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The Late, Lamented Molly Marx

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Overview

The circumstances of Molly Marx’s death may be suspicious, but she hasn’t lost her joie de vivre. Newly arrived in the hereafter, aka the Duration, Molly, thirty-five years old, is delighted to discover that she can still keep tabs on those she left behind: Annabel, her beloved four-year-old daughter; Lucy, her combustible twin sister; Kitty, her piece-of-work mother-in-law; Brie, her beautiful and steadfast best friend; and, of course, her husband, Barry, a plastic surgeon with more than a professional interest ...
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Late, Lamented Molly Marx

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Overview

The circumstances of Molly Marx’s death may be suspicious, but she hasn’t lost her joie de vivre. Newly arrived in the hereafter, aka the Duration, Molly, thirty-five years old, is delighted to discover that she can still keep tabs on those she left behind: Annabel, her beloved four-year-old daughter; Lucy, her combustible twin sister; Kitty, her piece-of-work mother-in-law; Brie, her beautiful and steadfast best friend; and, of course, her husband, Barry, a plastic surgeon with more than a professional interest in many of his female patients. As a bonus, Molly quickly realizes that the afterlife comes with a finely tuned bullshit detector.

As Molly looks on, her loved ones try to discern whether her death was an accident, suicide, or murder. She was last seen alive leaving for a bike ride through New York City’s Riverside Park; her body was found lying on the bank of the Hudson River. Did a stranger lure Molly to danger? Did she plan to meet someone she thought she could trust? Could she have ended her own life for mysterious reasons, or did she simply lose control of her bike? As the police question her circle of intimates, Molly relives the years and days that led up to her sudden end: her marriage, troubled yet tender; her charmed work life as a magazine decorating editor; and the irresistible colleague to whom she was drawn.

More than anything, Molly finds herself watching over Annabel – and realizing how motherhood helped to bring out her very best self. As the investigation into her death proceeds, Molly will relive her most precious moments – and take responsibility for the choices in her life.

Exploring the bonds of fidelity, family, and friendship, and narrated by a memorable and endearing character, The Late, Lamented Molly Marx is a hilarious, deeply moving, and thought-provoking novel that is part mystery, part love story, and all heart.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Molly Divine Marx is dead. No one is quite sure how-murder, suicide, tragic accident?-and even Molly's own recollection doesn't explain much. Narrating this charming novel from an afterlife limbo known as the Duration, Molly follows the investigation of her death while keeping tabs on the living she left behind. Nearly everyone is a suspect: Barry, Molly's philandering plastic surgeon husband; Kitty, her controlling mother-in-law; Luke, Molly's lover; and the cabal of wifely hopefuls who line up for a shot at Barry before Molly's casket is safely in the ground. Longtime magazine editor Koslow (Little Pink Slips) knows her way around expertly tuned phrasing, and Molly is a delightful gem of a heroine. Equal parts self-deprecating, wry and sassy, Molly is honest about her faults and easily forgiving of the others' as she reviews her life with a hearty dose of honesty and humor. Though the anticipated delicious revelation doesn't quite live up to expectations, the narrative's heavy dose of hilarity and heartbreak will win readers over. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

After the thinly veiled autobiography of Little Pink Slips, Koslow's latest novel treads on sure, fictional ground. The story is told from the perspective of Molly Marx-looking down on her loved ones from the Duration. The 35-year-old mother and decorator watches from the afterlife as a dashing detective investigates her mysterious death. The wide cast of characters includes a cheating husband and his latest girlfriend, a charming three-year-old daughter, a jealous twin sister, a scorned lover, a hovering mother-in-law, and a lesbian best friend. Which one of them is responsible for her demise? As the people in her life move on without her, Molly must reckon with the choices she made-like the ongoing affair. Ultimately, the crime is never solved-although readers find out whodunit-leaving you to wonder what the point was. Part mommy lit, part murder mystery, this novel will attract attention from Koslow's fans. Recommended for public libraries where her first novel was popular. [See Prepub Alert, LJ1/09.]
—Anika Fajardo

