The Late, Lamented Molly Marx

The Late, Lamented Molly Marx

by Sally Koslow


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The circumstances of Molly Marx’s death may be suspicious, but she hasn’t lost her sense of humor. Newly arrived in the hereafter, aka the Duration, Molly discovers that she can still keep tabs on those she left behind: Annabel, her beloved four-year-old daughter; Lucy, her combustible twin sister; Kitty, her piece-of-work mother-in-law; Brie, her beautiful and steadfast best friend; and of course her husband, Barry, a plastic surgeon with more than a professional interest in many of his female patients. As the police question Molly’s circle of intimates about the circumstances of her death, Molly relives the years and days that led up to her sudden end—and takes responsibility for her choices in life.

    Exploring the bonds of motherhood, marriage, and friendship, and narrated by a memorable and endearing character, The Late, Lamented Molly Marx is a hilarious, deeply moving, and thought-provoking novel that is part mystery, part love story, and all heart.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345506214
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/08/2010
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 699,466
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Sally Koslow is the author of the novel Little Pink Slips. Her essays have been published in More, O: The Oprah Magazine, and The New York Observer, among other publications. She was the editor in chief of both McCall’s and Lifetime, was an editor at Mademoiselle and Woman’s Day, and has taught creative writing at the Writing Institute of Sarah Lawrence College. The mother of two sons, she lives in New York City with her husband.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Kill Me Now

When I imagined my funeral, this wasn’t what I had in mind. First of all, I hoped I would be old, a stately ninetysomething who’d earned the right to be called elegant; a woman with an intimate circle of loved ones fanned out in front of her, their tender sorrow connecting them like lace.

I definitely hoped to be in a far more beautiful place—a stone chapel by the sea, perhaps, with pounding purple-gray waves drowning out mourners’ sobs. For no apparent reason—I’m not even Scottish—there would be wailing bagpipes, men in Campbell tartan, and charmingly reserved grandchildren, or even great-grandchildren, coaxed into reciting their own sweet poetry. I don’t know where the children’s red curls come from, since my hair is chemically enhanced blond and straight as a ruler. The bereaved—incredibly, those weepy old souls are my own kids—dab away tears with linen handkerchiefs, though on every other occasion they have used only tissues. The service takes place shortly before sunset in air fragrant with lilacs. Spring. At least where I grew up, in the Chicago suburbs, that’s what lilacs signify: the end of a long winter, life beginning anew.

I didn’t expect to be here, in a cavernous, dimly lit Manhattan synagogue. I didn’t expect to be surrounded by at least four hundred people, a good three hundred of whom I don’t recall talking to even once. Most of all, I didn’t expect to be young. Well, maybe some people don’t think thirty-five is young, but I do. It’s far too young to die, because while my story isn’t quite at the beginning, it isn’t at the end, either. Except that it is.

She’s dead, all those bodies in the pews must be thinking. Depressing. On that last count, they would be wrong. In fact, if the congregation knew my whole story—and I hope they will, eventually, because I need people on my side, not on his, and especially not on hers—it would be clear that I, Molly Divine Marx, have not lost my joie de vivre. On that point, I speak the truth.

“She would be here if she could,” he says. “She would be here if she could.” That’s Rabbi Strauss Sherman, pontificating over to my right. I wish he were the twinkly junior rabbi whose adult ed classes I kept telling myself I should take, not that I am—was—keen on the music of Jews in Uganda. But the speaker is the senior rabbi, the one who says everything twice, like an echo, though it stopped short of being profound the first time. I suppose I should get off on the fact that he’s the big-shot rabbi invited to homes of people who contribute gigabucks and, thus, rate succulent, white-meat honors on holidays. I wonder if Barry, my husband, made sure Rabbi S.S. spoke today just to stick it to me, since whenever he gave a sermon I’d squirm and mutter, “Kill me now.” I’d hate to think God decided on payback.

