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The Problem with Murmur Lee the Problem with Murmur Lee the Problem with Murmur Lee

3.64  ·  Rating Details  ·  461 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
The bestselling author of "Before Women Had Wings" spins a wild new tale about the strong bonds among a group of friends that loses its quirkiest member, Murmur Lee. Exploring new literaryterritory while keeping to her native Floridian roots, Fowler is here at her most original and entertaining.
As a new year dawns over the island of Iris Haven, Murmur Lee Harp and her lov
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ebook, 224 pages
Published March 7th 2006 by Broadway Books (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 751)
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Karen
Nov 27, 2009 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is hands-down, a 5-star, truly literary work of art. I absolutely was immersed in it and the writing was gorgeous. It has been quite a while since I have read a book that really made me laugh out loud and shed tears in the same sitting. I didn't want it to end.

The characterizations were absolutely stellar. First, each character is fully developed through their own descriptions and narratives, as well as their own perceptions of the same world and the other characters' views of them. In
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Susan
Jun 24, 2009 Susan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book starts with the death of the main character, Murmur Lee, and then bounces back and forth between scenes from her past as well as from the current and future lives of her friends. I found this book to be thoroughly depressing. The character development was good, which is all that kept me from ditching this part way through.
Stephanie Holt
While reading this book, my desire to live near water surfaced. I grew up a short bike ride from Lake Ontario and spent many summer nights on the beach with friends. My moments of solitude were often taken by the less beachy areas of the shore. I believe there will come a time when I will reside close to water once again. I found certain perspectives in this book to be quite vulgur and I am not sure that it was necessary. Also, some of the characters made me uncomfortable. However, this discomfo ...more
Peggy Huey
Apr 19, 2014 Peggy Huey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I started this book after attending a presentation by author Connie May Fowler. She read from one of her works, and I wanted to experience more of her writing. "The Problem with Murmur Lee" deals with the title character's death from multiple points of view, including her own, as her friends cope with their loss and try to understand what happened to their friend. A thread running through the story covers what the actual cause of death was, presenting an intriguing and unique method for manslaug ...more
Elizabeth
When Murmur Lee dies (@ the age of 35), her friends and neighbors are distraught because she was a kind and compassionate person; a person who made a difference in their lives. Charlee was her close friend, who moved to the North, but has come home to the southern island of Iris Haven on account of taking care of Murmur's will. Charlee also needs time to sort out her own personal struggles. Murmur Lee, from beyond the point of death, is having flashbacks to incidents before she was born. These f ...more
Fran
This book was really great! I loved the variety of the characters and the weaving of the tale of how each of them coped with the death of their beloved friend, Murmur Lee. I was also intrigued with the author's way of weaving the journey of Murmur's soul and the story of the island's name, Iris Haven named for the Greek goddess charged with receiving the souls of women. Nice twist.
Kaitlin
Jun 14, 2015 Kaitlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Murmur Lee is dead. She is some kind of in-between - no longer in her body, and even without control of whatever physical presence she has left. But she can see and think and has emotions. She watches events unfold in the present, and is able to go backwards and see the moment she was conceived and some other moments that help her understand her life.

The reason for her death is explained near the end of the book. The resolution is perfect, if not fully plausible, and was a surprise to me (though
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Arrial
Dec 06, 2009 Arrial rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine someone dies, yet their spirit is everpresent. Murmur Lee lives in small island community in the southern states, she drowns one New Years Eve. In this story Murmur Lee's friends set out to find out the truth, finding out as much about themselves as they do about others. Written with humour as well as compassion we are drawn into the island community of Iris Haven . We learn about the characters , their loves, loyalties, and relationships to others and how they grieve Murmur in their own ...more
Heather
Dec 26, 2007 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Floridians, Southerners, Women
This book is wonderful. Like many of CMF's books, it is an exploration and a self discovery.