Kirkus Reviews
Young Manhattan mom cut down in the prime of life lands at the pearly gates with some unfinished business in a frothy whodunit liberally sprinkled with Our Town-type wisdom. Molly Marx is fuzzy on the details of her untimely demise. That her bloodied and battered body was found with her bike in a ravine near the Hudson River is indisputable. But was it an accident, suicide-or murder? With the help of spiritual guide Bob, Molly visits her earthly home (located on the Upper West Side) to watch over her loved ones and figure out why anyone would want to kill her. The cast includes her casually philandering husband Barry, a self-absorbed plastic surgeon, his lupine new girlfriend Stephanie and Molly's adorable four-year-old daughter Annabel. There is also her devoted best friend Brie and her volatile twin sister Lucy, who, wracked with grief, nearly kidnaps Annabel from preschool. Molly's lover Luke is also suffering after her death, and no wonder. A sensitive photographer, he was her perfect match in and out of bed; her reluctance to leave wealthy Barry for him preoccupies both the dead Molly and the living Luke, who seems to be hiding something. Enter Hiawatha Hicks, the elegant black detective assigned to the case of the doctor's wife. Hicks finds himself, to Molly's delight, attracted to Brie, a stunning bisexual attorney recently split from her baby-averse female lover. When she isn't matchmaking, Molly finds herself reflecting on the highs and lows of her life, not liking everything she sees. Tough as it is, her new reality provides an opportunity to forgive herself and others, an essential step if she is to have any kind of closure. Koslow (Little Pink Slips, 2007) authenticallydetails the privileged world Molly must leave behind, but her tragicomic heroine is neither tragic nor comic enough. Agent: Christy Fletcher/Fletcher & Parry
From the Publisher
“Reading Sally Koslow's latest novel is like being at a cocktail party with the sharpest guest in the room. With her laser-like—and very funny—observations of human foibles, her wit and insight , Koslow has created a character with both heart and brains. You will love every minute you spend with her!”—Emily Listfield, author of Best Intentions

“Heaven only knows how Sally Koslow pulled off this novel with such precision and wit, and a narrative that drives you to the very last sentence. A story of love, friendship and family told from both sides, The Late, Lamented Molly Marx is a treasure no matter how you look at it.”—Betsy Carter, author of Swim to Me

"Molly Marx speaks from the grave with a voice that is fresh, funny and warm. In examining Molly's late, lamented life, Sally Koslow delivers a story about marriage, motherhood, and friendship that anyone who has ever been a spouse, a parent, or a friend will recognize. And who knew hanging out with the dead could be such a delight!"—Meg Wate Clayton, author of The Wednesday Sisters

"Never has a voice from the grave sounded so delightful. Darkly comic, unflinchingly romantic, The Late, Lamented Molly Marx is a page-turner from the word go."—Michelle Richmond, author of The Year of Fog

"Koslow knows her way around expertly tuned phrasing, and Molly is a delightful gem of a heroine. Equal parts self-deprecating, wry and sassy, Molly is honest about her faults and equally forgiving of the others’ as she reviews her life with a hearty does of honesty and humor . . . The narrative’s heavy dose of hilarity and heartbreak will win readers over.”—Publishers Weekly

Koslow’s story of “a life examined” in the hereafter makes readers truly care about her protagonist, foibles and all. –Booklist


“By the time we meet Molly Divine Marx in the opening pages of The Late, Lamented Molly Marx, she is dead. But that by no means detracts from the many charms of Sally Koslow’s wonderful new novel … Filled with remarkable clarity about how to embrace life while you can.”—BookPage

“Dive into one of the season’s standout cliff-hangers… When Marx observes her intimates–and the investigation into her death–from the hereafter, she’s both tickled and ticked off by what she learns. You will be, too.”–Self

“For a weekend away … [An] unexpectedly spunky book about life after death.”–Redbook

