Book Review: Bad Marie

Bad Marie

Marcy Dermansky

Harper Perenniel

240 pages

Bad Marie opens with Marie living in her friend Ellen’s chic New York apartment working as a nanny for Ellen’s young daughter Caitlin.  In fact, the opening of the book involves Ellen and her husband Benoit coming home after a night out and discovering Marie passed out drunk in the bathtub with Caitlin. Creepy, right?  Ellen is of the same mind.  She had been kind enough (and dumb enough) to let Marie into her home even though Marie has just been released from prison.  She let’s Marie know that she is no longer welcome in her home.  What happens from that point on is simply unbelievably ridiculous, in a good way.

Without giving too much away (I hope), Marie flees to Europe with Benoit and Caitlin.  She cares deeply for Caitlin and has been intent on seducing Benoit from early on, which proves to be an easy feat.  I won’t get into the escapades that ensue from there, but the situations Marie puts herself in and the decisions she makes stray further and further from what could be considered realistic.  I would say that in most cases, that would irritate me, but in this case I wasn’t bothered by it in the least.  I loved seeing what kind of scraps Marie was going to get herself into next.  It was fun to read about a character that was always flying by the seat of her pants!

Bad Marie is a gritty novel and Marie is a truly interesting character. It was hard to decide where my loyalties lay.  At times I was rooting for Marie, even though her behavior was often reprehensible.  I think part of this was because she really was a caring person at heart.  The love and affection she felt for Caitlin was palpable and seemed much more real that the love of Ellen and Benoit for their own child.

Speaking of Benoit, he was a real douche.  I could see why Marie was attracted to him, but really–his true character became evident pretty quickly.  Any type of paternal instinct that you might expect from a father was seriously lacking, and I quickly tired of him.

I loved the gritty drama that was Bad Marie.

Other Reviews:

Devourer of Books

The Book Lady’s Blog

Linus’s Blanket

Jenn’s Bookshelves

I borrowed this book from my local library.

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13 Responses

  1. I’ve read one other review about this and I know I have to read this one!! I love those gritty and disturbing novels — can’t wait to pick this one up!

  2. Whaaaaaat. Sounds like some off the wall soap opera. That’s awesome.

  3. Wow! Great review. I hadn’t heard of this book before venturing here.

  4. I agree with She above me – it does sound like a soap opera LOL a soap opera that would only be shown late at night. I quite like stuff like this though so I’ll pick it up if I see it around.

  5. Sometimes completely unrealistic situations work, and it sounds like that’s the case with this book. I’ll keep this one in mind.

  6. Another great review of this book! I can’t wait to read it!

  7. I think I might also like Marie herself, even if I didn’t always like her behaviour. I find I’m infinitely more forgiving towards fictional characters than towards people, as the whole exercise of stepping into their skin for the duration of the story makes them difficult to really judge.

  8. I’m remember lots of reviews about this book recently, I’m glad it’s as good as others have said. Sometimes I have a hard time with “bad” characters and really getting on their side, but I think I want to give this one a try sometime anyway.

  9. like kim, i get annoyed with characters who don’t toe the line. lol. i also get crazed from characters who do foolish things over and over.

    not sure this is for me, i passed on reviewing it because i was swamped with school work but maybe it’s for the best. marie might have irked me beyond reason. 🙂

    enjoyed your review, though!

  10. I missed this one somehow, but I can tell it’s probably not one that would be my cup of tea. I’m not really a fan of that cover either, and I think it might be turning me off from the story more than anything else.

  11. Hmmm…I’m having a really tough time finding any sympathy for Marie. The mom in me just bristles at this whole concept.

  12. Oh, this sounds really good!

  13. Benoit was definitely a jackass, but Marie was totally awesome, kidnapping and all!

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