Coupon
Marlena
by Julie Buntin


Overview -


A National Book Critics Circle Leonard Prize Finalist
Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
Named a Best Book of the Year by Vogue , BuzzFeed , The Washington Post , Esquire , Harper's Bazaar , NPR , NYLON , Huffington Post, Kirkus Reviews , Barnes & Noble
Chosen for the Book of the Month Club, Nylon Book Club, and Belletrist Book Club
Named an Indie Next Pick and a Barnes and Noble Discover Pick

The story of two girls and the wild year that will cost one her life, and define the other's for decades

Everything about fifteen-year-old Cat's new town in rural Michigan is lonely and off-kilter until she meets her neighbor, the manic, beautiful, pill-popping Marlena.  Read more...


 
In Stock.

FREE Shipping for Club Members
 
> Check In-Store Availability

In-Store pricing may vary

 
 
New & Used Marketplace 89 copies from $3.49
 
Download

This item is available only to U.S. billing addresses.
 
 
 
 

More About Marlena by Julie Buntin
 
 
 
Overview


A National Book Critics Circle Leonard Prize Finalist
Longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize
Named a Best Book of the Year by Vogue, BuzzFeed, The Washington Post, Esquire, Harper's Bazaar, NPR, NYLON, Huffington Post, Kirkus Reviews, Barnes & Noble
Chosen for the Book of the Month Club, Nylon Book Club, and Belletrist Book Club
Named an Indie Next Pick and a Barnes and Noble Discover Pick

The story of two girls and the wild year that will cost one her life, and define the other's for decades

Everything about fifteen-year-old Cat's new town in rural Michigan is lonely and off-kilter until she meets her neighbor, the manic, beautiful, pill-popping Marlena. Cat is quickly drawn into Marlena's orbit and as she catalogues a litany of firsts--first drink, first cigarette, first kiss, first pill--Marlena's habits harden and calcify. Within the year, Marlena is dead, drowned in six inches of icy water in the woods nearby. Now, decades later, when a ghost from that pivotal year surfaces unexpectedly, Cat must try again to move on, even as the memory of Marlena calls her back.

Told in a haunting dialogue between past and present, Marlena is an unforgettable story of the friendships that shape us beyond reason and the ways it might be possible to pull oneself back from the brink.


 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781627797641
  • ISBN-10: 1627797645
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
  • Publish Date: April 2017
  • Page Count: 288
  • Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary
Books > Fiction > Women

 
BookPage Reviews

Haunted by a brief, intoxicating friendship

From its brilliant opening sentence, “Tell me what you can’t forget, and I’ll tell you who you are,” Julie Buntin’s debut novel creates a hauntingly original atmosphere for a familiar story. In Marlena, a woman in her 30s recalls events from two decades earlier, when a brief friendship had a profound impact on her life.

When Cat was 15, she and her “full-blown poor” family, which included her divorced mother and older brother, moved from their home in a Detroit suburb to a “grubby half-acre” in the woods of Silver Lake, Michigan. As she helps unload the U-Haul, Cat meets Marlena Joyner, two years her senior, who lives nearby in “a renovated barn coated in layers of lilac paint that were sticky to the touch.”

Cat and Marlena become best friends. Their friendship lasts only a year, until Marlena “suffocated in less than six inches of ice-splintered river.” But it’s a life-changing year for Cat, one in which Marlena introduces her to a world very different from her accustomed environment. She encourages Cat, an excellent student in her previous school, to cut classes, drink heavily and take recreational drugs. And Marlena’s father is hardly a stabilizing influence; he cooks meth in a railcar behind their house.

Today, Cat has a prominent job in New York, but the effects of her Silver Lake years remain. She still struggles with alcoholism, and when Marlena’s younger brother, Sal, who was 8 when his sister died, calls Cat to say that he’s in town, events from a past she never quite forgot come rushing back.

Despite an error in chronology—YouTube, which figures into the narrative, wasn’t around 20 years ago—Marlena is still an unforgettable portrait of teenage confusion and experimentation, a time when one discovers “that time doesn’t belong to you. All you have is what you remember.”

This article was originally published in the April 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews