Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Review: The Late Lamented Molly Marx by Sally Koslow

I believe I found The Late Lamented Molly Marx by Sally Koslow through Bookmarks magazine (I gotta get better at noting where I hear about new books). It's not a book I would normally pick up but it sounded like a good mystery with a twist.

Here's the summary: The circumstances of Molly Marx’s death may be suspicious, but she hasn’t lost her joie de vivre. Newly arrived in the hereafter, aka the Duration, Molly, thirty-five years old, is delighted to discover that she can still keep tabs on those she left behind: Annabel, her beloved four-year-old daughter; Lucy, her combustible twin sister; Kitty, her piece-of-work mother-in-law; Brie, her beautiful and steadfast best friend; and, of course, her husband, Barry, a plastic surgeon with more than a professional interest in many of his female patients. As a bonus, Molly quickly realizes that the afterlife comes with a finely tuned bullshit detector.

As Molly looks on, her loved ones try to discern whether her death was an accident, suicide, or murder. She was last seen alive leaving for a bike ride through New York City’s Riverside Park; her body was found lying on the bank of the Hudson River. Did a stranger lure Molly to danger? Did she plan to meet someone she thought she could trust? Could she have ended her own life for mysterious reasons, or did she simply lose control of her bike? As the police question her circle of intimates, Molly relives the years and days that led up to her sudden end: her marriage, troubled yet tender; her charmed work life as a magazine decorating editor; and the irresistible colleague to whom she was drawn.

More than anything, Molly finds herself watching over Annabel--and realizing how motherhood helped to bring out her very best self. As the investigation into her death proceeds, Molly will relive her most precious moments--and take responsibility for the choices in her life.

I found the idea of this story quite fascinating, especially as a mom. How did she die? How does she handle seeing her family move on without her? I do not usually read books that have to do with what I consider 'the supernatural'...so being with Molly from the 'beyond' was a bit of a stretch for me. But, it was really well done. It wasn't hard for me to imagine this as a possibility. Time was rather fluid for Molly, being dead and all. And that makes alot of sense to me.

The story is told in two ways - Molly is in the 'afterlife', talking to her 'mentor' and following what happens to her family after she is gone. We also see her life from her eyes as it's happening. Switching between these two points of view made me think about the choices we make and how they affect us and others in both the short and long term.

I did have a problem with the book and I think it's more me than the book. I didn't connect with Molly. I didn't love her. I didn't feel sorry for her. I didn't hate her. Nothing. No feeling. Which I found odd since I do have kids and have wondered time to time what it would be like for them if I were to not be around. But yet, nothing. I wanted to know the answer to the mystery. I wanted to see what the others in the story did over time. But never really cared about Molly. Given that this is not my typical book, maybe it's me and what I like and don't like. I don't know.

I am glad I read about Molly and her family and friends.

My rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Check out my next post for an interview with author Sally Koslow.

Some other reviews of The Late Lamented Molly Marx:
- Booking Mama
- S. Krishna's Books
- Alison's Book Marks
If you've read it and want to be included, please post your link in the comments section.

No comments: