The Misfortune of Marion Palm

The Misfortune of Marion Palm A wildly entertaining debut about a Brooklyn Heights wife and mother who has embezzled a small fortune from her children s private school and makes a run for it leaving behind her trust fund poet hus

  • Title: The Misfortune of Marion Palm
  • Author: Emily Culliton
  • ISBN: 9781524731908
  • Page: 113
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A wildly entertaining debut about a Brooklyn Heights wife and mother who has embezzled a small fortune from her children s private school and makes a run for it, leaving behind her trust fund poet husband, his maybe secret lover, her two daughters, and a school board who will do anything to find her Marion Palm prefers not to think of herself as a thief but rather a womaA wildly entertaining debut about a Brooklyn Heights wife and mother who has embezzled a small fortune from her children s private school and makes a run for it, leaving behind her trust fund poet husband, his maybe secret lover, her two daughters, and a school board who will do anything to find her Marion Palm prefers not to think of herself as a thief but rather a woman who embezzles Over the years she has managed to steal 180,000 from her daughters private school, money that has paid for European vacations, a Sub Zero refrigerator, and perpetually unused state of the art exercise equipment But, now, when the school faces an audit, Marion pulls piles of rubber banded cash from their basement hiding places and flees, leaving her family to grapple with the baffled detectives, the irate school board, and the mother shaped hole in their house Told from the points of view of Nathan, Marion s husband, heir to a long diminished family fortune Ginny, Marion s teenage daughter who falls helplessly in love at the slightest provocation Jane, Marion s youngest who is obsessed with a missing person of her own and Marion herself, on the lam and hiding in plain sight.

    One thought on “The Misfortune of Marion Palm”

    1. The last book I read, The Rumor, a publisher tells a novelist with a wayward wife, "For once let the heroine be happy, not good." This advice was followed by Culliton. It's a strong story with equally strong characters, but not necessarily a nice story with nice characters. There's meat on the bones here. The women (young and old) meet life head-on older sister tells the younger sister, "Kick all the boys you want." Certainly not the makings of nice girls!I could have used another 50 pages or so [...]

    2. Marion Palm and her husband are both rather despicable, for very different reasons, and they are further surrounded by pretty despicable adults. In this web of distasteful people, even the couple's children are portrayed as innocents, perhaps, but with deeply rooted issues that will make them, it is hinted, rather distasteful adults in turn. In the entire book, there was only one character that was relateable, a nameless detective who took up maybe 15 pages or so of the entire novel.So then the [...]

    3. Thank you Penguin Random House for the ARC. Marion Palm is a criminal. She embezzles money. But how she does it and what happens turns into a very entertaining story.

    4. Marion Palm has been embezzling money from her daughters' school, and, one day, picks up and leaves her family. Day by day, we follow her husband, Nathan, her children, Ginny and Jane, Marion's colleagues and the administrators at the school, the detective on the case, and others in a wonderful and motley crew of characters as they struggle to figure out what happened to Marion. Virtually no one in this novel is particularly likable, and that is absolutely part of the charm. Readers may feel com [...]

    5. Another story about terrible people, with a protagonist whom we're supposed to cheer on (I think?) just because they surrender to their worst impulses and don't love anything or anyone. This is a mediocre book about owning and celebrating the worst parts of yourself. Short but exhausting.

    6. Marion Palm is on the lam. That's the first line. But how she came to embezzle $180,000 from her daughters' school coffers while working in their development office comes out in this witty, episodic novel which is told in explosive little bursts. At times she's front and center, at times, her increasingly feral daughters and trust fund husband who finds a new identity in the form of a blogger. Why Marion did what she did, how this affects her family -- it all comes together sort of like a Chuck [...]

    7. The most controlled prose I've read in a while. Trouble is, it's airtight- there's almost no breathing room.This is a Coen Bros. take on Maria Semple, but Ms. Culliton seems to mistake objectivity for verisimilitude, and/or maturity— it would have been better as a first-person, more skewed narrative. The writer's approach strips the story of most of its inherent humor.(And the chapters! Good Lord, not every 2 pages needs a thundering title. Is this a novel, or a series of short stories?)I find [...]

    8. A dark comedy that in it's outlook and gimlet look at class distinctions reminds me of Beryl Bainbridge's The Bottle-Factory Outing, with millennial Brooklyn standing in for early 70s London. Stylistically Emily Culliton's voice -- distant, observant, yet somehow still warm -- evoked Elizabeth Crane. There were times I felt like the book was too sad to keep on reading, yet I kept coming back to it and loved the ambiguity of the ending. Not a book for everyone, but one that slightly more adventur [...]

    9. I am a bit conflicted about this book. I didn't feel any affinity with any of the characters, despite the Brooklyn neighborhoods as the setting. Marion is not a sympathetic character, leaving her family after embezzling funds. The family is so dysfunctional that it's like a train wreck you can't turn away from, with a unique style of writing by the author. I like quirky, but not quite as depressing as the Palms.

    10.  I didn't quite know what to expect when I picked up author, Emily Culliton's, debut novel, THE MISFORTUNE of MARION PALM (Knopf). All I knew is that it was heralded one of those must-reads at BookExpo and it's been written up in just about every magazine as a must, must be read!Marion Palm steals money - from people and institutions, doesn't matter. But she doesn't like to think of herself as thief, but rather "a woman who embezzles." Over the years she's managed to steal $180,000 from her d [...]

