STARRED REVIEW
June 04, 2021

Indestructible Object

Mary McCoy

With her parents’ looming divorce echoing her own fractured love story, Lee can’t help but wonder whether falling in love is ever worth the risk of falling out of it. Could a series of mysterious objects Lee discovers in her parents’ study hold the answer?

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Lee Swan knows there’s an art to telling a love story. For the last two years, she’s put all her time and energy into a podcast produced from the attic of her Memphis home with her boyfriend, Vincent. “Artists in Love” chronicles the romances of famous creatives, and Lee has constructed her own happily ever after along the way. Then she and Vincent break up, leaving Lee artistically and emotionally unmoored. 

With her parents’ looming divorce echoing her own fractured love story, Lee can’t help but wonder whether falling in love is ever worth the risk of falling out of it. Could a series of mysterious objects Lee discovers in her parents’ study hold the answer? There’s a VHS tape of their disastrous engagement party, a passport her father received six months before Lee was born and a book of her mother’s poetry that’s dedicated to a man who isn’t Lee’s father. 

With help from a family friend named Max and a charming musician named Risa, Lee starts a new podcast to investigate her parents’ relationship. As Lee interviews her parents and their old college friends, she plumbs deep emotional wounds within herself and her family. She catches her parents in lies and confronts her own secret history of infidelity to Vincent. 

Through her newfound understanding of her polyamorous bisexuality, Lee begins to re-examine what she wants from life. Does she still have a future in Memphis, the city she’s always loved? Can she reconcile her love for her progressive Southern home with the reality that it still harbors deeply entrenched veins of racism and homophobia?

Author Mary McCoy’s previous novel, I, Claudia, won a Michael L. Printz Honor in 2019. Her spectacular follow-up, Indestructible Object, never offers easy answers, instead honoring her realistically flawed characters’ messy nuances. McCoy incorporates Lee’s podcast interviews and scripted voice-overs into the narrative with stylish flair, strengthening both the novel’s poetic tone and Lee’s striking first-person narrative voice. Lee’s journey toward even the hardest truths plays out with stunning emotional depth. This is a layered and vulnerable examination of everything that makes a heart beat—or break. 

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Indestructible Object

Indestructible Object

Simon & Schuster
ISBN 9781534485051

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