"Will keep you hooked to the end."—Real Simple Real Simple

“[A] comic romp through the afterlife.”–More

“Young Manhattan mom cut down in the prime of life lands at the pearly gates with some unfinished buisiness in a frothy whodunit liberally sprinkled with Our Town-type wisdom . . . Koslow authentically details the privileged world Molly must leave behind.”–Kirkus 

"Required reading"– Billy Heller, New York Post and Newsday

"Sally Koslow's pacing, dialogue fill me with envy. I'd love to produce writing that flows this effortlessly."– Amelia Robertson, The Roanoke Times

"Best Summer Reads."– KCAL TV, LA

"Essential for your beach bag this summer."– Associated Content

"Hilarious and thought-provoking"– Jewish Community Voice

"Razor-sharp wit...the characters would be what recommends the novel."– Book Club Classics

"Relax with a new read that offers a little bit of everything."– Woman's World

"Truly superb writer...the questions about what happened to Molly will keep you guessing, perhaps beyond the final chapter."– John A. Broussard, I Love A Mystery

"Funny, poignant…"– Life & Style Weekly

"This breath-of-frsh-air novel is...part mystery and all charm.. With a touch of irony and down-to-earth philosophy."–Jewish Book World

"I found myself holding my breath--the mark of a story that's really grabbing me. Surprisingly moving, an ultimately different read than you might expect."–Lizzie Rizzo at Everyday Goddess

"Molly steals the show. It's hard not to fall in love with (her) even as she lays out her faults, regrets and frustrations.... Koslow's writing style grabbed me from the first page, and took me on an emotional ride."– Anna at Diary of an Eccentric

"I didn't want it to end, because (the characters) were people I wanted to eat dinner with, and I didn't want to say goodbye."– NomadReader

"My book club would enjoy this book on many levels. Not only is it a very entertaining read because the narrator is...funny, but this book goes deeper and causes you to reflect on all sorts of relationships--marriage, friendship, sisterhood, parenthood and...romantic love."– Julie P. at Booking Mamma

"A brilliant, entertaining read about the choices we make in life..."– Malena Lott at Athena's Bookshelf

"I absolutely--hands down--adored this book...one of those rare books that draws you in and you feel as if you are experiencing it rather than reading it."– Nely at Bookwormygirl.blogspot.com

"I can't gush enough… This is going to be the perfect book for the summer."– Mary at www.maryinhb.blogspot.com

"Mommy lit with a dash of mystery and a generous helping of fantasy--a mix that works surprisingly well."– curvy*mommy's corner

"The book is a celebration of the imperfect lives we choose to lead."– Style Substance Soul

"Spirited and lively...you will be laughing outloud."– Missy Garner at Missy's Book Nook

"I loved the characters...people we all know."– 5 stars from Terri at Night Owl Romance

"Tender, poignant and touches the reader."– Cherokee at Coffee Time Romance & More

"It's Molly's flaws that make her seem so real, so honest."– Shon at Me, My Book and the Couch

"A mix of mystery, humor and chutzpah"– Leah at Culturistas

"Amazing! Koslow breathes a depth into Molly that makes you remember her after you close the cover."– Kimberly at BooksNMoore

"This book really pulled me in... Everyone who likes funny, lively writing will love it."– Open Salon

"An optimistic rendering of what it means to be human and confused"– Dory at For the Love of Reading

"I really liked Molly. A little like The Lovely Bones without the gut-wrenching."– Marissa at Writings of the Loud Librarian....: Books A Lot
 
"A gem...I felt in love with the main character."– Kay at Goodreads.com

"I really liked this book-the beginning and end made me cry like a baby."– Jennifer at GoodReads

"Very funny and touching"– Amy at Goodreads.com

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781469208060
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 6/5/2012
  • Format: CD
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Sally Koslow

Sally Koslow, the author of Little Pink Slips, spent three decades working at women's magazines, most recently as the editor-in-chief of McCall's. Married and the mother of two sons, she lives in New York City. Visit her website at www.sallykoslow.com.

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Read an Excerpt


The Late, Lamented Molly Marx

A Novel


By Sally Koslow
Ballantine Books
Copyright © 2009

Sally Koslow
All right reserved.



