriately eerie setting for a very unusual organization.

The Elysian Society offers grieving clients the ability to reconnect with their deceased loved ones through attendants known as 'œbodies,' who, with the help of a special pill, becomes possessed by the ghost of the departed. All they need to get started is a single personal item that belonged to the spirit being sought.

In a strange way it’s not that different than a visit to a massage therapist or an acupuncturist '“ the 'œbodies' are practitioners who provide a helpful and healing service in scheduled hourly appointments. Of course, as with any profession where people form close bonds, the boundaries between the professional and the personal sometimes become blurred'¦

Long term employee Edie (short for Eurydice) is one of the most popular bodies at the Society. Her schedule is always full, and she has earned her own practice room, a coveted perk. However, she is overcome by a deep connection for Patrick, an alluring new client mourning his young, beautiful wife. Against her better judgment, Edie defies the Society’s rules and pursues a relationship with Patrick outside of work, putting her livelihood and her safety at risk as details about the cause of Patrick's wife's death begin to emerge. Following along as Edie unfurls their mystery had me on the edge of my seat.

Like the 'œbodies' at the Elysian Society, The Possessions channels many different forms: it’s a mystery, a romance, a ghost story, and an erotically-charged thriller. It’s a compelling novel that mixes grief and heartache with danger and mystery. It’s a fantastical examination of loneliness and the exploitation of human emotions. And it’s so much fun!

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Member thoughts

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Love (766)
Like (1733)
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3159 ratings
  • 24% Love
  • 55% Like
  • 16% Dislike
  • Ruckersville , VA

    This book surprised me. I didn’t think I would like it at first but the twists & turns really got to me. I’ve loaned it out to a few friends and we all have the same impression - recommend it to all.


    This one kept me hooked from beginning to end. Such original thought processes and a “keep you guessing” plot with perfectly placed holes that keep you trying to think ten steps ahead. Smart and sexy!

  • Lakeville, MA

    Gorgeously written story about desire, deceit & finding & losing yourself. The language of this book was poetic & beautiful throughout. I loved everything about it! Pick it up, you won't regret it!

  • Sacramento, CA

    Incredible. It was so well done and so insane. Non stop twists and turns and you never know how it is gonna go. Someone borrowed it and never gave it back so I had to buy another copy. Love this book

  • Spring Grove, MN

    I really liked the empowering ending. The author creates great tension and gave me all of the spooky vibes. The only thing I would have like more of is a better idea of the world this takes place in.


    This book was nothing like what I expected! In a good way though. It really had me wanting to learn more of what was going on and how everything worked. Very interesting and a new twist on possession

  • Bowmanstown, PA

    Not one mystery but three! Like peeling back the layers of an onion, the mysteries unravel separately but together in a smooth rhythm. The premise is unique, which I found to be a breath of fresh air.

  • Pulaski, TN

    The idea of "bodies" is chilling, and it makes one wonder if he or she would use one if they were real. This explores feeling empty, losing your own identity, being someone else in a new inventive way

  • Jasper, GA

    I couldn't put this book down. I loved how the author kept you completely disoriented, which allowed you to feel what the main character felt. It also makes you think about the ethics behind it all.

  • Milwaukee , WI

    By the end I had almost forgotten that Edie had a past I didn't know about because she is such an unreliable narrator and hides everything about herself. Then the twist reveal at the end hit- I cried.

  • La Crescenta , CA

    Such a strange novel!! I wasn't very into it when I first started but got hooked about 1/4 of the way through! So weird but a great read! It you are a fan of the supernatural I think you would love it

  • Parsonsburg , MD

    This book was a big improvement over the book I chose last month. Great story. Really keeps you interested. Some parts of the story were lacking and some parts were really vague but overall good read

  • Black River, NY

    I want to read more from her! I'm easily bored when I read, but her style of writing kept me hooked. I couldn't put it down, which says a lot for me. I'm usually good at predicting, but not this time!

  • Broomfield, CO

    The plot of The Possessions is by far the most unique I've encountered in quite some time. Well-written, captivating, thought-provoking; this book is a wild ride you'll want to go on again and again.

  • Billings, MT

    This is a book that will keep you wondering. What really happened to Patrick's wife? Who is Edie really? Who is Hopeful Doe? All these questions circle around the little lotus pill and slipping away.

  • Greenville, NC

    I'm so completely content with the ending. A great thought-provoking book that leaves you with such a satisfying ending. No, she didn't "get the guy" she got peace of mind... which is so much better.

  • Wilmington , DE

    This immediately has you asking questions and keeping you up late so you can find the answers to these questions. It pieces a puzzle together that ends in a completely different way than you expect.

  • Park Ridge, IL

    I loved this book! I couldn't put it down. Once I finished it I looked up the author to see if she wrote any other books but it looks like this is her first! I hope she writes more! Highly recommend!

  • St Paul, MN

    I enjoyed this book, it is not particularly fast paced but it does bring about some very important questions. If you could reach out to a loved one from beyond, would you? And how far would you go?

  • Ames, IA

    I can't believe that this is her first novel. It is certainly pretty deep. It started out slow but quickly became a page turner as we all were pulled into the lives of the all the primary characters.

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