    11. This compelling novel tells the story of a mother who, upon embezzling from her children’s school, which she also works at, goes on the run to avoid being caught. This entails leaving behind her husband and two daughters. Throughout the book you see, from multiple perspectives not only how her actions and the fallout from them impact her, her family and their community, but also what led to her embezzlement in the first place. It is fascinating to see the fallout and how everyone deals with it [...]

    12. ****I received a copy of this ARC as part of Penguin's FirstToRead Program!*****I DNF'd this book on page 78.*Unfortunately, this book did not end up being what I thought it was going to be. I was interested in Big Little Lies sorta vibe from the synopsis, but ended up getting more Gone Girl-esque flashbacks. Let me start off by saying I Hated Gone Girl, yes hate with a capital H and DNF'd it about halfway through. The reason for both of these falling short for me is simple: I don't give a shit [...]

    13. It's not funny.I was promised a comedic read, and I was expecting something like Forrest Gump, or the 100 Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared. Tragic characters, in tragic circumstances, with honest adventures, and feel good moments.Instead I got a woman abandoning her children, a husband with 2 mistresses, children suffering breakdowns to the point where a 13 year-old decides to start drinking. There is nothing funny here. There isn't any wit or lessons learned.It becomes a [...]

    14. The Palm family is not nice. A trust fund baby, Nathan Palm is only interested in satisfying his own needs. His wife, Marion, steals money from a Brooklyn private school to finance her departure from her family and any motherly responsibilities. Marion abandoned, their daughters, Ginny and Jane, at a restaurant, when she ran out on them and the check. No wondered they are self-absorbed and acting out. Overall, the characters are superficial with few if any redeeming qualities. Misfortune is usua [...]

    15. This book was a strange read for me. First off, it took me a LONG time to read, weeks however, something kept pulling me in. The tension line of Marion and her misdeeds proved subtly riveting, yet the book lacked something overall. I believe, from an editorial standpoint, it had to do with the overuse of the verb "to be" and these non-descriptive verbs slowed the book down. Culliton is a talented writer, and she apparently has or is working toward a PhD in fiction and it shows. For a first novel [...]

    16. I did not particularly enjoy this quirky novel. The writing lacked description or depth, unfolding the story in a choppy, unimaginative manner. Over the years, Marion Palm embezzled money from the private school her children attended and she worked for part-time. And then she left. A bizarre, poorly planned exit, leaving behind her family to become increasingly odd. Every character in the novel seemed to be mildly apathetic and unusual. The plot moved great distances in short, tight chapters. Un [...]

    17. This book was more style over substance. The shifting perspectives and present tense are interesting choices, but the story itself fell flat. Marion only got interesting in the last 1/3 of the book; everyone else felt like cardboard cut-outs.

    18. For a book that I waited quite a while for through the holds at my library, this didn’t live up to the wait or hype. This debut novel is about Marion Palm who embezzles from her daughters’ school and then takes off. That’s about the sum of it. The story plot was bland and the characters were very one dimensional. The one thing I can say it was a quick read.

    19. I'd love for Marion to team up with Martin from Matthew Dick's "Something's Missing," as the two would make a great klepto all-star team! This is a quirky, entertaining read.

    20. This is a bizarre book. It doesn't have enough forward direction or fully-fleshed characterization on paper, but yet I kept reading, and I did think, "Okay, well, there was something here," but I've yet to quite decipher what that something was. Marion is a troubled, strange, but standoffish sort of character to follow, and I can see glimmers of a fascinating look at what happens when a mother decides she needs to change her life and change it big, going from small subversions to One Big One. I [...]

    21. The description on the jacket as funny and "wildly entertaining" were certainly misleading to someone who hoped for a caper novel a la Donald Westlake. Marion is so very unlikable, and the daughters and husband she left behind pretty mixed up even before she left. He is an adulterer and one of the children likes to kick and punch other kids. With the exception of one teacher, who turns out spineless in the end, the administrators at the school Marion robs are pretty creepy.I am fine with multipl [...]

    22. The marketing for The Misfortune of Marion Palm promises wit and humor. Sadly, I find neither in the book. It is a sad snapshot of a family with unlikable characters who generate neither interest nor empathy. The marketing also promises an adventurous "bad girl" heroine. I am all for "bad girl" heroines to cheer for. However, I find myself not cheering for this one. Read my complete review at memoriesfrombooks/2017Reviewed for Penguin First to Read program.

    23. I must be losing me sense of humor because I didn't find this amusing one bit. On the contrary, I was annoyed with Marion and her dynamics to buy a ticket in order to escape. Why would you have to pull out $500 dollars to pay for a $20+ ticket? And, you are embezzling money but don't have a plan for when you are found out? And when you do run away you do so leaving your 8 year old daughter behind? Why? You never loved the child?I thought the book was self published but no, it is not; which makes [...]

    24. I received this book as a Giveaway.The description of this book was intriguing so I expected to enjoy it. Unfortunately, to the contrary, I found it tedious and the humor wasn't enough to offset it. I didn't like any of the characters in the dysfunctional Palm family, especially Marion.

    25. Save your time. Very disappointing, starting from the cover inwards. Can't remember why I chose it (probably a "summer reads" list), and I should have stopped well before finishing. Others here have covered the story, so I won't go over that. Unpleasant characters, dismal situations, and that ugly, ugly cover.

    26. DNF I found the characters oddly unlikable and the prose was stilted. Deeply disappointed as I was looking forward to enjoying this novel.

    27. Didn't really like the story but it's not entirely terrible. The characters are really superficial and there appears to be no real redeeming qualities in the majority of them.

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