May 8, 2015

Review: MARROW by Tarryn Fisher

Buy links: Amazon / Kobo

Author links: Website / Twitter / Goodreads


In the Bone there is a house.

In the house there is a girl.

In the girl there is a darkness.

Margo is not like other girls. She lives in a derelict neighborhood called the Bone, in a cursed house, with her cursed mother, who hasn’t spoken to her in over two years. She lives her days feeling invisible. It’s not until she develops a friendship with her wheelchair-bound neighbor, Judah Grant, that things begin to change. When a neighborhood girl, seven-year-old Neveah Anthony, goes missing, Judah sets out to help Margo uncover what happened to her.

What Margo finds changes her, and with a new perspective on life, she’s determined to find evil and punish it–targeting rapists and child molesters, one by one.

But hunting evil is dangerous, and Margo risks losing everything, including her own soul. 



It [sadness] pervades, lasts longer, and replaces the good feelings with such an eloquent ease you don’t even feel the shift until you are suddenly wrapped in its chains. How hard we strive for happiness, and once we finally have the elusive feeling in our grasp, we hold it briefly, like water as it trickles through our fingers. 

Marrow is the novel which explores the darkest corners of human psyche. 
When the novel starts, we meet Margo as a poor, tortured teenage girl; however, while some would choose to be victims, and feel sorry for themselves, Margo takes matters into her own hands. She's not the passive type and it was so refreshing to read about one such heroine. She in an unreliable narrator and there are a lot of inner monologues which sometimes made the pace rather slow. However, despite this being more of a character-driven novel, the second half was almost fast-paced. I got so absorbed into the story, I wanted to know who is Margo’s next target, what is real, what is not..? 

Furthermore, I love Fisher’s writing style – so effortlessly poetic, simple, yet complex. It’s not difficult to read, it doesn’t seem as if she’s trying too hard, yet it’s like every sentence she weaves manages to convey something meaningful.

Also, the way novel is structured shows the level of Fisher’s dedication. At the beginning, we get a lot more Margo’s thoughts, we acquire a false sense of familiarity, like we know her. In the second half, a feeling of detachment is more prominent. Margo loses touch with her humanity, her inner goodness; therefore, we lose some connection with her as well. Furthermore, the beginning is more static, but when Margo takes fate into her own hands, when she takes control of her life, the plot moves faster, things move more dynamically. 

In one of my status updates, I’ve mentioned how this book reminded me of an Criminal Minds episode, you know that part before the theme song, when they show the serial killer stalking his/her next victim. Well, that’s what you get here. No Dr. Reid sadly. We’re witnessing things from the other side of law.

And that part, Margo on the hunt, executing her poetic vengeance was so morbidly fascinating. How often do you get the chance to peek inside the darkness of someone’s mind? It’s one of the reasons, I believe, why we enjoy reading crime novels, watching crime TV shows and the like. We wish to understand them; why are killers, psychos the way they are. Are they born that way or did society influence them?

And that to me was the biggest question this novel posed. How defined we are by our upbringing, our childhood, love we attained or didn't. All those circumstances are crucial for the development of our personality, but in the end, we are the ones solely responsible for our actions. The choice is up to us. Always was and always will be. That’s the way life works. 
And Margo sure did choose to act. 

Finally, I think the fact that some things are left unexplained and may leave us confused is done on purpose. You are free to interpret it as you wish; Margo is complex, that’s for sure, this novel as well, so it would be oversimplification to expect one concrete answer. Ambiguity is in the marrow of this novel. 
And wicked, disturbing stories seem to be in Tarryn Fisher's marrow, and I can't wait for the next one. I love them and some authors are just brilliant at delivering them. T. Fisher is certainly one of those!
“Just tell me one thing,” he says. “Does your heart still beat … with the ache and pain there? Does it still beat?” “Yes,” I say.“That’s because humans are built to live with pain. Weak people let their pain choke them to a slow, emotional death. Strong people use that pain, Margo. They use it as fuel.”



  1. So much love for this author! One of these days, I really want to read her books.

    1. I really hope you do. :)
      T. Fisher's books really linger with you, for a long time after you finish reading them!


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