The Murders of Molly Southbourne

January 16, 2018 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

murdersThe Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson

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Molly Southbourne was taught four simple rules from a very young age:

If you see a girl who looks like you, run and fight.
Don’t bleed.
If you bleed, blot, burn, and bleach.
If you find a hole, find your parents.

The reason is also simple: Whenever she bleeds, she creates a perfect, murderous duplicate of herself.

It’s tempting to go deeper into that premise, but to do so takes away the joy of discovering this odd, compelling story. Thompson thought it through, from beginning to end, and tells us exactly what it would be like to grow up with this sort of affliction. By all rights, the story should read like a clinical report on her condition, but Thompson frames everything through the eyes of Molly herself, and makes it come alive. It’s not that we learn about her affliction; it’s that we learn about Molly.

The only tripping point in the story is near the end, when Thompson attempts to explain Molly’s affliction. He also attempts to make the story into something larger, using a framing device around Molly’s story, which only gets in the way. I understand this is the first book in a series, which is disappointing, since it’s hard to see what else Thompson would have to say about Molly. This novella feels self-contained, with questions left to be answered, without them having to be answered. That’s not to say I won’t read the next book in the series, but by itself, this story is fantastic.

A word of advice: Start this book when you have the time to finish it. It will suck you in like a Dyson, and nothing short of your house catching fire will take you away from it. Before this novella, I had never heard of Tade Thompson; afterward, I was adding his other books to my must-read list. It’s an incredible read.

Started: October 24, 2017
Finished: October 24, 2017

1 Comment

  1. The Murders of Molly Southbourne — Veni Vidi Verkisto – horrorwriter said,

    […] via The Murders of Molly Southbourne — Veni Vidi Verkisto […]

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