Marilou Is Everywhere: A Novel, Smith, Sarah Elaine

Marilou Is Everywhere: A Novel

Authors: Smith, Sarah Elaine

Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group

ISBN: 9780525535263

Classification: Non-Fiction

Synopsis: Finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize for First Fiction

One of NPR’s Favorite Books of 2019

A SKIMM READS PICK

A BELLETRIST BOOK CLUB PICK

"This novel reads like a miracle." —NPR

Consumed by the longing for a different life, a teenager flees her family and carefully slips into another — replacing a girl whose own sudden disappearance still haunts the town.


Fourteen-year-old Cindy and her two older brothers live in rural Pennsylvania, in a house with occasional electricity, two fierce dogs, one book, and a mother who comes and goes for months at a time. Deprived of adult supervision, the siblings rely on one another for nourishment of all kinds. As Cindy's brothers take on new responsibilities for her care, the shadow of danger looms larger and the status quo no longer seems tolerable.

So when a glamorous teen from a more affluent, cultured home goes missing, Cindy escapes her own family's poverty and slips into the missing teen's life. As Jude Vanderjohn, Cindy is suddenly surrounded by books and art, by new foods and traditions, and most important, by a startling sense of possibility. In her borrowed life she also finds herself accepting the confused love of a mother who is constitutionally incapable of grasping what has happened to her real daughter. As Cindy experiences overwhelming maternal love for the first time, she must reckon with her own deceits and, in the process, learn what it means to be a daughter, a sister, and a neighbor.

Marilou Is Everywhere is a powerful, propulsive portrait of an overlooked girl who finds for the first time that her choices matter.

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