December 21, 2019

#BookReview: Iphigenia Murphy by Sara Hosey

Synopsis: Running away from home hasn't solved Iphigenia Murphy's problems. In fact, it's only a matter of time before they'll catch up with her. Iffy is desperate to find her long-lost mother, and, so far, in spite of the need to forage for food and shelter and fend off an unending number of creeps, living in Queens' Forest Park has felt safer than living at home. But as the summer days get shorter, it all threatens to fall apart.

A novel that explores the sustaining love of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and the indelible bond of family, Iphigenia Murphy captures the gritty side of 1992 Queens, the most diverse borough in New York City. Just like Iffy, the friends she makes in the park--Angel, a stray dog with the most ridiculous tail; Corinne, a young trans woman who is escaping her own abusive situation; and Anthony, a former foster kid from upstate whose parents are addicts--each seek a place where they feel at home. Whether fate or coincidence has brought them together, within this community of misfits Iffy can finally be herself, but she still has to face the effects of abandonment and abuse--and the possibility that she may be pregnant. During what turns out to be a remarkable journey to find her mother, will Iffy ultimately discover herself?


Sara Hosey holds a PhD in American literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is an associate professor of English and Women and Gender Studies at Nassau Community College. Her book, Home Is Where the Hurt Is: Media Depictions of Wives and Mothers (McFarland, 2019), looks at representations of the domestic in popular culture. Sara grew up in Queens and now lives in Sea Cliff, New York, with her partner and their children. She is working on a second novel.

Rating: ★★★★
My Review:  This book spoke to my heart and spirit.  I was once upon a time homeless for about 6 months growing up.  I was fortunate enough to be able to spend time in shelters that were were clean and having enough money to stay in hotels.  But there were a few times that we were stuck in our truck to spend the night.  It wasn't the worst time of my life.  But it sure wasn't the best either and its not an experience that I would like to repeat. This story is so heartbreaking and real.  I loved the parts where we got to learn more about Iphigenia's every day life. It was a real eye opener to this world of living on the street.  This is one story for the world to read and I hope to get my own copy of it soon. 

Go Into This One Knowing: Teen Homelessness

''Written in 90s straight-up Queens vernacular, Hosey s gritty and unflinching coming-of-age story offers hope without skimping on real-life issues. One of the most impressive things about Hosey s prose is her subtlety, allowing the reader to depict the hardships many people face by her use of silence. Iphigenia Murphy is a heart-wrenching, gritty, critical read.'' -- Mia Siegert, author of Jerkbait and the forthcoming Somebody Told Me

''Iphigenia Murphy by Sara Hosey is bound to be one of 2020 s best contemporary YA books...We can tell this story is going to be chock full of heart.'' --Hypable

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 Disclaimer: "All opinions are 100% honest and my own."  Thanks to Goodreads and Amazon for the book cover, about the book, and author information. Buying via these links allows my site to get a % of the sale at no cost to you. 

FTC Guidelines: In accordance with FTC guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials for bloggers, I would like my readers to know that many of the books I review are provided to me for free by the publisher or author of the book in exchange for an honest review. If am compensated for any reviews on this site I will state that post has been sponsored. 


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