I cannot say too much about the book without giving it away. However, I will tell you a story. I finally had the opportunity to meet Connie May Fowler at the Decatur Library on the book tour for this book. I took my brother along. We are both from Jax Fl. CMF lives in St Augustine. She is just as beautiful as her books. I told her how I one time met a Bukowski Scholar who attended grad school in Ohio wit
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Susan
Mar 29, 2010 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-reads
This is a strange story about a young woman who dies and the friends she leaves behind. Murmer Lee is a “free spirit”. She is very likeable, as is apparent by the close circle of people she leaves behind to deal with her death. The story is told in short chapters, each written from the viewpoint of one of her friends, and from Murmer herself. As the story is told Murmer views episodes from her life and learns a lot about her family and her life. I liked the way the story was laid out and the qui ...more
Beverly Letsche
Jun 01, 2014 Beverly Letsche rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first book by Connie May Fowler. I found her to be reminiscent of Dorothy Benton Frank and Sue Monk Kidd. I cried, I laughed. It was original and very affecting. I would highly recommend it.
Jennifer
Jan 16, 2016 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a short novel, 200 pages, about a group of very eccentric friends and what happens when one of them dies. I really liked their compassionate bond that they had for each other.
Kate Cone
Sep 17, 2013 Kate Cone rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Connie May Fowler was my workshop teacher last year at the Vermont College of Fine Arts writers' conference. I got to know her a bit before I read her novel. She is first a poet, and that shows in her lyrical prose and beautiful descriptions of her Florida setting. Murmur Lee dies and no one knows how. She lives beyond her death, though, describing what her experience is like and what she's feeling. We get to know her through her quirky group of friends and the man who was the last to see her al ...more
Cathy
Dec 01, 2015 Cathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book about a collection of friends and aquaintances living near St.Augustine, Fla., They're colorful, some would say odd, and the book is told with their many different voices. It's not quite up there with Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil but these people couldn't survive in Omaha or Cleveland. I don't want to say too much about the plot because that's part of the charm of the book. It's not a feel good piece, bad stuff happens and people are hurting, but there are enough l ...more
Pamela
Sep 05, 2015 Pamela rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Probably 2.5. The writing bothered me, and the story line as well. Might not have finished it, but for the recommendation of a friend.
Alexis
Sep 15, 2007 Alexis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked this one, didn't LOVE it. It is a little Lovely Bones-ish, only I liked Lovely Bones so much better. The main character, Murmur, is killed in the beginning of the book, and the rest of the book is about her observations as a ghost (again, not nearly as intriguing as Sebold's) as well as her friends' reactions to her death. I think the problem for me was that although I really loved Murmur as a character, her friends all seemed like caricatures of quirkiness rather than like interesting peo ...more
Dawn Michelle
Nov 17, 2007 Dawn Michelle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: NO ONE!
I read the first 50 pages and had to quit. My friend that recommended this book to me compared it to "The Lovely Bones" (which is doing that great book a HUGE disservice!), but this is a far weaker and much MORE profane book!!
There were many "F" words (and I am not a prude when it comes to books. I have read many that have lots of language and wasn't offended like I was with this one) and the like, but when one of the characters started to repeatedly use the "C" word, I knew I was done with this
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Jeri Allison
Sep 12, 2015 Jeri Allison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful writer!
PacaLipstick Gramma
The story is very lyrical, and the mysticism created by Murmur Lee with her potions, lotions and "witchy" ways was entertaining. Even in life Murmur seemed to float through it, creating an aura about her that drew people in.

I didn't think the story was outstanding, but I thought it offered insight as to how much we do influence people's lives ~ even when we think we don't.

I enjoyed Ms Fowler's autobiography, When Katie Wakes, and Remembering Blue has been my favorite so far by this author.
Chana
As I recall this book was very interesting on several levels. It was an interesting mystery. It was interesting medically. It was interesting mystically and it was interesting culturally. It has a lot going for it. That said, some of the language was offensive and the portrayal of death, not immediately but as time goes on, was boring. The characters were both marvelous and sad/ridiculous. The message that I took away? Treasure life right now, we don't know how long it will last.
Amy
Aug 01, 2009 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quirky characters, interesting plot, potential to enter into some deep topics…too bad it just didn’t quite gel. An interesting look at the death of Murmur Lee through multiple voices including her own, unfortunately Connie May Fowler just scratched the surface in this one and then tied things up a bit too sweetly. I did read it on the plane and it is perfect for that; short chapters, strong voices, interesting characters, not too much thinking involved in reading this one.
Amy
Aug 04, 2015 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a beach, sex, alcohol and a cooky little beach town so calling it the obligatory "summer read" is appropriate but it's a heavy book with some heavy subject matters.
Judith
Sep 26, 2014 Judith rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice light read.
Jeanine Halada
Jun 22, 2011 Jeanine Halada rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-books
For those of you who liked THe Lovely Bones, read this novel--it is so much better. Fowler takes the reader on a magical trip which embraces the physical and spiritual worlds simultaneously. Murmur Lee is fascinating and one wants to keep rooting for her -- almost to will her back to the living, but mostly for her and us to discover who ended her presence on the physical earth and to allow her spirit to travel where satisfied spirits travel.
Patricia
incredible book. The author's character development is impeccable and brings each player to life. For those of you who have ever felt left out, bullied or underappreciated this book is for you. The twist at the end is a real mind-blower. Oh. not to mention it is a "murder" mystery. With each character trying to find out what happenend to Murmur Lee and their reminisces of her as a friend and confident.
Joyce
Oct 14, 2012 Joyce rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a page turner in spite of its "give-away" beginning. I was attracted by its "Florida cracker" characters and setting, found it highly descriptive and well written, but a little over the top in credibility with characters a little too saintly or demonic and I needed a little more development of minor characters to understand their tragedies and heartaches or general bastardliness!
sisterimapoet
Dec 02, 2009 sisterimapoet rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to sisterimapoet by: Mew
Shelves: fiction-2009
A nice little story - just what the librarian ordered this rainy week!

I wonder if Fowler has a thing about drowning? her last novel I read also centred on watery death.

I like novels that pull together multiple perspectives. They seem to give an insight into how reality works.

I liked the quirky characters. And I liked the afterlife perspective that Murmur Lee shared with us.
fyc
Jun 03, 2009 fyc rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was really great! I loved the variety of the characters and the weaving of the tale of how each of them coped with the death of their beloved friend, Murmur Lee. I was also intrigued with the author's way of weaving the journey of Murmur's soul and the story of the island's name, Iris Haven named for the Greek goddess charged with receiving the souls of women. Nice twist.
Cindy Van Iwaarden
Murmur Lee is a soft light in the lives of her friends. Her boy friend is too cowardly to save her from drowning, and so we learn from all those who loved her how she brought love and light into their lives.
Sarah
Sep 30, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Adult fiction. When the great-great granddaughter of a wealthy industrialist drowns, the woman's best friend returns to their island home to search for the truth, while a transsexual ex-marine strives to defend the late woman's reputation against local rumors, and an egotistical man finds himself unable to forget his lost love.
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