ISBN: 9780345506207


Chapter One


Kill Me Now


When I imagined my funeral, this wasn’t what I had in mind. First of all, I hoped I would be old, a stately ninetysomething who’d earned the right to be called elegant; a woman with an intimate circle of loved ones fanned out in front of her, their tender sorrow connecting them like lace.

I definitely hoped to be in a far more beautiful place—a stone chapel by the sea, perhaps, with pounding purple-gray waves drowning out mourners’ sobs. For no apparent reason—I’m not even Scottish—there would be wailing bagpipes, men in Campbell tartan, and charmingly reserved grandchildren, or even great-grandchildren, coaxed into reciting their own sweet poetry. I don’t know where the children’s red curls come from, since my hair is chemically enhanced blond and straight as a ruler. The bereaved—incredibly, those weepy old souls are my own kids—dab away tears with linen handkerchiefs, though on every other occasion they have used only tissues. The service takes place shortly before sunset in air fragrant with lilacs. Spring. At least where I grew up, in the Chicago suburbs, that’s what lilacs signify: the end of a long winter, life beginning anew.

I didn’t expect to be here, in a cavernous, dimly lit Manhattansynagogue. I didn’t expect to be surrounded by at least four hundred people, a good three hundred of whom I don’t recall talking to even once. Most of all, I didn’t expect to be young. Well, maybe some people don’t think thirty-five is young, but I do. It’s far too young to die, because while my story isn’t quite at the beginning, it isn’t at the end, either. Except that it is.

She’s dead, all those bodies in the pews must be thinking. Depressing. On that last count, they would be wrong. In fact, if the congregation knew my whole story—and I hope they will, eventually, because I need people on my side, not on his, and especially not on hers—it would be clear that I, Molly Divine Marx, have not lost my joie de vivre. On that point, I speak the truth.

“She would be here if she could,” he says. “She would be here if she could.” That’s Rabbi Strauss Sherman, pontificating over to my right. I wish he were the twinkly junior rabbi whose adult ed classes I kept telling myself I should take, not that I am—was—keen on the music of Jews in Uganda. But the speaker is the senior rabbi, the one who says everything twice, like an echo, though it stopped short of being profound the first time. I suppose I should get off on the fact that he’s the big-shot rabbi invited to homes of people who contribute gigabucks and, thus, rate succulent, white-meat honors on holidays. I wonder if Barry, my husband, made sure Rabbi S.S. spoke today just to stick it to me, since whenever he gave a sermon I’d squirm and mutter, “Kill me now.” I’d hate to think God decided on payback.

I realize I am not being kind about either Rabbi S.S. or the heartsick husband. Barry’s sizable schnozz is chapped from crying, and I caught more than a few people noticing as he discreetly swiped his nose on the sleeve of his black suit, soft worsted in a fine cut. Armani? they’re wondering. Not a chance. It is a close facsimile purchased at an outlet center near Milan, but if they took it for Armani, Barry would be glad. That was the general idea.

Perhaps some women in the pews wonder what I’m dressed in. The casket is closed—talk about a bad hair day—but I am being buried in a red dress. Okay, it’s more of a burgundy, but one thing that’s putting a smile on my face (only metaphorically, unfortunately) is that for all eternity I will get to wear this dress, which cost way too much, even 40 percent off at Barneys, where I rarely shop because it’s generally a rip-off. I’m sure if it had been up to my mother-in-law, the enchanting Kitty Katz, today I would have been stuffed into a button-down shirt and pleated pants that made me look like a sumo wrestler, but my sister, Lucy, intervened. Lucy and I have had our moments, but she knew how psyched I was to be wearing the dress to a Valentine’s party this coming Saturday. Go, Luce.

Wherever it is I’m off to, I hope they notice the shoes—black satin, terrifyingly high slingbacks, with excellent toe cleavage. I only wore them once, those shoes, and that night Barry and I barely left the dance floor. When we shimmied and whirled, it was almost like sex: we became the couple people thought we were. The Dr. and Mrs. Marx I, at least, wanted us to be. I loved watching Barry move his runner’s body in that subtle but provocative way of his, and how he nestled his hand on the small of my back, then cupped my butt for the whole world to see. It’s a pity we couldn’t have merengued through life as if it were one endless Fred and Ginger movie.

