The Possessions

ThePossessions HC C 

The Possessions is available through Harper/HarperCollins in the U.S., and through Scribe in the U.K. and Australia.  

Selected as a Best Book of February by Refinery 29 * Official Book of the Month Club Selection * Highlighted as a Best New Book by People Magazine * A ‘Brilliant New Book You Need to Read This Winter’ in BuzzFeed UK * A ‘Smashing Debut Novel’ of 2017 in Stylist Magazine * Selected for The Pool’s Bedtime Bookclub * One of the Best Books of March in Red Magazine * Long-listed for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger by the Crime Writers’ Association

“Suspenseful … a beautifully rendered, haunting page turner.” – Publishers Weekly starred review

“Sublime … a complex novel that is both unforgettable and impossible to put down.” – Booklist starred review

“Murphy’s imaginative debut is a haunting ghost story and a thrilling mystery that will engross readers until the final page.” – Library Journal starred review

PURCHASE: Amazon/ iBooks / IndieBound / Barnes & Noble / Amazon UK / HarperCollins

The Elysian Society is an underground organization where grieving clients reconnect with lost loved ones. The employees, known as bodies, spend their days in a numb routine as they channel the dead. Edie has worked at the Elysian Society for five years. She’s a loyal employee, turning blankness into an art form. When she takes on an enigmatic new client, her quiet life cracks open.

As Edie grows closer to Patrick Braddock, moving deeper into his life, she learns unsettling details about the death of his wife, Sylvia. Strangers start to seem familiar; memories leak into waking life. Edie can’t tell whether this is Sylvia’s growing influence or her own walls breaking down. Secrets are circling closer, threatening the precarious balance that Patrick and Edie have created.

Internationally, look for The Possessions from Harper/HarperCollins in the US, Scribe in the U.K. and Australia, De Fontein in the Netherlands, HarperCollins Brazil in Brazil, 20/20 Editora in Portugal, and Hans Media in South Korea. 

– Advance Praise for The Possessions

“I was totally immersed in the strange, beautiful world of Sara Flannery Murphy’s The Possessions. A gripping, chilling read that’s part love story, part mystery, and completely original, it’s sensuous, scary, and utterly thrilling. I’ve never read anything quite like it.” — Anton DiSclafani, author of The After Party 

The Possessions might be the most affecting, riveting novel about love and obsession I’ve read in a decade. Sara Flannery Murphy possesses the dystopian imagination of Margaret Atwood and the keen feminist incisiveness of Heidi Julavits, but the haunting, seductive prose is all her own. This is a literary ghost story for a whole new generation.” — Christopher Bollen, author of Orient

“An enthralling meditation on grief and memory cloaked in suspenseful psychodrama, The Possessions dissolves the boundaries of past and present and artfully, heartbreakingly maps the consequences of transgressive desire. Sara Flannery Murphy has written the best kind of ghost story.” — Robin Wasserman, author of Girls on Fire

“Sara Flannery Murphy casts a spell as devilish and dazzling as the language she uses to cast it. Once you enter the erotically charged, psychologically gripping world of her debut novel, The Possessions, there is, truly, no going back or getting out.” — Kathryn Davis, author of Duplex 

“As well as being a supernatural tale, brilliantly evoking a time not quite our own but almost, The Possessions is a meditation on love, obsession and grief.  In an almost Kafka-esque world, Sara Flannery Murphy’s subtle, spare and poised writing creates a gripping sense of threat that makes the book compelling reading.” – Lucy Jago, author of Montacute House

“A literary descendant of the iconic novels Rebecca and Never Let Me Go, Sara Flannery Murphy’s haunting, auspicious debut explores the enduring nature of grief and guilt and the myriad ways the uses of the body can stave off the loneliness of the soul.” — Helen Schulman, author of This Beautiful Life

– Press for The Possessions

In May 2017, The Possessions was long-listed for the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, awarded to debut authors by the Crime Writers’ Association.

