The Misfortune of Marion Palm

  • by Emily Culliton
  • Narrated by Saskia Maarleveld
  • 8 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A wildly entertaining debut about a Brooklyn Heights wife and mother who has embezzled a small fortune from her children's private school and makes a run for it, leaving behind her trust fund poet husband, his maybe-secret lover, her two daughters, and a school board who will do anything to find her.
Marion Palm prefers not to think of herself as a thief but rather "a woman who embezzles". Over the years she has managed to steal $180,000 from her daughters' private school, money that has paid for European vacations, a Sub-Zero refrigerator, and perpetually unused state-of-the-art exercise equipment. But now, when the school faces an audit, Marion pulls piles of rubber-banded cash from their basement hiding places and flees, leaving her family to grapple with the baffled detectives, the irate school board, and the mother-shaped hole in their house. Told from the points of view of Nathan, Marion's husband, heir to a long-diminished family fortune; Ginny, Marion's teenage daughter who falls helplessly in love at the slightest provocation; Jane, Marion's youngest, who is obsessed with a missing person of her own; and Marion herself, on the lam - and hiding in plain sight.

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What the Critics Say

"This debut novel has what many others lack: a wicked sense of humor. Verdict: With her mordant wit, deft plotting, and clever storytelling, Culliton is a young novelist to watch." (Leslie Patterson, Library Journal)
"[A] wonderful and sharp debut novel.... When Marion meets handsome, rich poet, Nathan Palm, she achieves a dream of financial security and stability. But reality is cruel and Nathan is not as wealthy as she thought...Culliton's prose is effortless and wickedly clever; its ability to condone and condemn in the most succinct way is a testament to the author's storytelling and characterization skills...Irresistible. This debut novel signals the arrival of an exciting talent." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Not a redeeming character in the book!

Trust me, you will not like even one character - not the leads, not the kids, not the victims. But don't let that stop you from listening - you'll want to know just how or if they get their "just desserts"! The narration is outstanding. This, I believe, is what real life is like rather than Hollywood - all the loose ends don't necessarily get tied up. I truly enjoyed it!
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- Anita

Excellent book if you can enjoy unsympathetic characters

I enjoyed this book a lot. My heart raced for Marion Palm, but I couldn't decide if it was because I wanted her to succeed, or fail. Almost every adult was worthy of disgust, and in that, somehow Marion garners more of the reader's sympathy than the technically guiltless men and women surrounding her.
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- Kendra mahoney

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-08-2017
  • Publisher: Random House Audio