“There’s nothing wrong with me, Merry. Only my bones want to grow through my skin like the growing things and pierce the world.”
14 year old Marjorie is possessed… or so her father and his bishop think. The story is told from the point of view of Merry; Marjorie’s 8 year old sister. However – it’s not happening real time; the story is being told by an adult Merry to an author writing about the experience. We switch between reading the conversation between the author (Rachel) and Merry, Merry as a child reliving the experiences and a blogger picking apart what really happened. All parts are equally important and give a good insight to what is actually happening in the book.
Marjorie and Merry start of as regular 8 and 14 year old girls. Marjorie is the light of Merry’s life, and she adores her older sister.
“Because I was convinced that I was going to grow up to be exactly like Marjorie, entering her room was like discovering a living, breathing map of my future.”
The book continues with Merry realizing something is wrong. Her father sinks deeper into a religious frame of mind, and her mother takes up more smoking and drinking. Marjorie changes, getting darker and meaner. After a particularly dark incident, the priest that Merry’s father has been talking to decides to contact the media, and a TV show about Marjorie and her family starts.
As things get more dramatic and dark, we start to see that maybe it isn’t Marjorie that is possessed.
The culmination of the book leaves with a twist that no one saw coming; and when I finished my jaw basically hit the floor.
I loved this book. I think it takes a good hard look at mental health, media influence and how much we can put on a show for those we love.
My friend who recommended it said:
“I think it was a good narrative of where we are at as a society. Sweeping mental health issues under the table and playing on our spectator nature.”
There were points in reading where I had to set the book down and take a break from it (definitely the sign of a good book.) It’s emotionally moving, and you can’t help but feel for each of the characters.
Speaking of characters, all are well written, three dimensional and feel like real people.
I loved this book, and highly recommend reading it to anyone.