Saturday, October 3, 2009

book review: the late, lamented molly marx

Summary (from library catalog): Until she was found dead along the bank of the Hudson River, Molly Marx led an enviable life. A young wife and mother, Molly now finds herself in the Duration, where with the help of a refreshingly unorthodox guide, she can observe the friends and family she left behind: her philandering plastic surgeon husband, the irresistible colleague who became her lover, a competitive twin sister, her controlling mother-in-law, a loyal but confused friend, and her purest love: a three-year-old daughter.

Review: The Late, Lamented Molly Marx is a delightful book to read. It grabbed me from the beginning, and I treasured every page. Suddenly, around page 200, I realized I didn't want it to end. Partially it was because I loved the characters; they were people I wanted to eat dinner with. I didn't want to say goodbye to them. Mostly, though, I couldn't imagine how the book could end satisfactorily. Part of the book is a murder mystery of sorts (think Elisabeth Hyde's The Abortionist's Daughter - it is a whodunit, but your first instinct is to describe it as powerful, character-driven literary fiction), and it becomes clear that someone had to kill Molly; I didn't want any of the characters to be guilty. I also wanted Molly to somehow find life again. She's such a vibrant character I often found myself forgetting she was dead. She was dead, of course, and eventually the characters have to face reality. I see some of my imaginary self in Molly. She's a fellow Midwesterner turned Northeasterner, and she worked in publishing. Certainly publishing and librarianship are connected, but I'm a little farther from the action in the library.

I'm still glad I read this book; I loved it. Unfortunately for me, the ending was somehow unsatisfying. The first two thirds of the book would have gotten 5 stars, but after a few months of pondering, I give it four stars. I still loved it, and I still recommend it, but I'm not grabbing it from the virtual shelves to place in your hands. I will, however, be first in line to read Sally Koslow's next novel.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5) - loved it

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you liked it so much. I'm going to read it when it comes out in paperback in the spring. Great review!


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