Review: Iphigenia Murphy

Title: Iphigenia Murphy
Author: Sara Hosey
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 10, 2020
Rating: ★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Running away from home hasn’t solved Iphigenia Murphy’s problems. In fact, it’s only a matter of time before they’ll catch up with her. Iffy is desperate to find her long-lost mother, and, so far, in spite of the need to forage for food and shelter and fend off an unending number of creeps, living in Queens’ Forest Park has felt safer than living at home. But as the summer days get shorter, it all threatens to fall apart.

A novel that explores the sustaining love of friendship, the kindness of strangers, and the indelible bond of family, Iphigenia Murphy captures the gritty side of 1992 Queens, the most diverse borough in New York City. Just like Iffy, the friends she makes in the park–Angel, a stray dog with the most ridiculous tail; Corinne, a young trans woman who is escaping her own abusive situation; and Anthony, a former foster kid from upstate whose parents are addicts–each seek a place where they feel at home. Whether fate or coincidence has brought them together, within this community of misfits Iffy can finally be herself, but she still has to face the effects of abandonment and abuse–and the possibility that she may be pregnant. During what turns out to be a remarkable journey to find her mother, will Iffy ultimately discover herself?


This was an intense story.

Iphigenia runs away from her abusive home to live in a park where she thinks she can find her mother. She becomes friends with a transgender woman and a young man who has been kicked out of his home. She also takes care of a homeless dog. Her new friends help her wander through the park and try to find her mother.

There were some very difficult scenes in this book. Iphigenia was abused by her stepmother and stepbrother, and her father didn’t do anything to help. Her friend Corinne was abused by her boyfriend. There was also an upsetting scene where a woman claims to be the owner of Iphigenia’s dog. As a dog owner, it was difficult to read, because both girls felt like they had a claim to the dog but neither wanted to give her up.

I thought by the title of the book that there would be more of a Greek mythology storyline. I loved the play Iphigenia at Aulis when I read it in school. There were some similar themes to the play, and it followed the story in an abstract way, but I wish it had more Greek mythology references.

This was a good story, though it dealt with some upsetting issues.

Thank you Blackstone Publishing for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Wildfire by Carrie Mac

Echoes Between Us by Katie McGarry

Have you read Iphigenia Murphy? What did you think of it?

Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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