Possessed by Jowita Bydlowska

A woman possessed by lust for a much younger man, a cold and distant mother suffering the early stages of dementia, and the ghost of a man long dead come together in a journey to self-discovery and self-love.

Possessed is a story of Josephine, a 30-something woman coming to terms with a life which does not make her happy and in the end finding joy in herself. Crushed by her mother’s inability to love and nurture her, wallowing in self-loathing, Josephine finds distraction from this pain in the torture of another kind of unrequited love – that of a selfish younger man who promises nothing and has her on speed dial for sex on his terms – while trying to shake her lingering need for her older ex-lover.

In this complicated brew, Josephine’s demons are figurative and literal, until another young man – one not of this world – helps her find a path to her first truly requited love, that for herself. What the reader gets with this book is a heavyweight of lyrical language, a meandering and gloriously messy exploration of a life not truly lived, liberally sprinkled with exquisitely crafted erotica, and the supernatural. Yes, there is a lot of erotica; this is not the book for those offended by terms both clinical and vulgar. Yet the vulgarity is spun into a beautiful and moving tapestry; while sometimes shocking, it is never awkward or cringeworthy. Dark and cutting, this book holds themes of mental illness, self-loathing and sexual masochism, but also of hope and healing.

I did not find this book funny as the jacket blurb suggested it could be, and there is a jarring change of point of view three-quarters of the way through. I did wonder at times where the plot was going and what was the point, but in the end, I was left satisfied and in awe of this author’s brilliant prose and skillful treatment of difficult subjects.

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About the Author

Jowita Bydlowska was born in Warsaw, Poland, and moved to Canada as a teenager. She has published two bestselling books: the memoir Drunk Mom and a novel, Guy, as well as dozens of short stories in various magazines and journals. Jowita lives in Toronto.

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Rare Machines (Oct. 4 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 336 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1459748077
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1459748071

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