I realize I am not being kind about either Rabbi S.S. or the heartsick husband. Barry’s sizable schnozz is chapped from crying, and I caught more than a few people noticing as he discreetly swiped his nose on the sleeve of his black suit, soft worsted in a fine cut. Armani? they’re wondering. Not a chance. It is a close facsimile purchased at an outlet center near Milan, but if they took it for Armani, Barry would be glad. That was the general idea.

Perhaps some women in the pews wonder what I’m dressed in. The casket is closed—talk about a bad hair day—but I am being buried in a red dress. Okay, it’s more of a burgundy, but one thing that’s putting a smile on my face (only metaphorically, unfortunately) is that for all eternity I will get to wear this dress, which cost way too much, even 40 percent off at Barneys, where I rarely shop because it’s generally a rip-off. I’m sure if it had been up to my mother-in-law, the enchanting Kitty Katz, today I would have been stuffed into a button-down shirt and pleated pants that made me look like a sumo wrestler, but my sister, Lucy, intervened. Lucy and I have had our moments, but she knew how psyched I was to be wearing the dress to a Valentine’s party this coming Saturday. Go, Luce.

Wherever it is I’m off to, I hope they notice the shoes—black satin, terrifyingly high slingbacks, with excellent toe cleavage. I only wore them once, those shoes, and that night Barry and I barely left the dance floor. When we shimmied and whirled, it was almost like sex: we became the couple people thought we were. The Dr. and Mrs. Marx I, at least, wanted us to be. I loved watching Barry move his runner’s body in that subtle but provocative way of his, and how he nestled his hand on the small of my back, then cupped my butt for the whole world to see. It’s a pity we couldn’t have merengued through life as if it were one endless Fred and Ginger movie.

Will there be dancing where I’m headed? I digress. I do that. Drove Barry nuts.

“Our dear Molly Marx, she would be here if she could,” Rabbi S.S. is saying. That makes three. “The circumstances of her death may be mysterious, but it is not for us to judge. It is not for us to judge.”

As soon as someone tells you not to judge, you do. Everyone in this chilly sanctuary is judging—both Barry and me. I can hear it all, what’s in people’s heads as well as on their lips.

“Foul play.”

“Killed herself.”

“Jealous boyfriend.”

“She had a boyfriend? That mouse?”

“You have it all wrong. He had a girlfriend.”

“If it’s suicide, then why the ginormous funeral?”

I hear a smug tone. “For Jews, with a suicide it’s the burial place that gets questioned, not the funeral.”

“He won’t be single for six months.”

“Especially with the little girl.”

Yes, there is a child. Annabel Divine Marx, almost four, black velvet dress, patent leather Mary Janes. My Annie-belle is clutching Alfred the bunny, and the look on her face could make Hitler weep. Right now, I will not allow myself the luxury of thinking about my baby, who wonders where her mommy is and when this nasty dream will end. If I could be alive for five more minutes, they would be spent memorizing Annabel’s heartbeat and synchronizing it with my own, tracing the bones in her birdlike shoulders, stroking the creamy softness of her skin. I will always be Annabel’s mother. My mantra.

People can call me anything, but in the mommy department, there was never a moment when I wasn’t trying to do the right thing. I attempted to live for my child—not through her, for her. I tried. I really did. I never would have abandoned Annabel. Nothing ever mattered more to me than my unconditional love for her, a long, unbroken line that continues even now. The best compliment I ever got was from Barry when he said simply, a few weeks after Annabel was born, “Molly, you get motherhood. You really do.”

“Our dear Molly, our lovely Molly,” the rabbi is saying. “She was so many things. To our grieving Barry—a trustee of this very institution—she was a beloved wife of almost seven years, a woman with her whole life ahead of her. To Annabel, she was Mommy, tender, devoted. To her parents, Claire and Daniel Divine, she was a cherished daughter, and to Lucy Divine, she was an adored twin sister, absolutely adored. To her colleagues, she was a . . .” Rabbi S.S. refers to his notes. “A decorating editor at a magazine.”

