The Possessions

  • by Sara Flannery Murphy
  • Narrated by Erin Moon
  • 11 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this electrifying literary debut, a young woman who channels the dead for a living crosses a dangerous line when she falls in love with one of her clients, whose wife died under mysterious circumstances.
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. Edie has been a body at the Elysian Society for five years, an unusual record. Her success is the result of careful detachment: she seeks refuge in the lotuses' anesthetic effects and distances herself from making personal connections with her clients.
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.
After years of hiding beneath the lotuses' dulling effect, Edie discovers that the lines between her own desires and those of Sylvia have begun to blur, and takes increasing risks to keep Patrick within her grasp. Suddenly, she finds her quiet life unraveling as she grapples not only with Sylvia's growing influence and the questions surrounding her death, but with her own long-buried secrets.
A tale of desire and obsession, deceit and dark secrets that defies easy categorization, The Possessions is a seductive, absorbing listen that builds to a shattering, unforgettable conclusion.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

What on Earth....

...possessed Harper Audio to make such bad choices in the production of this book? The Possessions seems a very fine adult book, but I can't log beyond four hours of this tween-style narration.

The novel is related in a first person narrative by Edie, a woman in her late 20's who works as a 'body', channeling the dead for loved ones at a place called Elysian. The story (thus far) reminds me of 'The Handmaid's Tale', slowly revealing a dystopian world. Reader Erin Moon relates the story to listeners in a little girl voice and quite competently follows direction to to characterize Edie as a woman-child, stepping all over some well-crafted prose and characterizations. It's so dumbed down, I kept rewinding. "What? wait a minute...". Click.

Of course, Edie may well be an emotional woman-child; I don't know yet, but the language used is not and in this story, the written voice is clearly a character choice. Think about it this way; the bestselling audio version of 'Lolita' is read by the golden-tongued Jeremy Irons as the monstrous Humbert Humbert- would it be a bestseller - or work at all- if read by a grinchy Boris Karloff? This audio production of 'The Possessions' is the most unsuitable production of a book I have heard.

I could return this and get my credit back, but want to inform my fellow listeners of what appears to be an extraordinary novel and suggest you try reading it- perhaps sample it on your kindle.

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- Bette "I listen to novels for distraction and entertainment and rate them on the experience, not literary merit. I prefer to read good literature."

Had good potential -Great idea, flat story.

Would you try another book from Sara Flannery Murphy and/or Erin Moon?

Not sure


Was The Possessions worth the listening time?

Partly. I loved the concept of the story, so that's why I decided to try it. The idea of a grief service combined with futuristic prostitution is, to say the least, the potential for a juicy story! But as good as this idea was, the characters were flat. Edie's character was so bland and under-developed and I was not able to figure out why she did really stupid things and why she cared so much about Patrick - who to me, was a cad. He wanted to hop in the sack everywhere his dead wife had been - even when Edie wasn't channeling. This was really off-putting and made me wonder about his sanity and/or integrity. His whole character was so mechanical like he was nothing more than a robot. I kept listening but finally had to give up over halfway - just couldn't get into it. Edie's drama queen style (poor me attitude) I couldn't take. None of the characters were even likeable.


Any additional comments?

Unlike another review, I was not put off by the narration. I think she did well. It was just the story was too drawn out and boring for me, and parts didn't make any sense. But as I said before, the idea of channeling dead loved ones for money was a fascinating idea - I just wish the rest of the story had delivered.

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- Dana

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-07-2017
  • Publisher: HarperAudio