Marrow Island

Marrow IslandMarrow Island by Alexis M. Smith
Published by Houghton Mifflin on June 7th 2016
Pages: 256
Format: ebook
Genres: Cults, Literary Fiction
See it @ Goodreads


A new novel from a former bookseller, author of the acclaimedGlaciers," tracks a young woman s return home to investigate a secretive community that has mysteriously rescued an island devastated by natural and chemical disaster and taken hold of one of her oldest friends. Twenty years ago Lucie Bowen left Marrow Island; along with her mother, she fled the aftermath of an earthquake that compromised the local refinery, killing her father and ravaging the island s environment. Now, Lucie s childhood friend Kate is living within a mysterious group called Marrow Colony a community that claims to be ministering to the Earth. There have been remarkable changes to the land at the colony s homestead. Lucie s experience as a journalist tells her there s more to Marrow Colony and their charismatic leader than they want her to know, and that the astonishing success of their environmental remediation has come at great cost to the colonists themselves. As she uncovers their secrets and methods, will Lucie endanger more than their mission? What price will she pay for the truth?In the company of "Station Eleven" and "California, Marrow Island "uses two tense natural disasters to ask tough questions about our choices large and small. A second novel from a bookseller whose sleeper-hit debut was praised by Karen Russell as haunted, joyful, beautiful, it promises to capture and captivate new readers even as it thrills Smith's many existing fans."

My thoughts on this book

Marrow Island is it a mini utopia or is it a dystopia? Ecologically devastated by an earthquake that destroyed an oil refinery years ago; the island is now an ecological commune, run by Sister J. Lucie’s father, who died on the island as a result of the earthquake, has returned to the island some twenty years later to visit a childhood friend. Something strange is going on.

Dark and brooding, Marrow Island, a carefully crafted work that left me wanting. I could not engage with the characters.

About Alexis M. Smith


Alexis M. Smith was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. Her debut novel, GLACIERS, has been translated into Spanish and Italian. It was a finalist for the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction and a World Book Night 2013 selection. MARROW ISLAND is the winner of a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award and a finalist for a Lambda Literary Award.

Alexis attended Mount Holyoke College, Portland State University, and holds an MFA from Goddard College. In 2015 she received a grant from Regional Arts & Culture Council and a fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission. She has written for Tarpaulin Sky, The Portland Monthly, Bon Appétit, The Portland Review, and in Lilac City Fairy Tales Vol. III. She lives with her wife and son in Portland, Oregon.

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