Wrong. I stopped being a decorating editor when Annabel was born. Lately, I was a freelance stylist—the person who brings in the tall white orchids and fluffs a room so when it’s photographed for a magazine it shames most of the readers, since there’s no way their homes are ever going to look like that. Then they blink and smugly wonder if people actually live in that picture with not one family snapshot in a teddy bear frame sold at a Hallmark store. Who actually buys white couches and scratchy sisal rugs? How do you clean them? They turn the page.

I wasn’t brokering peace in the Middle East, or even teaching nursery school like my twin sister. But I loved my work, and in my sliver of a world, I was a giant. What I could do with a mantel was almost art. People must have hated inviting me to their homes, for fear that I’d rearrange their bookshelves and suggest that they sell half of their tchotchkes on eBay.

“Molly was a loyal friend, an accomplished biker, a graduate of Northwestern University with a major in art history.”

Is the rabbi going to recite my entire résumé? Disclose that I was rejected from Brown and never made it off the Wesleyan wait-list? Share that I took a junior semester in Florence and skipped every class—did I even buy textbooks?—while Emilio fra Diavolo taught me Italian of the nonverbal variety? Mention the two jobs from which I was fired and the fourteen-month gap between them? Point out that Barry and I were seeing a marriage counselor?

There’s Dr. Stafford right there. Goodness, she looks quite moved. I always imagined that when Barry and I were carrying on at her sessions she was thinking, How did I get stuck with these two completely shallow, nonintrospective, loser brats? Oh, I have three private school tuitions to pay. That’s why. But I see tears and I can tell they are real.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, and when he takes away big-time, I have discovered he compensates you with a finely tuned bullshit detector. It is a minor consolation, but I think I am going to like it.

“And now we will hear from Molly’s husband,” the rabbi says. “Barry. Dr. Barry Marx.”

Barry kisses Annabel on the head and untangles his hand from hers. She takes a look at Kitty—who forbids the word grandma—and considers whether to move closer to her. “Kitty smells funny,” she used to say. “It’s just her cigarettes, honey,” I would respond. “Don’t smoke when you grow up or you’ll smell funny, too.” I hope Annabel remembers that. If she becomes a nose-ringed, tattooed fourteen-year- old hanging out in the East Village with a cigarette dangling from her lips . . . there won’t be a damn thing I can do about it.

Kitty is wearing a severe black suit—either Gucci or Valentino. She’d be horrified to know I can’t tell or appreciate the difference, though I admit it looks stunningly appropriate. The tailoring shows off her yoga-buffed sixty-four-year-old body, which, in clothes, we both privately acknowledge looks a good bit better than mine. Today she seems to have hijacked the first floor of Tiffany’s. With Kitty, more is more. She is wearing diamond studs the size of knuckles, a sapphire-and-emerald brooch dribbling over her breast like Niagara Falls with a bracelet to match, and a black lizard handbag that, no doubt, contains her smokes.

I hope Annabel eventually inherits some of Kitty’s baubles. I’m not saying Kitty’s glad I’m dead, but at least she has a good excuse now for not willing me any jewelry.

When Barry arrives at the front of the synagogue and bounds up the six steps, he clears his throat and takes some notes from his jacket. He tears them in half with a flourish. I knew he would do that! We saw the same stunt at my aunt Julie’s funeral last year. Does he think my family won’t notice he stole it? Ah, but he doesn’t really care about them, does he? And what makes it worse is that except for the Divines, everyone in the congregation is buying into his heart-wrenching grief. From every corner, I hear sniffles and snorts and see tiny tributaries of tears.

“I fell in love with Molly when I was a senior at college,” he begins.

