Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Bad Marie by Marcy Dermansky
A woman takes a baby on a trip, despite it not being her baby
I loved this book and read it delighted in one sitting
It’s about Marie, three weeks out of prison, who for some inexplicable reason gets hired by her childhood friend to be a nanny for her only child. Marie likes being a nanny, on her terms, which include getting drunk and giving the baby in a bathtub, seducing her friend’s husband and snatching the kid for a transcontinental road trip. She’s an active character and this makes her interesting. Although the book is like a primer on bad decision making.
I loved the crackling limpid prose, the sharp to-the-point dialogue, the screwy flawed characters. Marie is incapable of following the rules as so far the rules have not served her well. She doesn’t seem to care about anyone, only Caitlin, her little charge. The tone is whimsical, and because of the child, there’s an undercurrent of real danger. Only in the final scene, however, do we taste the fear - would she really abandon the child, do something really evil to an innocent? All of Marie's other "marks" completely deserve being conned.
What makes the scenes come to life are crazy weird situations – a cat with no teeth gnawing on a cat food can. In a way, this is also a novel about Paris. It’s a road novel which makes the plot simple and direct. I really enjoyed it.