Marie, fresh out of jail for accessory to murder and bank robbery, needed a job. Ellen, who had known Marie since they were kids, needed a nanny for two-year-old Caitlin. Seems like the old friends were reuniting at the perfect moment.
Despite her lack of childcare experience, Marie was in heaven: gourmet food and a place to live and a little girl who seemed to love her. The best part, however, was Ellen's French husband, the author of Marie's favorite novel.
After just a few weeks on the job, Marie is caught naked and asleep in the tub, while Caitlin plays in the cool water beside her. Ellen is horrified, but her husband, Benoit, can't keep his eyes off Marie's body. Life in paradise has clearly come to end, but Marie isn't about to go down without a fight, and she proceeds to take a few of Ellen's things before she leaves. Two of those things are Benoit and Caitlin.
Just how bad is Marie and who else is to blame? Can a thirty-year-old ex-con figure out how deal with a toddler while on the run?
Marcy Dermansky's Bad Marie is a fascinating novel. Marie is a complicated character, and her ambiguity--good or bad? victim or perpetrator?--keeps your attention from the first page.
She never drank in the daytime. Only at night. Marie didn't see the harm: a little whiskey, a little chocolate (p. 1).And you nod your head, agreeing that it doesn't seem so bad.
Marie pushes the limits in such small increments that you never really notice when she crosses the line. You wonder if she knows what's she's doing or if she's a perpetual victim who simply does what she must to survive. You'll read the novel in one go just to see what Marie does next.
This book was spotlighted earlier as part of my imprint feature, which includes Harper Perennial. For information about the imprint, please read Erica Barmash's welcome note of June 18, 2010, and visit the The Olive Reader, the Harper Perennial blog.
Published by HarperCollins / Harper Perennial, 2010
Source: Review (see review policy)
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