I was a sophomore. He was the pre-med guy who finally had room in his schedule for a class on twentieth-century art and took a seat next to me in a darkened auditorium. Barry wanted to become a collector, he said, and I remember thinking the remark pretentious; no one I knew aspired to own anything more than an Alex Katz dog litho or a student’s work snagged at a silent auction on open-studio night. But Barry dreamed on a grand scale. When five years later I found out that he’d become a plastic surgery resident at Mount Sinai in Manhattan, I wasn’t surprised. If ever a doctor were born to woo women into rhinoplasty, it was Barry Marx, who managed to incorporate his own nose into his well-delivered pitch.

At least forty of his patients must be here today. All those weepers with the delicate, symmetrical noses aren’t my mommy-buddies, magazine pals, book club friends, or cycling partners. Do Barry’s patients have a phone tree, like the one at Annabel’s school in case of inclement weather? Did someone start making calls at 5:30 a.m.? “Sorry to wake you, but I thought you’d want to know Barry Marx is single. The funeral’s at ten. Pass it on.”

“There are four things you should know about my wife, Molly,” Barry begins. “First, she had the most musical laugh in the whole world. Many of you know that laugh. I married her for that laugh. I cannot believe I will never hear it again.”

So far, okay. To be fair, there was a lot of laughing, and no one thinks Barry married me for my breasts, which most wives of plastic surgeons would have had enlarged from nectarines to melons.

Reading Group Guide

1. The Late, Lamented Molly Marx, grapples with the theme of loss. Molly’s major challenge throughout the book is learning how to let go and come to terms with her death. In what ways has she accomplished this by the end of the novel? In your own life, have you ever had to grapple with loss and letting something go? What helped you?

2. The novel is prefaced by an Oscar Wilde quote: “The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.” How do you interpret it? How does it apply to the book?

3. The novel presents a version of an afterlife. Do you believe in an afterlife? If so, what is your vision? How did you arrive at your view?

4. If you could be present at your own funeral, what would you be most curious to see?

5. The character of Bob functions as a moral compass and a spiritual sherpa for Molly. What do you think Molly gets out of this relationship? Has there ever been a “Bob” in your life and if so, who is it and what role did he or she play?

6. After she arrives in the Duration, Molly discovers that she has what she refers to as “a built-in bullshit detector.” To this Bob responds, “You always had that ability. You just never bothered to activate it” (page 30). Do you believe that most people “know” more than they choose to acknowledge?

7. Is Molly mature or immature for her age? Does your opinion of her change as the novel progresses? How do you define maturity? How has your definition evolved as you yourself have gotten older? Do you think adults used to be more mature at an earlier age in the past?

8. Why did Molly marry Barry? Do you know women who have married men who you think aren’t their equals? And the reverse: Do you know men who’ve married women who you think aren’t their equals?

9. Molly suspects that Barry is a philanderer. Why do women like Molly stay with men like Barry under similar circumstances? Should they have split up? Is he a good father?

10. Throughout the novel, Molly wonders if she’s made mistakes in her marriage. Do you think she has and if so, what are they?

11. Molly and Barry sought the help of a marriage counselor. Do you think that counseling helped them? In general, do you support the idea of therapy and counseling?

12. How do the women in Molly’s life—Lucy, Brie, Kitty, her mother, Claire, and Delfina—affect her over the course of the novel? What does each woman offer her? In what ways do they ultimately help or hurt her, knowingly or unknowingly? Which women have had the most profound effect on your life?

13. Did becoming a mom help Molly grow up? Do you think that she s a good mother? If you have kids, how did you arrive at your notion of what makes a good mother? How does motherhood enrich a woman’s life? Make women’s lives harder?

14. The anthropologist Margaret Mead has observed that the relationship between sisters is often the most troubled one in the family. Mead also says that eventually, the sister relationship becomes the strongest one in the family. Do you agree with Dr. Mead on either of these points? Why do you think that so many sisters can’t get along?

