on April 18th, 2015
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In the Bone there is a house.
In the house there is a girl.
In the girl there is a darkness.
Margo is not like other girls. She lives in a derelict neighborhood called the Bone, in a cursed house, with her cursed mother, who hasn’t spoken to her in over two years. She lives her days feeling invisible. It’s not until she develops a friendship with her wheelchair-bound neighbor, Judah Grant, that things begin to change. When a neighborhood girl, seven-year-old Neveah Anthony, goes missing, Judah sets out to help Margo uncover what happened to her.
What Margo finds changes her, and with a new perspective on life, she’s determined to find evil and punish it–targeting rapists and child molesters, one by one.
But hunting evil is dangerous, and Margo risks losing everything, including her own soul.
I have a special place in my heart for Tarryn Fisher’s books. I loved Mud Vein. It’s one of those books I love more and more each time I read it. When I heard she was writing Marrow and that there was a tie in to Mud Vein, I knew I needed to buy it as soon as it released. So I did. [Whispers] Then it sat on my kindle for months. I think I was afraid of Marrow. I was afraid of what it would make me feel. The first time I read Mud Vein I hated Senna and I felt such bitterness towards the book for how awful it made me feel. However, as I thought more and more about the story and characters, I realized that Fisher really has a knack for making readers reach into the darkest, most twisted parts of their minds. Marrow is no exception, Fisher takes readers on a dangerous ride through the dark and dank world of Margo Moon.
Margo grew up in an abusive household with her mentally ill mother and an absent father. Her mother barely recognized her existence so Margo was left to fend for herself. Other than one childhood friend, who she later becomes distant with, she spends her life alone. One day a boy in her neighborhood, Judah, strikes up a conversation with her. This leads them to develop an unlikely friendship. Margo, who has mainly subsisted on junk food, labels herself as fat and unnattractive. She is confused as to why Judah could possibly want to be friends with her. We learn that Judah has faced his own kind of isolation after being paralyzed as a child.
The friendship between Judah and Margo inspires Margo to become more empowered and after tragedy strikes, something in Margo snaps. The darkness of “The Bone” creeps further inside Margo’s heart and she becomes a vigilante of sorts. Judah states that The Bone lives inside of them, seeping into their Marrow. Most of the residents of The Bone are victims of circumstance, growing up in a poor, mostly isolated area. Margo’s neighbors include Mo, a drug dealer, and Mother Mary, a woman who predicts people’s deaths. The way in which Fisher describes Margo and her neighbors, as well as The Bone, is impeccable. The depression and despair of the town is palpable.
I believe in loneliness so deep and profound it has a physical presence.
Fisher has a knack for writing complex characters, often times causing readers to question their own morality. Margo is a complicated character, a combination of both circumstance and genetic factors. I am in no way an advocate for “an eye for an eye.” I couldn’t hate Margo because of her actions. While she is in fact a murderer, her actions are reminiscent of the popular Dexter. She only punishes those who commit heinous crimes: child abusers, murderers, and rapists. She did not kill for the fun of it.
The moon is wicked, jealous of the sun. People do bad things in the dark, under the hollow gaze of the moon. It’s smiling at me now, proud of my sin.
Overall, I enjoyed the complexity and intricacies of Marrow. There were slow parts and I did find myself struggling at times to connect with the story. I think for me, there was a bit of the normal Fisher spark missing from Marrow. Despite the atrocious behavior of previous Fisher characters’ I was always riveted by their stories, often binge-reading huge sections of the book and waiting until the next time I could read. I did not feel this way about Marrow, I was never in a rush to find out what was going to happen next.
Marrow will appeal to people who enjoy psychological thrillers. There is quite a bit of internal monologue, so if this is not your thing you may not like the book. I found this inner monologue to be essential to the story as it is a very character driven book. This is more a character case study than a who-done-it. As always, I look forward to reading Fisher’s next book.