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.

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

Heather McBriarty is an author, lecturer and Medical Radiation Technologist based in Saint John, NB. Her love of reading and books began early in life, as did her love of writing, but it was the discovery of old family correspondence that led to her first non-fiction book, Somewhere in Flanders: Letters from the Front, and a passion for the First World War. She has delivered lectures to the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, NB Genealogy Society, and Western Front Association (Central Ontario Branch), among others, on the war. Heather’s first novel of the “Great War”, Amid the Splintered Trees, was launched in November 2021.