15. How would you describe the friendship between Molly and Brie? What qualities do you think need to be present for women to maintain enduring friendships? Have you ever lost a friendship because of a monumental change in one of your lives?

16. Molly does not enjoy a smooth relationship with her mother-in-law. Why is this relationship often difficult?

17. Who is your favorite character? Your least favorite character? Why?

18. How would you categorize this book—as humor? A mystery? Contemporary women’s fiction? Why?

Customer Reviews

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Late, Lamented Molly Marx 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 124 reviews.
eak321 More than 1 year ago
"The Late, Lamented Molly Marx" (I love the alliteral title) was a fairly quick read, and I'd categorize it under "Chick Lit Mystery." There were no scary scenes, no gory parts. Molly Marx has recently died in a tragic biking accident. Who was responsible? Was it a suicide? Was it murder? If so, was it the wealthy cheating husband? One of his mistresses? Her snooty mother-in-law? Her fling? Her sister? Her best friend? The chapters toggle between Molly's life leading up to the accident and her life in the hereafter. Like Alice Sebold's "The Lovely Bones," the main character floats around as a ghost in the land of the living. She can see what's going on with those close to her and even hear their thoughts. She's determined to find out and remember what happened that resulted in her death. Even in death, though, Molly finds humor: "I will, forever, be only six exits away from IKEA." The characters and situations weren't very complex, but it was easy to remember who was who and what was going on. When I first started reading the novel, I enjoyed just following Molly along her path, but as the story went on, I became more and more intrigued by the mystery of "what happened." I was a little disappointed in the "Big Reveal" (and had to reread it twice), but still enjoyed the story nonetheless.
bookendco More than 1 year ago
I read this book for a book club and thought that the setting would be more along the line of messages from the 'other side'. I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't have that feeling. It was an interesting way to view life after death. Although Molly's death is a mystery the majority of the story is a reflection on her life not her attempt to solve her murder from the grave.
jabrkeKB More than 1 year ago
This book will keep you guessing to the end. How did Molly die? Was it suicide, accident or murder? One of my favorite characters was Bob, Molly's guide angel. I loved that it took place in New York City, the greatest city in the world! I would classify this book as chick-lit mystery. I liked the cover art and the title-very eye catching. It was a light hearted quick read. I read this for my book club and we all enjoyed it. Nothing too deep, a great escape with a little bit of humor thrown in. I would definately recommend this book. I will look for more from this author.
IHeart2Read More than 1 year ago
Molly Marx dies at the young age of 35. Proceeding her death, she finds herself in the Duration. While here, she helplessly watches her family and friends mourn her passing. The Duration allows her to hear their inner most thoughts (some she wishes she knew while still alive). It's here where Molly is truly able to make amends with herself, her marriage and the events leading to her death. Molly is not perfect, by any means. In fact, it's her flaws that make her seem so real, so honest. She's married to Barry, mother to Annabel and twin sister to Lucy. Molly attempts to be all to everyone and tries to please them, so much so that she loses herself in the process. The Late, Lamented Molly Marx, to me, isn't a book about death. It's about the choices we make and the consequences that occur from those choices. As Molly watches the police piece together the events that led to her death, the reader hears Molly's story from her perspective and is able to understand the conflicted life she lead. One cannot help but to empathize with Molly and hopes she will find peace within herself.
Westsidernyc More than 1 year ago
what a wonderful book to read for a few hours of sentiment and joy! how can a novel about someone who is departed and lamented be delightful?? Sally Koslow manages to create a lovely story from the point of view of a woman coping with her role in death and her observations of her family after she leaves this worls and observes from her perch on the way to heaven.
mcelhra on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Molly Marx has died tragically at the age of 35 and finds herself in the Duration, watching her loved ones cope with her untimely death. This book's concept is similar to The Lovely Bones but it definitely has a lighter tone. As Molly looks in on her friends and family trying to solve the mystery of how she died, she remembers her past and the events leading up to her death.I really enjoyed this book. The characters will well-developed and interesting. Molly was funny and flawed, just like a real person. Some of the decisions she made in her life drove me crazy but I liked her anyway. There was plenty of humor throughout to keep the story from turning too depressing. The narrator of the audio book was great; she brought the characters to life in just the right way.
