The Late Lamented Molly Marx – Sally Koslow

Title: The Late Lamented Molly Marx
Author: Sally Koslow
ISBN: 9780345506207
Pages: 320
Release Date: May 19, 2009
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Chick Lit
Source: Curled Up With a Good Book
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

The Late Lamented Molly Marx is a novel with a very interesting premise. The novel begins with Molly, in a place called Duration, watching over the mourners at her funeral. Right away, the reader knows that our protagonist is dead and there is no hope for her resurrection. It is a very creative introduction; upon first glance, the reader knows that this will be a completely different novel than most. Instead of rooting for Molly, the reader is rooting for those she left behind to pick up the pieces and live their lives to the fullest. There is also the question of Molly’s death, and whether it was a murder or an accident.

At the beginning, it is unclear whether Molly remembers what happened to her the night of her death. She watches over the detective investigating her death but doesn’t show much emotion. As the novel builds and the mystery deepens, she begins to grow interested in the investigation.

The flashback technique employed in The Late Lamented Molly Marx works very well. Knowing the outcome of the novel does not detract from the reader’s enjoyment at learning Molly’s history. The reader sees Molly as her life progresses, understanding the circumstances that led to her death. As she watches those she loved and reviews her life, Molly realizes how difficult it is to see those she loved cope with her death. It is hardest for her to watch her young daughter Annabel, to know that she will have to learn to live without her mother.

The Late Lamented Molly Marx’s strength lies in the narrator’s wit and charm. Molly is an appealing storyteller and the reader is sucked into her story. The reader’s desire to understand her death is directly tied to their emotional connection with her. In the end, this understanding is a little disappointing – the resolution isn’t all the reader may have hoped for. Still, it is appropriate to the major themes of the novel.

This novel also has a very interesting take on adultery. Often when a person cheats, whether in a book or in real life, the assumption is that they have something missing in their existing relationship, that the adultery is a reaction to what they don’t have. Molly presents the argument that sometimes that isn’t the case – sometimes a person really does simply fall in love. Adultery is a tricky subject in any novel; presenting it sympathetically is that much more difficult. It’s hard to tell whether Koslow fully succeeds in this endeavor, but either way she does a very good job making Molly’s situation incredibly sympathetic.

Despite the serious subjects contained within, The Late Lamented Molly Marx is a fun novel that is very entertaining to read. The unique premise of the novel combined with the sympathetic narrator makes this a book chick lit fans don’t want to miss.

Comments

  1. I have no idea where I first saw a review of Molly, but I knew from the start that I would like this novel. I haven’t yet read it, but it is heartening to see that you liked it. I’ll see if I can squeeze it in next year.

  2. I have no idea where I first saw a review of Molly, but I knew from the start that I would like this novel. I haven’t yet read it, but it is heartening to see that you liked it. I’ll see if I can squeeze it in next year.

  3. I remember thinking that this book sounded like it had alot of similarities to “The Problem with Murmur Lee” by Connie May Fowler. It had moments of humor, moments of sobriety, a mystery of how she died, and an other-worldliness. I’m quite sure I would like this one.

  4. I remember thinking that this book sounded like it had alot of similarities to “The Problem with Murmur Lee” by Connie May Fowler. It had moments of humor, moments of sobriety, a mystery of how she died, and an other-worldliness. I’m quite sure I would like this one.

  5. I really enjoyed this book. I think knowing that she’s dead at the beginning didn’t ruin it because you don’t find out until the end how her death came about. I’m glad Koslow chose to tell the story in a fun way, given the heaviness of the subject matter.

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  6. I really enjoyed this book. I think knowing that she’s dead at the beginning didn’t ruin it because you don’t find out until the end how her death came about. I’m glad Koslow chose to tell the story in a fun way, given the heaviness of the subject matter.

    –Anna
    Diary of an Eccentric

  7. Wow! This books sounds so good! I loved your review of it – it really made me decide to add it to my 2010 TBR list. Cheers!

  8. Wow! This books sounds so good! I loved your review of it – it really made me decide to add it to my 2010 TBR list. Cheers!

  9. I think I would definitely enjoy this one. And I want the bag and the shoes on the cover! 🙂

  10. I think I would definitely enjoy this one. And I want the bag and the shoes on the cover! 🙂

  11. I enjoyed this one too. I thought it was going to be a fluffy book so I was pleasantly surprised by how deep some of the subject matter was.

  12. I enjoyed this one too. I thought it was going to be a fluffy book so I was pleasantly surprised by how deep some of the subject matter was.

  13. I heard about this one but never picked it up because it sounded like it would be a lot like either The Mercy of Thin Air, The Lovely Bones or A Certain Slant of Light. But maybe it’s not like any of those, besides the dead narrator part!

  14. I heard about this one but never picked it up because it sounded like it would be a lot like either The Mercy of Thin Air, The Lovely Bones or A Certain Slant of Light. But maybe it’s not like any of those, besides the dead narrator part!

  15. I love books that can tackle a serious subject in a fun way. I love the cover of this one too.

  16. I love books that can tackle a serious subject in a fun way. I love the cover of this one too.

  17. I’d seen this one but wasn’t sure if Koslow was able to pull off the premise. Sounds like something I’ll be adding to my tbr list.

  18. I’d seen this one but wasn’t sure if Koslow was able to pull off the premise. Sounds like something I’ll be adding to my tbr list.

  19. I really enjoyed this one too! I’m looking forward to her next book, With Friends Like These, which is due in August.

  20. I really enjoyed this one too! I’m looking forward to her next book, With Friends Like These, which is due in August.

  21. Sally Koslow, the author, is an extraordinary writer. You will want to read this novel with a highlighter! Wonderful turns of phrase, not overwritten. This is a run, don’t walk, kind of book.

  22. Sally Koslow, the author, is an extraordinary writer. You will want to read this novel with a highlighter! Wonderful turns of phrase, not overwritten. This is a run, don’t walk, kind of book.

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