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The Best of Bedtime Book Club (The Pool)

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The Best New Fiction for Women, by Women (BookBub)

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Here are 8 Must-Read New Books by Women (Hello Giggles)

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“The story is riveting and yet disquieting at the same time … The Possessions remains entirely its own book, unique and unputdownable.” – Kelly Pells, Enfield Independent

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“… An unusual story that is chilling, gripping and hard to forget.” – Betty Lytle, The Oklahoman

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The Possessions is convincingly otherworldly as it melds together the living and the dead … Murphy offers a perceptive view of tough subjects without ever preaching. Her debut is the story of a telltale heart that keeps its secrets close.” – Sarah Gilmartin, The Irish Times

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The Possessions is an unsettling read … the story absorbs at the same time as it confronts.” – Sally Nimon, The Newtown Review of Books

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“With a plot that races along, this is an imaginative and seductive supernatural novel that examines love, loss and terrifying obsession.” – Fanny Blake, Daily Mail

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“An entirely compelling world with all the intoxicating imagination and white-knuckle plotting of high-Victorian sensation fiction … Murphy delivers a kind of love story to our mortal selves, tenderly prying into the ways we have of grieving and of letting go, celebrating the unthinkable oddness and pleasures of fleshly life, brilliantly dramatising dizzying questions about selfhood and sympathy. ” – Sarah Ditum, The Guardian

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“A haunting and brilliantly written thriller which raises questions about the boundaries between grief and obsession. People who enjoy offbeat fiction with a touch of supernatural will enjoy this book.” – Rabeea Saleem, Culturefly 

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“[To] say the least, intriguing … A meditation on grief, obsession, and the dark past we all try to bury, The Possessions is a striking debut.” – The Pool  (Bedtime Book Club Selection)

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Highly original … like entering a mysterious other world where nothing is quite as it seems.” – New Books

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“[S]upernatural romance that thrives on imaginative world-building.” – The Saturday Age

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“A tale about connecting with the dead that is a guaranteed page-turner.” – Elle UK

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The Books to Read Before Anyone Else Does – SheerLuxe

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“Creepy, chilling, compelling.” – Sarra Manning, Red Magazine (Best Books to Read This Month)

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A “chilling and impossible-to-put down debut.” – Marissa Stapley, The Globe and Mail

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“A suspenseful debut novel that’s stylish and deliciously creepy.” – People Magazine

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“… A Gone Girl-esque twisty thriller about a woman who tries on dead people’s souls for size” – Elizabeth Kiefer, Refinery 29’s Best Books of February

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“… A creepy mystery about a woman who channels the spirit of the dead … and is sucked deep into a spooky netherworld of obsession and desire.” – Claire Alfee, Metro

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“A unique and engaging debut. It will be interesting to see what Murphy brings next.” – RT Book Reviews, four-star review

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A “novel that dips its toes into a number of genres with ease. … This is a compulsively readable book.” – Ellen Cregan, Readings

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The Possessions is a February 2017 selection for the Book of the Month Club! Judge Liberty Hardy says: “Like the ‘bodies’ at the Elysian Society, The Possessions channels many different forms: it’s a mystery, a romance, a ghost story, and an erotically-charged thriller. It’s a compelling novel that mixes grief and heartache with danger and mystery.”

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“There are echoes of Vertigo and Eyes Wide Shut in this psychological slow burner … strange, suspenseful, and surprisingly sexy.” – Marie Claire Australia

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The Possessions … is an addictive, slow-burning mystery that fuses classic noir with the intrigue of speculative fiction. … Murphy ensures compulsive page-turning until the past and future of each character is unveiled, and the crescendo of that reveal is heady and satisfying.” – Amanda Trivett, BookPage

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19 Highly Anticipated Breakthrough Books of 2017 (BookBub)

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“This poignant tale is a study of grief and obsession told by a person who will do anything to forget while surrounded by those who refuse to move on. … Murphy’s imaginative debut is a haunting ghost story and a thrilling mystery that will engross readers until the final page.” – Portia Kapraun, Library Journal Xpress (starred)

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The numerous mysteries that weave in and out of the main plot add a page-turning element to the book, and another ingredient to Murphy’s intriguing genre fusion. … Murphy’s debut novel mixes … intellectual fears with more down-to-earth threats, resolving its mysteries in shocking and thoughtful ways.” – Hank Stephenson, Shelf Awareness  (starred)

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A “lush, hair-raising mystery.” – Cosmopolitan

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The Possessions … is the unusual novel with a clever premise that more than delivers.” – Jennifer Lipman, Running in Heels

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27 Brilliant New Books You Need to Read This Winter (Dan Dalton, BuzzFeed UK)

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A “more-than-slightly spooky tale of spiritualists and sexual obsession.” – Arminta Wallace,  Irish Times

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“A beautifully imagined mélange of thriller, dystopia and interrogation of grief.” – Cathy Rentzenbrink, Stylist Magazine

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“Murphy’s sublime debut is immersive from page one … a complex novel that is both unforgettable and impossible to put down.” – Kristine Huntley, Booklist (starred review)

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A “beautifully rendered, haunting page-turner.” – Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed review)