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Bad Marie (P.S.)by Marcy Dermansky
Wow I loved this book! You know you are dealing with a great writer when you care about a character even though you don't like them. Marie, the nanny, has more to say (both bad and good) about motherhood than most parents. Self-absorbed and narcissistic, Marie takes her young charge on a trans-continental journey, without permission. Delicious in her wickedness, you will fall in love with Marie, even though you hate her!
Synopses & Reviews
Bad Marie is the story of Marie, tall, voluptuous, beautiful, thirty years old, and fresh from six years in prison for being an accessory to murder and armed robbery. The only job Marie can get on the outside is as a nanny for her childhood friend Ellen Kendall, an upwardly mobile Manhattan executive whose mother employed Marie's mother as a housekeeper. After Marie moves in with Ellen, Ellen's angelic baby Caitlin, and Ellen's husband, a very attractive French novelist named Benoit Doniel, things get complicated, and almost before she knows what she's doing, Marie has absconded to Paris with both Caitlin and Benoit Doniel. On the run and out of her depth, Marie will travel to distant shores and experience the highs and lows of foreign culture, lawless living, and motherhood as she figures out how to be an adult; how deeply she can love; and what it truly means to be "bad".
"Dermansky follows her lauded debut, Twins, with a trite tail about an ex-con's unlikely re-entry to the world. After serving six years for harboring a fugitive — her bank robber boyfriend — 30-year-old Marie is released and misses the decisionless ease of prison life. She finds work as a live-in nanny (nothing like a felon watching your pride and joy) for two-and-a-half-year-old Caitlin, the daughter of her childhood best friend, Ellen, with whom she has a rocky, competitive relationship. In a hard-to-believe coincidence, Ellen is married to the French author, Benoit Doniel, whose book Marie read repeatedly while in prison, and soon enough, Benoit and Marie kick off an affair and decide to run away to Paris together with Caitlin. But when Benoit's true colors are displayed before even landing in the City of Lights (thanks to another unbelievable coincidence), Marie finds herself taking on the role of a single mother in a strange land, though her travails never really impede on her relatively charmed streak. It's off-putting how heavily the plot relies on implausible twists, and Marie is too sketchily drawn to carry the full weight of the story. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"I didn't want to finish this book any time soon, didn't want to emerge from its dark and wondrous world. My God, what a writer — absolutely unpredictable, wild with intellect, spilling with charm and sadness and humanity. Marie, the main character here, is literary gold, worthy of Flaubert." Elle
"By positing a character who's indulged in all of the deadly sins, Dermansky challenges the reader to finally and forever denounce her character Marie. The fact that this reader can't is testament to the book's power and smarts. A naughty pleasure, a philosophical romp, heady hedonism: what could be better?" Slate
"[I]rresistible. In swift, vivid prose Marcy Dermansky has created a wonderful portrait of a woman who lives right at the edge of acceptable behaviour. I couldn't wait to see what Marie would do next, and I couldn't stop myself from cheering her on." Antonya Nelson, author of Nothing Right
"Marie, the protagonist of Marcy Dermansky's witty, disturbing new novel, is almost completely unlikable, and yet stands out as one of the more interesting characters in recent fiction....Before you know it, the book becomes a skillfully paced page-turner...weirdly hilarious...nothing if not captivating." Mary Robison
"Not enough women write novels like this one. Dermansky is funny and fearless. I like Marie so much because she seems to care so little whether I like her or not. That's a working definition of badass. Bad Marie is one." Creative Loafing
Reentering society after a six-year prison term, voluptuous Marie takes a job as a nanny to her upwardly mobile childhood friend and finds complications in her employment culminating in her flight to Paris with the baby and her friend's husband. By the award-winning author of Twins. Original. 25,000 first printing.
About the Author
Marcy Dermansky is a MacDowell Fellow and the winner of the 2002 Smallmouth Press Andre Dubus Novella Award and the 1999 Story magazine's Carson McCullers short story prize. Her stories have been published in numerous literary journals, including McSweeney's, Alaska Quarterly Review,and Indiana Review. Dermansky is a film critic for About.com and lives in Astoria, New York.
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