lizzybeans11 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones a few years ago when it was first becoming popular - before it was made into a movie. I loved that book because it was wholly unlike anything I had ever read before. This book didn't have that luxury because it is basically the same thing, only for a grown up woman, not a teenage girl. I'm sure some women (that's who I guess this book is aimed at) would love this book for its complicated relationships and self determined narrator. I, however, grow tired of reading about infidelity in marriages and arrogant people who are constantly competing with everyone they meet. It's not my life - or my fantasy life - so it just puts me off.I did like the ending when - spoiler alert - she starts meeting those she left behind, in "the Duration" (aka Limbo?). Being able to realize life went on successfully and that she's still missed was very touching. It was a very nice wrap-up sort of ending that leaves you with an overall positive impression of the book, even if you were cursing it left, right and center four chapters earlier.
marcyjill on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a surprisingly good and thoughtful read.
moonboy228 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not sure why I never got around to reviewing this book, as it was one of my favorite novels from last year, and I often think of various scenes from it. It was an interesting mix of chick lit and mystery, involving a murder - but it managed to be clever and remarkably light-hearted (someone called it the chick lit version of 'Lovely Bones', but I liked this a lot better than L.B.!). Having Molly be able to keep tabs on everyone she cared about (and some she didn't) from 'Duration', should have been maudlin and depressing, but Koslaw managed to keep it surprisingly light & entertaining... And I always like anything that takes place in Manhattan.
karinatrandom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I don't think this book is the same as The Lovely Bones - the writing style here is much more engaging and entertaining. Because the main character here is not a child, and there isn't any sexual abuse, the story here is much lighter. I enjoyed this book, which I would consider a richer-than-usual chick lit book.
dissed1 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Sally Koslow's second novel, The Late, Lamented Molly Marx, is a well-written and thoughtful observation of the fragility of human life and the relationships we find ourselves caught up in. Her main character, Molly, is a vibrant young woman stuck in a faithless marriage to the insincere Barry, a successful New York plastic surgeon, who's worked on many of his attractive clients in more ways than one. When Molly finally decides to right the wrongs in her marriage by distancing herself from Luke, the man she deeply cares for, and working at her failing marriage through counseling, relationships suddenly explode on a rain-whipped bike trail. I won't spoil the ending, but suffice it to say, Sally keeps the reader guessing, right up to the last few pages, about what actually happened to Molly on the banks of the Hudson. Was it suicide? Murder? An unfortunate accident? Read this witty exploration of the dark side of love for the thrill of finding the answer, but also for its superb characterizations, deftly excavated morality issues and genuineness of purpose. Koslow takes on tricky topics with a straightforward, but light touch, easing up on the maudlin and leaving behind all the pathos and humanity. The Late, Lamented Molly Marx is a first-class piece of writing offering a wholly satisfying story.
ReadingWithMartinis on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Molly Divine Marx is in quite a state - a dead state. After passing over into the Duration at the young age of 35 and under mysterious circumstances, Molly has a lot of time to ponder her present, while one foot remains in the past, when she was alive.Molly becomes a spectator of the life she left behind. She watches as her loved ones, especially her young daughter Annabel, try to make sense of life without Molly. She reflects on her choices and whether or not they put her on a collision course with the hereafter. But mostly, Molly just misses being alive.I picked this book up on something of a whim. I'd been seeing it everywhere and decided it was time to give it a whirl. Little did I know I would fall in love with this novel. Molly is such a funny, lovable, endearing, and honest character that it was totally easy to be pulled into this story merely by Molly's strength of will.The plot was wonderful. I sort of expected a sappy plot about Molly yearning for her former life. And while Molly does yearn, the plot is anything but sappy. Well-constructed and engrossing, this quick-paced gem is now one of my favorites. I highly recommend this novel.
