March 15, 2022
Blurb: I am a girl. I am a monster, too.
Each summer the girls of Deck Five come back to Marshall Naval School. They sail on jewel-blue waters; they march on green drill-fields; they earn sunburns and honors. They push until they break apart and heal again, stronger.
Each summer Margaret and Rose and Flor and Nisreen come back to the place where they are girls, safe away from the world: sisters bound by something more than blood.
But this summer everything has changed. Girls are missing and a boy is dead. It’s because of Margaret Moore, the boys say. It’s because of what happened that night in the storm.
Margaret’s friends vanish one by one, swallowed up into the lies she has told about what happened between her and a boy with the world at his feet. Can she unravel the secrets of this summer and last, or will she be pulled under by the place she once called home?
So that I don’t inadvertently say something spoiler-ish, I’m offering an extremely simplistic synopsis: Margaret Moore is a poet, a dreamer, a girl who believes that everyone is good, and she falls in love. In the process she keeps secrets from her best friends, the ones who would kill and die for her. And then everything falls apart in Hannah Capin’s I Am Margaret Moore.
I Am Margaret Moore is one of the most poetic and emotionally gripping novels that I have ever read. There was something in the repetition of Hannah Capin’s prose that caught me and dragged me down into this dark lake of a novel. I felt incensed, annoyed, and so very angry at times.
Very early on I understood exactly what was happening, although I don’t suspect that many readers will guess so early on. Because of this, I did feel some frustration with the beginning of the novel, which dragged for a bit to me. However, the writing was so mesmerizing that I never grew so frustrated that I wanted to quit. Quite the opposite in fact. I needed to know that there would be justice.
The prose is dense and poetic, like a dream, and very often a nightmare. I can’t help but feel that this would not be an easy or even desirable novel for readers who want quick and easy but the effect of the prose, this unbalancing of the reader who might even hope that the scientific idea that time does not travel straight might open up the novel’s world to a different outcome.
I Am Margaret Moore is a difficult novel to review because I can’t quite comment enough on the story without giving away vital points. Suffice to say, this is one novel that will stay with me for a long time mainly due to Capin’s ability to raise so many emotions with her writing. This isn’t an easy novel to read both because of content and style, but it is so very effective.
Last note. I Am Margaret Moore is listed as a young adult novel. I would suggest the upper ages of young adult.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.