Marlena (Hardback)Julie Buntin (author)
- In stock online
Everything about fifteen-year-old Cat's new town in rural Michigan is lonely and off-kilter, until she meets her neighbour, the manic, beautiful, pill-popping Marlena. Cat, inexperienced and desperate for connection, is quickly lured into Marlena's orbit by little more than an arched eyebrow and a shake of white-blonde hair.
As the two girls turn the untamed landscape of their desolate small town into a kind of playground, Cat catalogues a litany of firsts - first drink, first cigarette, first kiss - while 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 to forgive herself and move on, even as the memory of Marlena keeps her tangled in the past.
Alive with an urgent, unshakeable tenderness, Julie Buntin's Marlena is an unforgettable look at the people who shape us beyond reason and the ways it might be possible to pull ourselves back from the brink.
‘The story is shadowy with damage and destruction, but the prose is luminous.’ – the Daily Mail
‘Striking debut.’ - The Sunday Times
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 419 g
Dimensions: 216 x 135 x 24 mm
Julie Buntin captures that unique moment at the precipice of adulthood with emotional honesty and insight. She writes the kind of piercing, revelatory sentences you have to read to whomever is near, sentences you find yourself remembering years later -- Jonathan Safran Foer
[A] vivid debut. . . .Buntin's prose is emotional and immediate, and the interior lives she draws of young women and obsessive best friends are Ferrante-esque * Booklist *
Sensitive and smart and arrestingly beautiful, makes coming-of-age stories feel both urgent and new. It could so easily be cliched or sentimental. It is neither. Buntin creates a world so subtle and nuanced and alive that it imprints like a memory. Devastating; as unforgettable as it is gorgeous. * Kirkus *
One of this year's buzziest debuts * Vogue *
Smart, sassy, sexy * Red *
Marlena felt urgent and alive. It's shocking and disturbing, but its depiction of an intense, obsessive friendship felt nuanced and heartbreakingly real. * Stylist *
In Marlena, Julie Buntin revitalizes a classic story making it all her own with sensuous, vibrant prose and a narrator who feels deeply even as she feints certain painful truths about herself. In these pages I not only saw my own story, I came to understand it better. Many readers will too. This is a fierce and gorgeous debut -- Edan Lepucki, bestselling author of California
Marlena slayed me. Gorgeously written, with a sense of place so perfect I didn't even have to close my eyes to pretend I was there, this novel is rich and sensuous and beautifully conceived. Buntin writes about the all-consuming bond between teenage girls with urgency and suspense and despair. I loved every word -- Anton DiSclafani, bestselling author of The After Party and The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls
Mesmerizing . . . an indelible portrait of friendship, the power of influence and the kind of regret that can last a lifetime * Harpers Bazaar *
Buntin's prose crackles like static electricity . . . she explores addiction and loss with poetic tenderness * New York Observer *
Beautifully descriptive . . . This generous, sensitive novel of true feeling is at its most moving when it sweeps you up . . . a painful exorcism and a devoted memorial to friends and selves who are gone * New York Times Book Review *
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“'...wholly and completely true.' ”
This may well be the best debut you'll read all year, at the very least it'll be in your top two (I'm still not giving up my love of 'The Nix' – although 'Marlena' is very, very... More
“Beautiful and Harsh”
Beautifully composed, Marlena is a story of the darkest kind of teen angst where pain is genuine and adulthood is thrust upon a young woman far too early. I was particularly impressed by the narrative framework of... More
“Haunting and Wonderful”
This is a wonderful debut from a real talent. Lyrically and beautifully written, this draws you into the story of the doomed friendship between Cat and Marlena, and transports you back to your own teenage years. Told... More
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