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Marilou Is Everywhere

A Novel
Narrated by: Kristen Sieh
Length: 6 hrs and 45 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of Los Angeles Times "Most Anticipated Books of the Summer"

A Skimm Reads Pick

A Belletrist Book Club Pick

"This novel reads like a miracle." (NPR)

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 time. Deprived of adult supervision, the siblings rely on one another for nourishment of all kinds. As Cindy's brothers take on new responsibilities for her care, the shadow of danger looms larger and the status quo no longer seems tolerable. 

So when a glamorous teen from a more affluent, cultured home goes missing, Cindy escapes her own family's poverty and slips into the missing teen's life. As Jude Vanderjohn, Cindy is suddenly surrounded by books and art, by new foods and traditions, and most important, by a startling sense of possibility. In her borrowed life, she also finds herself accepting the confused love of a mother who is constitutionally incapable of grasping what has happened to her real daughter. As Cindy experiences overwhelming maternal love for the first time, she must reckon with her own deceits and, in the process, learn what it means to be a daughter, a sister, and a neighbor.   

Marilou Is Everywhere is a powerful, propulsive portrait of an overlooked girl who finds for the first time that her choices matter.

©2019 Sarah Elaine Smith (P)2019 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"Smith’s writing is feral. It’s alert, skittish, and hungry.... A poignant story of accountability." (Bust Magazine)

"This is a mysterious and strangely exciting debut. Smith is a poet, and writes in sensory-driven, soul-tapping prose.... Despite her isolation, professed ignorance, and desire to self-annihilate, bright and brave narrator Cindy understands much of the world, its hardships and moral quandaries, and the startling lack of guarantees that come with being born. . . .Literary-minded teens will find a kindred heroine in the wonderfully weird and wry Cindy." (Booklist)

"Smith, who never insults her characters by pitying them, captures this unstable world with matter-of-fact poetry, spare and sensual and surprisingly funny. Bleak and vivid; Smith's characters are as rich as her prose." (Kirkus, starred review)

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Disappointing

Was a very slow moving book with no real climax. The whole plot was a little disappointing. The imagery felt over done and didn't move the story along or add to it but just drug it out.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful