Marlena

Front Cover
Pan Macmillan, Apr 26, 2017 - Female friendship - 352 pages
An electric debut novel about love, addiction, and loss; the story of two girls and the feral year that will cost one her life, and define the other's for decades. Everything about fifteen-year-old Cat's new town in rural Michigan is lonely and off-kilter, until she meets her neighbor, the manic, beautiful, pill-popping Marlena. Cat, inexperienced and desperate for connection, is quickly lured into Marlena's orbit by little more than an arched eyebrow and a shake of white-blond hair. As the two girls turn the untamed landscape of their desolate small town into a kind of playground, Cat catalogues a litany of firsts -- first drink, first cigarette, first kiss -- while Marlena's habits harden and calcify. Within the year, Marlena is dead, drowned in six inches of icy water in the woods nearby. Now, decades later, when a ghost from that pivotal year surfaces unexpectedly, Cat must try to forgive herself and move on, even as the memory of Marlena keeps her tangled in the past. Alive with an urgent, unshakable tenderness, Julie Buntin's Marlena is an unforgettable look at the people who shape us beyond reason and the ways it might be possible to pull oneself back from the brink.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
6
4 stars
10
3 stars
5
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Smokler - LibraryThing

Julie Buntin has done something quite special here: Write a novel that takes place in both the present and the past, that's about growing up and loss, that manages to honor that very tall order she ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JReynolds1959 - LibraryThing

This is a good novel about a relationship between two young girls who come together because of circumstances. While Marlena has lived in Silver Lake all her life, Cat is new to the whole area and ... Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2017)

Julie Buntin is from northern Michigan. She attended NYU's MFA program in fiction, where she was an adjunct instructor and the recipient of a Starworks Fellowship. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, Cosmopolitan, O, The Oprah Magazine, Bustle, Slate, Electric Literature, and One Teen Story, among other publications. She teaches fiction writing at Marymount Manhattan College, and is the Director of Writing Programs at Catapult. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Bibliographic information