Will there be dancing where I’m headed? I digress. I do that. Drove Barry nuts.

“Our dear Molly Marx, she would be here if she could,” Rabbi S.S. is saying. That makes three. “The circumstances of her death may be mysterious, but it is not for us to judge. It is not for us to judge.”

As soon as someone tells you not to judge, you do. Everyone in this chilly sanctuary is judging—both Barry and me. I can hear it all, what’s in people’s heads as well as on their lips.

“Foul play.”

“Killed herself.”

“Jealous boyfriend.”

“She had a boyfriend? That mouse?”

“You have it all wrong. He had a girlfriend.”

“If it’s suicide, then why the ginormous funeral?”

I hear a smug tone. “For Jews, with a suicide it’s the burial place that gets questioned, not the funeral.”

“He won’t be single for six months.”

“Especially with the little girl.”

Yes, there is a child. Annabel Divine Marx, almost four, black velvet dress, patent leather Mary Janes. My Annie-belle is clutching Alfred the bunny, and the look on her face could make Hitler weep. Right now, I will not allow myself the luxury of thinking about my baby, who wonders where her mommy is and when this nasty dream will end. If I could be alive for five more minutes, they would be spent memorizing Annabel’s heartbeat and synchronizing it with my own, tracing the bones in her birdlike shoulders, stroking the creamy softness of her skin. I will always be Annabel’s mother. My mantra.

People can call me anything, but in the mommy department, there was never a moment when I wasn’t trying to do the right thing. I attempted to live for my child—not through her, for her. I tried. I really did. I never would have abandoned Annabel. Nothing ever mattered more to me than my unconditional love for her, a long, unbroken line that continues even now. The best compliment I ever got was from Barry when he said simply, a few weeks after Annabel was born, “Molly, you get motherhood. You really do.”

“Our dear Molly, our lovely Molly,” the rabbi is saying. “She was so many things. To our grieving Barry—a trustee of this very institution—she was a beloved wife of almost seven years, a woman with her whole life ahead of her. To Annabel, she was Mommy, tender, devoted. To her parents, Claire and Daniel Divine, she was a cherished daughter, and to Lucy Divine, she was an adored twin sister, absolutely adored. To her colleagues, she was a . . .” Rabbi S.S. refers to his notes. “A decorating editor at a magazine.”

Wrong. I stopped being a decorating editor when Annabel was born. Lately, I was a freelance stylist—the person who brings in the tall white orchids and fluffs a room so when it’s photographed for a magazine it shames most of the readers, since there’s no way their homes are ever going to look like that. Then they blink and smugly wonder if people actually live in that picture with not one family snapshot in a teddy bear frame sold at a Hallmark store. Who actually buys white couches and scratchy sisal rugs? How do you clean them? They turn the page.

I wasn’t brokering peace in the Middle East, or even teaching nursery school like my twin sister. But I loved my work, and in my sliver of a world, I was a giant. What I could do with a mantel was almost art. People must have hated inviting me to their homes, for fear that I’d rearrange their bookshelves and suggest that they sell half of their tchotchkes on eBay.

“Molly was a loyal friend, an accomplished biker, a graduate of Northwestern University with a major in art history.”

Is the rabbi going to recite my entire résumé? Disclose that I was rejected from Brown and never made it off the Wesleyan wait-list? Share that I took a junior semester in Florence and skipped every class—did I even buy textbooks?—while Emilio fra Diavolo taught me Italian of the nonverbal variety? Mention the two jobs from which I was fired and the fourteen-month gap between them? Point out that Barry and I were seeing a marriage counselor?

There’s Dr. Stafford right there. Goodness, she looks quite moved. I always imagined that when Barry and I were carrying on at her sessions she was thinking, How did I get stuck with these two completely shallow, nonintrospective, loser brats? Oh, I have three private school tuitions to pay. That’s why. But I see tears and I can tell they are real.

