Book Review: Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power (2020)

July 7th, 2020 7:00 am by mad mags

A slooooow burn that never quite sparks.

three out of five stars

(Full disclosure: I received a free e-ARC for review through Netgalley.)

Blood on Nielsen land railway planner for free. Give it enough, and it might give something back.

Seventeen-year-old Margot Nielsen lives with her mom Jo in a run-down apartment in Calhoun, Nebraska. For as long as Margot can remember, it’s only been the two of them – which maybe wouldn’t be so bad, if her mom wasn’t so strange, so distant, so emotionally withholding herunterladen. In addition to tiptoeing around Jo’s fearful-avoidant attachment style, there’s a laundry list of weird rules that Margot has to adhere to in order to keep the peace. Chief among them: always keep a candle burning. The fire will save you.

The flame jumps up, stands steady and stark. My hand used to shake when I did this, but it doesn’t anymore how to download videos from zdf mediathek. No nerves as I hold the fire to the wick until it catches. No fear as I let the lighter go out, lean in to feel the heat on my skin. This is the part that matters to Mom. Watching me. On good days it comes with a kiss to my temple, with her favorite rule whispered in my ear. On most days it comes with nothing at all. Just the feeling that this is a test, somehow, and I’ve only barely passed word gratisen student.

Margot learned long ago not to ask about her family: not her father, and certainly not her grandparents. So when a chance discovery gives her an address and a phone number, Margot grasps at the apparent lifeline. She flees Calhoun, and Jo’s cruel indifference, for the opportunity to start over with her grandmother Vera at Fairhaven, the Nielsen family farm shieldwall herunterladen.

Margot’s arrival in Phalene is, ahem, portentous at best. Within minutes of setting foot in the town square, Margot learns of a massive fire – at the Nielsen farm, no less.

And it’s the second one in a generation. “A new fire for a new Nielsen,” as Theresa Miller – Phalene’s golden child and Margot’s apparent new bestie/partner in crime – proclaims herunterladen.

And there’s a body smack dab in the center of it. A corpse that wears Margot’s face.

With Tess’s help, Margot must get to the root of what’s rotten at Fairhaven – all while negotiating Vera’s own sickly sweet Southern brand of cruelty, and evading the Phalene police, who suspect Vera of arson and/or murder, and see Margot as their best chance of catching her. But the truth threatens to unravel Margot, and how could it not? Spoiler alert: things get pretty bonkers.

I really enjoyed Rory Power’s debut novel, Wilder Girls, and was hoping that she’s bring that same fierce feminist energy to Burn Our Bodies Down herunterladen. And, to be fair, she does. But Burn Our Bodies Down is a much slower burn that never quite sparked for me. The ending is inspired, but the buildup sapped most of the joy out of the discovery.

There’s a lot of creepy, gory weirdness to love here: Margot’s mother’s Bible, and the cryptic, frenzied diary entries scribbled in the margins instagram stories herunterladen app. The mysterious twin and doppelganger(s). The scorched apricot grove, and the ghastly fruit it produces. The sickly, misshapen corn. The spontaneous pregnancies (the ultimate in body horror, imho). The gruesome murder scene next door. Illicit farming practices. The association of women and nature in a way that feels like the inverse (or perversion?) of ecofeminism msn herunterladen kostenlos deutsch. But it takes sooooo long to get to the denouement, and until then you’re just left flailing, with no idea how everything clicks into place.

The climax comes around the 80% mark – which is pretty standard, now that I think about it. Maybe it just feels a lot longer because there’s so much repetition up to this point? Margot’s inner monologues about Jo and Vera and the importance/danger of family are germane to the story, to be sure; but the frequency and predictability just gets tedious after awhile app herunterladen windows 8.

Bottom line: I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it, either. It’s a great idea with a so-so execution that could definitely be redeemed with the right big- or little-screen adaptation. Until then, I’m eagerly awaiting Rory Power’s third book, In A Garden Burning Gold.

(This review is also available on Amazon, Library Thing, and Goodreads. Please click through and vote it helpful if you’re so inclined!)

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