A coming of age novel set in Queens, Iphigenia Murphy, tells the tale of one young woman and the people who become important in her life. The story hits on many themes that may be challenging for the reader – sexual assault, transgender topics, sexuality, self-discovery, homelessness, drug abuse, loss of family – in a way that cuts to the heart.
Sara Hosey does a beautiful job of painting the settings for the readers and giving us a real look into the soul of a young woman who’s seen too much and known more than a girl should ever know. Being someone who’s experienced some trauma, it was a little hard to read at places, but ultimately, it was worth the journey.
I loved experiencing Forest Park with Iffy, getting to know the characters that I might not give a second look in real-life, and meeting Angel.
Relating to this girl, Iffy, who’s nothing like me in almost every way filled me with compassion for her and for the real-life people who have stories so similar that the heart breaks as you recognize them.
Despite being a rather heavy read, there are lots of lovely moments. You cheer Iffy on in her triumphs, relating to her strength and cowering with her weaknesses and fears. You love her mother and hate Marcos. You delight with her in Corrine, despite the messed up life the girl has led and how desperately you want her to be well. You adore Angel and thank God for Ann.
I wouldn’t recommend this book for everyone. If you’ve got some nasty baggage and haven’t fully dealt with it, this book might be too much for you. If you’re on the journey, it could well be a healing moment in the process, though.
Far from a light read, Iphigenia Murphy is a moving novel that deserves a film starring some young, spunky young lady with bright eyes and the stoic-emotional movement of Anya Taylor-Joy.
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