The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, and when he takes away big-time, I have discovered he compensates you with a finely tuned bullshit detector. It is a minor consolation, but I think I am going to like it.

“And now we will hear from Molly’s husband,” the rabbi says. “Barry. Dr. Barry Marx.”

Barry kisses Annabel on the head and untangles his hand from hers. She takes a look at Kitty—who forbids the word grandma—and considers whether to move closer to her. “Kitty smells funny,” she used to say. “It’s just her cigarettes, honey,” I would respond. “Don’t smoke when you grow up or you’ll smell funny, too.” I hope Annabel remembers that. If she becomes a nose-ringed, tattooed fourteen-year- old hanging out in the East Village with a cigarette dangling from her lips . . . there won’t be a damn thing I can do about it.

Kitty is wearing a severe black suit—either Gucci or Valentino. She’d be horrified to know I can’t tell or appreciate the difference, though I admit it looks stunningly appropriate. The tailoring shows off her yoga-buffed sixty-four-year-old body, which, in clothes, we both privately acknowledge looks a good bit better than mine. Today she seems to have hijacked the first floor of Tiffany’s. With Kitty, more is more. She is wearing diamond studs the size of knuckles, a sapphire-and-emerald brooch dribbling over her breast like Niagara Falls with a bracelet to match, and a black lizard handbag that, no doubt, contains her smokes.

I hope Annabel eventually inherits some of Kitty’s baubles. I’m not saying Kitty’s glad I’m dead, but at least she has a good excuse now for not willing me any jewelry.

When Barry arrives at the front of the synagogue and bounds up the six steps, he clears his throat and takes some notes from his jacket. He tears them in half with a flourish. I knew he would do that! We saw the same stunt at my aunt Julie’s funeral last year. Does he think my family won’t notice he stole it? Ah, but he doesn’t really care about them, does he? And what makes it worse is that except for the Divines, everyone in the congregation is buying into his heart-wrenching grief. From every corner, I hear sniffles and snorts and see tiny tributaries of tears.

“I fell in love with Molly when I was a senior at college,” he begins.

I was a sophomore. He was the pre-med guy who finally had room in his schedule for a class on twentieth-century art and took a seat next to me in a darkened auditorium. Barry wanted to become a collector, he said, and I remember thinking the remark pretentious; no one I knew aspired to own anything more than an Alex Katz dog litho or a student’s work snagged at a silent auction on open-studio night. But Barry dreamed on a grand scale. When five years later I found out that he’d become a plastic surgery resident at Mount Sinai in Manhattan, I wasn’t surprised. If ever a doctor were born to woo women into rhinoplasty, it was Barry Marx, who managed to incorporate his own nose into his well-delivered pitch.

At least forty of his patients must be here today. All those weepers with the delicate, symmetrical noses aren’t my mommy-buddies, magazine pals, book club friends, or cycling partners. Do Barry’s patients have a phone tree, like the one at Annabel’s school in case of inclement weather? Did someone start making calls at 5:30 a.m.? “Sorry to wake you, but I thought you’d want to know Barry Marx is single. The funeral’s at ten. Pass it on.”

“There are four things you should know about my wife, Molly,” Barry begins. “First, she had the most musical laugh in the whole world. Many of you know that laugh. I married her for that laugh. I cannot believe I will never hear it again.”

So far, okay. To be fair, there was a lot of laughing, and no one thinks Barry married me for my breasts, which most wives of plastic surgeons would have had enlarged from nectarines to melons.

Continues...


Excerpted from The Late, Lamented Molly Marx by Sally Koslow Copyright © 2009 by Sally Koslow. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Reading Group Guide

1. The Late, Lamented Molly Marx, grapples with the theme of loss. Molly’s major challenge throughout the book is learning how to let go and come to terms with her death. In what ways has she accomplished this by the end of the novel? In your own life, have you ever had to grapple with loss and letting something go? What helped you?

