Marilou is Everywhere

Marilou is Everywhere

Consumed by the longing for a different life, a teenager flees her family and carefully slips into another -- replacing a girl whose own sudden disappearance still haunts the town. Fourteen-year-old Cindy and her two older brothers live in rural Pennsylvania, in a house with occasional electricity, two fierce dogs, one book, and a mother who comes and goes for months at a...

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Title:Marilou is Everywhere
Author:Sarah Elaine Smith
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Marilou is Everywhere Reviews

  • Jillian Doherty

    If you love well written, well conveyed emotional family stories – this one is perfect for you! It has a quiet sadness that only allows you to care about these characters in a frank and deep way.

    Vergil, Clinton, and Cindy Stoat are the center is this story ~ if you enjoyed The Mothers, or My Absolute Darling you’d enjoy this too, not for their plot intensity but rather their shared style of yearning to see the young female protagonist strive beyond their hunting existence.

    Jude (Marilou) and Ber

    If you love well written, well conveyed emotional family stories – this one is perfect for you! It has a quiet sadness that only allows you to care about these characters in a frank and deep way.

    Vergil, Clinton, and Cindy Stoat are the center is this story ~ if you enjoyed The Mothers, or My Absolute Darling you’d enjoy this too, not for their plot intensity but rather their shared style of yearning to see the young female protagonist strive beyond their hunting existence.

    Jude (Marilou) and Bernadette also share a broken path that makes the story what it is.

    I’m sure like many who adore Cindy and Bernadette’s relationship; it’s resounding, giving both characters something they didn’t know they always could have.

    Galley borrowed from the publisher.

  • James Beggarly

    Such a beautiful and odd book. The author is a poet and it’s amazing how she sees the world through a young girl’s eyes. This young girl who leaves her own scattered family to leave with a mother whose own child had gone missing. The mother drinks and had a faltering memory and thinks this girl is her lost daughter. A beautifully realized novel.

  • Dan

    I've read more than my share of coming-of-age stories, but this one was absolutely stunning. The main character, Cindy, is a girl from an impoverished family, desperate for a change in her deteriorating home situation. A local girl has gone missing, captivating their rural community, and Cindy decides to step into her life. She moves in, dyes her hair, and even wears the missing girl's clothes.

    I know what you're thinking – this sounds

    . In fact, Smith brings such a distinct and understated

    I've read more than my share of coming-of-age stories, but this one was absolutely stunning. The main character, Cindy, is a girl from an impoverished family, desperate for a change in her deteriorating home situation. A local girl has gone missing, captivating their rural community, and Cindy decides to step into her life. She moves in, dyes her hair, and even wears the missing girl's clothes.

    I know what you're thinking – this sounds

    . In fact, Smith brings such a distinct and understated quality to Cindy's voice and personality that the story moves smoothly and quickly through a year in rural Pennsylvania, as she settles into her new life. The events that sound so crazy in summary are made natural and inevitable in the novel, not bizarre but beautiful. I only had one scene that made me stop for a moment, and it was as intended, a shocking, debilitating moment that floats by, leaving you short of breath. But the story keeps moving.

    is a brisk, heartfelt novel of growing up, finding family, and finding yourself. I would definitely recommend it.

  • Christopher

    A stunning sticky book that will distract you from the cold sweat you accumulate while you read. Unforgettable.

  • Jaci Millette Cooper

    Heartbroken I read this so fast. Maybe I can muster a review after I digest. It was quietly complex and bleak and zany and wonderful.

  • Casey

    Thanks to Riverhead Books for the advance copy of this book.

    Cindy lives a near poverty-level existence with her family in rural Pennsylvania. When wealthier local teenager Jude disappears while on a camping trip, Cindy helps her brother take care of Jude's mother, Bernadette. When it becomes clear that Bernadette's memory is shot, Cindy moves in and assumes Jude's life.

    MARILOU IS EVERYWHERE is a stunning novel. This one's for fans of Lauren Groff, for people who wanted MY ABSOLUTE DARLING to be

    Thanks to Riverhead Books for the advance copy of this book.

    Cindy lives a near poverty-level existence with her family in rural Pennsylvania. When wealthier local teenager Jude disappears while on a camping trip, Cindy helps her brother take care of Jude's mother, Bernadette. When it becomes clear that Bernadette's memory is shot, Cindy moves in and assumes Jude's life.