jovilla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Molly Marx is dead but is observing her friends and family from the afterlife known as the "Duration". Molly's death on her bicycle in Central Park, NYC, left everyone wondering if it was an accident, suicide, or murder. This is an entertaining book, and I enjoyed reading it. The author handled Molly's time in the afterlife plus many flashbacks on her life very well.
Boltbabe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Late, Lamented Molly Marx is the story of Molly, who at 35 was killed during a bicycle accident. She is in the Duration, which allows her to watch as the life of her family and friends continues without her. If the idea of hearing the thoughts of the people in your life sounds amusing, this book will offer you an idea of what that would be like, both the good and the bad. Characters include a self absorbed husband, friend, Jewish Mother-in-law, and a detective among others. This is story that is both sad and amusing. While I found parts of this story to drag on and Molly to be a bit of a whiner, I can recommend this as a nice read for a time when you just don;t know what you want to read. It's quick and painless.These are my thoughts.
l-mo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a new and fun kind of chick lit for me. I enjoyed the author's writing style immensely and look forward to reading more by her. Her characters were well developed and the story moved very quickly.
BookishPatti on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Funny and poignant. A very interesting story and engaging to read. Enjoyable to the very end.
bbrrtt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just finished, "The Late, Lamented Molly Marx," by Sally Koslow, and for me, it was a quick read with a couple laugh out loud moments. Despite the tragedy, Koslow writes a witty and poignant look at a likable woman, Molly Marx's, life. I was a little disappointed with the ending but would still recommend it for it's tragic mystery told in an upbeat...this is my life, sort of way. Click the link above for more detailed reviews. I wouldn't spend $25 on it but would suggest checking it out of your public library! Enjoy it, I did.
mlschmidt on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable book, with an unusual story line, character was a little quirky and funny. While I enjoyed the book, I didn't care for the ending.
nomadreader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Until she was found dead along the bank of the Hudson River, Molly Marx led an enviable life. A young wife and mother, Molly now finds herself in the Duration, where with the help of a refreshingly unorthodox guide, she can observe the friends and family she left behind: her philandering plastic surgeon husband, the irresistible colleague who became her lover, a competitive twin sister, her controlling mother-in-law, a loyal but confused friend, and her purest love: a three-year-old daughter.Review: The Late, Lamented Molly Marx is a delightful book to read. It grabbed me from the beginning, and I treasured every page. Suddenly, around page 200, I realized I didn't want it to end. Partially it was because I loved the characters; they were people I wanted to eat dinner with. I didn't want to say goodbye to them. Mostly, though, I couldn't imagine how the book could end satisfactorily. Part of the book is a murder mystery of sorts (think Elisabeth Hyde's The Abortionist's Daughter - it is a whodunit, but your first instinct is to describe it as powerful, character-driven literary fiction), and it becomes clear that someone had to kill Molly; I didn't want any of the characters to be guilty. I also wanted Molly to somehow find life again. She's such a vibrant character I often found myself forgetting she was dead. She was dead, of course, and eventually the characters have to face reality. I see some of my imaginary self in Molly. She's a fellow Midwesterner turned Northeasterner, and she worked in publishing. Certainly publishing and librarianship are connected, but I'm a little farther from the action in the library.I'm still glad I read this book; I loved it. Unfortunately for me, the ending was somehow unsatisfying. The first two thirds of the book would have gotten 5 stars, but after a few months of pondering, I give it four stars. I still loved it, and I still recommend it, but I'm not grabbing it from the virtual shelves to place in your hands. I will, however, be first in line to read Sally Koslow's next novel.
