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 transcontinental journey, without permission. Delicious in her wickedness, you will fall in love with Marie, even though you hate her! Recommended By Dianah H., Powells.com
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.)
Reading Marcy Dermansky s Bad Marie is like spending a rainy afternoon in a smaller, older movie theater watching a charming French movie with a woman (or a man) you ve just met on the street and already like far too much. It s sinful in all the right ways, delicate, seditious, and deliciously evil. Frederick Barthelme
Dermansky excels at depicting extreme emotional states and how we rationalize them. Village Voice
From the critically-acclaimed author of Twins, Marcy Dermansky, comes a highly original novel of Manhattan, Paris, and Mexico; of love and motherhood; and of life on the lam. Fans of Heather O Neill (Lullabies for Little Criminals) and A.M. Homes (Music for Torching) will revel in the wicked delights of Bad Marie."
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.