2. The novel is prefaced by an Oscar Wilde quote: “The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible.” How do you interpret it? How does it apply to the book?

3. The novel presents a version of an afterlife. Do you believe in an afterlife? If so, what is your vision? How did you arrive at your view?

4. If you could be present at your own funeral, what would you be most curious to see?

5. The character of Bob functions as a moral compass and a spiritual sherpa for Molly. What do you think Molly gets out of this relationship? Has there ever been a “Bob” in your life and if so, who is it and what role did he or she play?

6. After she arrives in the Duration, Molly discovers that she has what she refers to as “a built-in bullshit detector.” To this Bob responds, “You always had that ability. You just never bothered to activate it” (page 30). Do you believe that most people “know” more than they choose to acknowledge?

7. Is Molly mature or immature for her age? Does your opinion of her change as the novel progresses? How do you define maturity? How has your definition evolved as you yourself have gotten older? Do you think adults used to be more mature at an earlier age in the past?

8. Why did Molly marry Barry? Do you know women who have married men who you think aren’t their equals? And the reverse: Do you know men who’ve married women who you think aren’t their equals?

9. Molly suspects that Barry is a philanderer. Why do women like Molly stay with men like Barry under similar circumstances? Should they have split up? Is he a good father?

10. Throughout the novel, Molly wonders if she’s made mistakes in her marriage. Do you think she has and if so, what are they?

11. Molly and Barry sought the help of a marriage counselor. Do you think that counseling helped them? In general, do you support the idea of therapy and counseling?

12. How do the women in Molly’s life—Lucy, Brie, Kitty, her mother, Claire, and Delfina—affect her over the course of the novel? What does each woman offer her? In what ways do they ultimately help or hurt her, knowingly or unknowingly? Which women have had the most profound effect on your life?

13. Did becoming a mom help Molly grow up? Do you think that she s a good mother? If you have kids, how did you arrive at your notion of what makes a good mother? How does motherhood enrich a woman’s life? Make women’s lives harder?

14. The anthropologist Margaret Mead has observed that the relationship between sisters is often the most troubled one in the family. Mead also says that eventually, the sister relationship becomes the strongest one in the family. Do you agree with Dr. Mead on either of these points? Why do you think that so many sisters can’t get along?

15. How would you describe the friendship between Molly and Brie? What qualities do you think need to be present for women to maintain enduring friendships? Have you ever lost a friendship because of a monumental change in one of your lives?

16. Molly does not enjoy a smooth relationship with her mother-in-law. Why is this relationship often difficult?

17. Who is your favorite character? Your least favorite character? Why?

18. How would you categorize this book—as humor? A mystery? Contemporary women’s fiction? Why?

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Chick Lit Mystery

    "The Late, Lamented Molly Marx" (I love the alliteral title) was a fairly quick read, and I'd categorize it under "Chick Lit Mystery." There were no scary scenes, no gory parts. Molly Marx has recently died in a tragic biking accident. Who was responsible? Was it a suicide? Was it murder? If so, was it the wealthy cheating husband? One of his mistresses? Her snooty mother-in-law? Her fling? Her sister? Her best friend?

    The chapters toggle between Molly's life leading up to the accident and her life in the hereafter. Like Alice Sebold's "The Lovely Bones," the main character floats around as a ghost in the land of the living. She can see what's going on with those close to her and even hear their thoughts. She's determined to find out and remember what happened that resulted in her death.

    Even in death, though, Molly finds humor: "I will, forever, be only six exits away from IKEA."

    The characters and situations weren't very complex, but it was easy to remember who was who and what was going on. When I first started reading the novel, I enjoyed just following Molly along her path, but as the story went on, I became more and more intrigued by the mystery of "what happened." I was a little disappointed in the "Big Reveal" (and had to reread it twice), but still enjoyed the story nonetheless.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2012

    Good read!

