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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

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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

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 ratings (3,404)

  • Jessica P.

    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.

  • Katie A.


    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!

  • Kelsey S.

    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.

  • Erin M.

    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!

  • Tori C.

    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.

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