Elegies for the Brokenhearted (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

You can often tell a lot about someone by what they think of others. In Christie Hodgen's novel, there are five elegies written by Mary Murphy about five people who had an influence on her life. The prose is powerful and compelling, as more is revealed about Mary's own difficult life. This book will knock your proverbial socks off!

— From Mark B.

"Brokenhearted" is a generous word for these characters. Most of us would probably think of them as losers, not beautiful ones. Yet these are the people the narrator/elegist leans on and learns from as she negotiates her way through her mother's serial marriages and her search for her sister who has fled for parts unknown. Hodgen has written a novel of extraordinary empathy, evoking the spirit of Carson McCullers.

— From Terry

July 2010 Indie Next List

“In this savvy, spirited, moving, and surprisingly humorous novel, Mary Murphy tells her own story as she paints lively portraits of the people with whom she's crossed paths.”


Who are the people you'll never forget? For Mary Murphy, there are five, eulogized here in an utterly unforgettable voice. Mary tells the story of her own life--her childhood spent trading one home and father figure for another, her efforts to track down her rebellious sister, and her winding search for purpose--through her experiences and encounters with the people who shaped her path. The result is an unconventional and moving story about identity, family, and belonging.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393340235
ISBN-10: 0393340236
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: July 18th, 2011
Pages: 271
Language: English