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July 4, 2020

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power ~ a Review

by MK French


It's always been Margot and her mother, with no mention of family or whatever came before their rundown apartment. When she finds a photo pointing her to the town of Phalene, Margot rushes there to discover what home is like. There are secrets in the town, and now she feels like she might never escape.
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Burn Our Bodies Down cover
July 2020; Delacorte Press; 978-0525645627
audio, ebook, print (352 pages); YA mystery
There's a lot of mystery at the beginning that doesn't lessen in the first half of the book. Margot and her mother Josephine speak in cutting words and implied meaning at each other, a shorthand between the two of them. Margot wants a sense of family and history, especially with everyone else in her small town in Nebraska having that family. Josephine forbids it, but Margot takes off on her own to Phalene to see where she comes from. The truth was far more than I thought it would be, and quite the revelation that haunted me long after I put the book down.

It's interesting to see how Margot, Josephine, and Gram Vera Nielsen are all portrayed. They're sharp edges and mistrust, guilt and need, wanting and isolating at the same time. These aren't necessarily fun or happy people to be around, but they're fascinating and I can't help but want to know the story behind them as badly as Margot does. The sharpness had to come from somewhere, and what they don't say speaks volumes as much as what they do say. Their story is in the margins of their actions, each generation leaving off to the next to fix their mistakes.

I devoured this book quickly and felt bad for all of the characters involved. They are all flawed and trying the best that they can to survive in a world of whispers and unspoken pain. Sometimes, it really is up to the children to change that world for good.

Buy Burn Our Bodies Down at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever. 


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