    I read this book for a book club and thought that the setting would be more along the line of messages from the 'other side'. I was pleasantly surprised that it didn't have that feeling. It was an interesting way to view life after death. Although Molly's death is a mystery the majority of the story is a reflection on her life not her attempt to solve her murder from the grave.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Keeps you guessing

    This book will keep you guessing to the end. How did Molly die? Was it suicide, accident or murder? One of my favorite characters was Bob, Molly's guide angel. I loved that it took place in New York City, the greatest city in the world! I would classify this book as chick-lit mystery. I liked the cover art and the title-very eye catching. It was a light hearted quick read. I read this for my book club and we all enjoyed it. Nothing too deep, a great escape with a little bit of humor thrown in. I would definately recommend this book. I will look for more from this author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    ok,but not great

    I thought this would be a really good read just because of the concept and that was partly right. It was good just not really good.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The choices we make

    Molly Marx dies at the young age of 35. Proceeding her death, she finds herself in the Duration. While here, she helplessly watches her family and friends mourn her passing. The Duration allows her to hear their inner most thoughts (some she wishes she knew while still alive). It's here where Molly is truly able to make amends with herself, her marriage and the events leading to her death.

    Molly is not perfect, by any means. In fact, it's her flaws that make her seem so real, so honest. She's married to Barry, mother to Annabel and twin sister to Lucy. Molly attempts to be all to everyone and tries to please them, so much so that she loses herself in the process.

    The Late, Lamented Molly Marx, to me, isn't a book about death. It's about the choices we make and the consequences that occur from those choices. As Molly watches the police piece together the events that led to her death, the reader hears Molly's story from her perspective and is able to understand the conflicted life she lead. One cannot help but to empathize with Molly and hopes she will find peace within herself.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2009

    Delicious Reading

    what a wonderful book to read for a few hours of sentiment and joy! how can a novel about someone who is departed and lamented be delightful?? Sally Koslow manages to create a lovely story from the point of view of a woman coping with her role in death and her observations of her family after she leaves this worls and observes from her perch on the way to heaven.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2014

    Frustrating end

    Enjoyed the book tremendously........until the very end. I like my mysteries to have a resolution.....this one did not.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2014

    Not good...

    Very disappointing read...moves too slowly and I got tired of the looks back at the lies and cheating that made up their lives.

    Dli Illinois

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    I read half of the book before finally giving up and moving onto

    I read half of the book before finally giving up and moving onto to something better. I was not the least bit engaged by any of the characters or their situation and not interested in finding out who killed Molly. The premise was promising but poorly executed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2013

    Okay

    Not the most engaging read and far more wordy than it needs to be.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2013

    Engaging Story

    I was caught up in this story about a young NYC mother married to a philandering cosmetic surgeon . The story was well written and the mystery imbedded in the tale was enough to keep the reader guessing. Skip this if you have a problem with infidelity in marriage. Otherwise, I found the snapshots of New York living entertaining especially when considering what a wife will put up with in order to maintain an extravagant lifestyle.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2013

    Very enjoyable book.

    I really enjoyed this book. The characters were very real with their own various human faults and opinions. I recommend this fun read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2013

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    A good read. Keeps you guessing and wanting to read more.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2013

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    Highly Recommended - you must check it out!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 1, 2013

    Very entertaining - witty

    I very much enjoyed the witty way in which this story is told. Although a mystery was the background story, the author's use of language made it very entertaining.
    I highly recommend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2013

    Wonderful

    Great character development,story and writing style. I could not put it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2013

    Tori

    Walks in

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 10, 2013

    Took me by surprise..

    I loved this book.. it was funny, touching and unexpected.. sorry to see it end.. highly recommend

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2013

    I really enjoyed this book. I wouldn't say it's the best thing I

    I really enjoyed this book. I wouldn't say it's the best thing I've ever read, but the writing was well done and I enjoyed the perspective of the narrator.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2013

    I enjoyed reading this book

    I picked this up for a change of pace from the mysteries I usually read. I really liked this book. That is until the end. I was dissapointed with the way it was all wrapped up. I do like a book that ties up all the ends. I am still glad that I read the book, just a little sad by the ending.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 74 Customer Reviews

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