roseysweetpea on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I would like to start out by saying, that originally, I wasn't sure this was my type of book but was interested in the premise. As the story progressed, feeding you tidbits of Molly¿s life and her time in the Duration, I was slowly pulled in. At first I wasn¿t exactly sure where the story was going or what the overall point was. But I have to say that Sally Koslow¿s character development was phenomenal. I really felt like I knew these characters. I knew which I would be friends with, identify with, and the ones that I would hate. I even felt the confusingly simultaneous emotion of love and hate for one of them. By the end of the book I was almost in tears and feeling that the authors view and description of life and the hereafter are both interesting and comforting. Even after death, Molly grows as person and so do the people who used to be a part of her life. It was a wonderfully well rounded story and I hope we see many more books from Sally Koslow.
slpenney07 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved it.Hasn't everyone wondered at some point what happens to their life after their death? Through Molly's eyes, we have a chance to see her version of the afterlife, as well has how those she left behind coped, including her best friend, her daughter, her parents, her husband and her lover.Don't judge too harshly on the lover. Molly's marriage is less than ideal, from the proposal until her suspicious death.Personally, I feel that affairs in novels are gaudy and usually make me side against the character having one. Not in this case.In Molly's shoes, I must wonder...would I do the same?
MeganGrace on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The comparisons between this book and The Lovely Bones are inevitable, but I found this book much more enjoyable. The characters are whimsical, but not in a heavy-handed way. They're relateable, and I was happy to be introduced to them. Molly has moments that will tug at your heart. I teared up more than once, but Koslow largely avoids the overwrought sap that weighs down The Lovely Bones. Ultimately, this is a sweet and funny book. This story is unique and satisfying, despite the unresolved ending. I am glad to have read it.
gkmiller4 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
WOW! I really enjoyed this book. It was just enough to keep me going in the beginning. But after the first few chapters I was drawn into the lives of the characters. I had to see what they did next that would lead to the "ending." As far as my emotions...I am not one to cry. I am also a mother of 2 children. By the end I fought to keep the tears in my eyes. As a wife of many years...I usually dislike stories where there are cheaters. In this story Idid not hate those characters but felt badly for them and the decisions they made and that they did not have enough time together to continue to fix their lives.
tipsister on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book. I want to throw that out there first. I'm really excited to be able to share this book with some friends. I think it is unique and thought provoking.Molly Marx is dead. That's not a spoiler, it's laid out from the first page. How she died is unknown. At first glance, I assumed that the book would be about solving her death. Was she murdered? Was it an accident? Suicide? We really don't know until near the end. The beauty is, that wasn't the point of the story. It's not a mystery novel. The how and why is there in the background but it isn't the reason to keep reading.Not too many main characters are dead from the start. The story is told through Molly's eyes as she spends her time in the "duration" following her family and friends around. She is able to listen to their thoughts and while she can't interfere or communicate, her presence is occasionally felt. She watches as her family deals with her death. They grieve in different ways. She watches her husband and tries to decide if he genuinely misses her or if it's an act. She checks in on her young daughter wishing she were physically present in her life.I found the author's idea of the "duration" to be very interesting. I don't want to give things away but I was intrigued by it, even though it doesn't fit with my personal beliefs. I love the idea that people with different beliefs can still "hang" together in the afterlife.I highly recommend this book. . . to almost anyone!
lisalangford on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I quite liked this...the cover actually put me off a bit, there's a dress and a purse and some fancy shoes, which made it seem to me as though the story occurred in another time period. Molly is dead at the premature age of 35, leaving her 3 year old daughter, a philandering husband, a lover, her twin sister, a best friend, doting parents...she is able to watch them from the Duration, seeing how they get on with their lives (or not), as well as watching them try to discover how she died. What I liked best about this book was the character of Molly herself...the book is completely narrated by her, chapters alternating between Molly watching her friends and family after she died and her recollections of events in her life. Molly is smart and sassy, actually more of a smart-ass, flawed and quite likable. I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would, and will happily recommend it (I work in a bookstore).