Author: Sara Flannery Murphy
“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. 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.” (Source)
This book, you guys! I can’t believe it’s a debut, because it was so amazing. As you can probably guess from the description, the world building was unique and fascinating. There world building was also internally consistent, something I value highly. However, my absolute favorite part of this book was the atmosphere. The entire book was deeply unsettling and suspenseful. I couldn’t put it down!
Everything else about the book was fantastic too though. The characters were so intense and obsessive, I couldn’t look away. The plot was fantastic and to me, it feels like it would have to be because of the combination of the characters’ personalities and the world their in. It was very believable, once you accepted the setting and the characters’ actions felt perfectly consistent with who they were. Some of the twists that surprised Edie didn’t surprise me, but there were plot twists that caught me off guard in an enjoyable way as well. Last but not least, the whole book was incredibly thought-provoking. In particular, it made me think about the themes of grief, identity, and loneliness. Honestly, no matter what quality you most value in a book – plot, characters, world-building – I’d highly recommend picking this up.