    MARILOU IS EVERYWHERE is a stunning novel. This one's for fans of Lauren Groff, for people who wanted MY ABSOLUTE DARLING to be better (Me. That's me.), for people who want to see the world through someone else's eyes.

    Cindy is an incredible character. She somehow makes observations only a child or teenager could make, but that are also phrased in ways you've never heard before. So many sentences in this book are total nonsense when taken out of context, but within the frame of the story are some of the most beautiful, unique sentences I've ever read.

    I'll be clear, this is the kind of book whose writing announces I Have An MFA. I think a lot of people will be turned off by that, and maybe also by the hazy, heavy way the plot proceeds. If you're up for that, though, I think you're in for a treat.

  • Bitsy Kemper

    Most books I read in order to finish. I enjoy them, but I want to know the end. In this book, I slowed myself down and read every word. Enjoy the journey here. This one is not about the destination. Loved it. Absolute beauty. Perfect capture of, what,? Life? Just wonderful.

  • Mia

    Smith’s voice reminded me of Lauren Groff’s in her Fates and Furies, even though Smith’s story took place in Pennsylvania, it had that same gritty, tarnished southern realism. Both have an isolated ruralism that that reveals a sort of feral nature in our protagonists.

    Most of Marilou is Everywhere is told in retrospect from our main character Cindy as she recounts her life from when she was 14yo. After Jude, a neighborhood girl, goes missing, Cindy slowly replaces the missing girl in Jude’s mothe

    Smith’s voice reminded me of Lauren Groff’s in her Fates and Furies, even though Smith’s story took place in Pennsylvania, it had that same gritty, tarnished southern realism. Both have an isolated ruralism that that reveals a sort of feral nature in our protagonists.

    Most of Marilou is Everywhere is told in retrospect from our main character Cindy as she recounts her life from when she was 14yo. After Jude, a neighborhood girl, goes missing, Cindy slowly replaces the missing girl in Jude’s mother’s household. Because Cindy is telling the story in retrospect she can tell us the factual events alongside her perception of them, which I really enjoyed. Cindy never really felt like she had a self to erase, a concept that should be dull, but instead endeared me towards Cindy. Though her mother comes and goes for months at a time, Cindy’s relationships to the other girls and women in her life are complex and are the ones that allow Cindy to grow, even if they don’t nourish her in the healthiest ways.

    Every time I picked up the book to read it I couldn’t put it down, but I would have trouble finding the drive to pick it back up after I had stopped reading. I think I lost focus because honestly I’m not a fan of child narrators. But Smith’s voice is so full, I was immediately rewarded every time I fell back into this wild story.

  • Jessica Klahr

    This book was unique and complex and unlike anything I’ve ever read. The narrator had such a strange and stilted way of thinking and telling this story so it was by no means an easy read, but it was definitely worth the work. It’s hard to say whether her relative isolation has made her dumb or wise beyond her years. There were so many odd similes and lines of dialogue that I often found myself having to pause and dissect what had just been observed. My favorite line that I’ve remembered over the

    This book was unique and complex and unlike anything I’ve ever read. The narrator had such a strange and stilted way of thinking and telling this story so it was by no means an easy read, but it was definitely worth the work. It’s hard to say whether her relative isolation has made her dumb or wise beyond her years. There were so many odd similes and lines of dialogue that I often found myself having to pause and dissect what had just been observed. My favorite line that I’ve remembered over the few days since I’ve read it was when Cindy and Bernadette are talking and Cindy narrates, “Just like that, she was peeling an orange.” It was hard to gauge the time period that Cindy and her brothers were living in, so when WiFi was mentioned it was almost a pleasant surprise to know that these kinds of characters could exist in the near present. The kidnapping resolution was a little underwhelming upon reflection, but I didn’t really mind it, given that it was just a means to an end to allow Cindy and Bernadette’s bizarre relationship to come to be. I know that I’ll be thinking about this one, both for its stylistic choices and unusual characters, for a while.

  • Chloe W.

    Beautifully written, but wildly bizarre. I enjoyed reading it, but it's difficult to imagine who the broader readership for this is.

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