Linda Murphy Marshall


2022 Best Book Awards – American Book Fest
Finalist in Nonfiction: Creative

Ivy Lodge

A Memoir of Translation and Discovery

Following the deaths of her parents, Linda Murphy Marshall returns to her Midwestern childhood home; in the process of going through each room, she evokes memories and insights from her patriarchal 1960s upbringing, and—informed by her training as a translator—finds new meanings in the often disturbing events that took place in that home.

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“A moving, courageously frank, and sharply intuitive account about a manor filled with memories…The author’s imaginative, elegant prose beguiles from the outset….Thoughtfully conceived, this deeply personal, acutely observed recollection is a captivating voyage to the past.” Kirkus starred review

“Murphy Marshall uses her skills as a professional translator to decode everything left unsaid…Murphy Marshall’s intimate knowledge of language shines through…Murphy Marshall is a clear-eyed raconteuse, translating her early life faithfully while preserving the mysteries of her family’s first language  – silence.”

Los Angeles Review of Books

“Marshall’s memories still carry a certain pain, even with the passing of time. However, in her collective portrait of Ivy Lodge and those who lived within it, she creates a compassionate whole, narrated in the acquired language of forgiveness.”

Foreword Reviews

“An insightful memoir…a sometimes painful, always poignant review of experiences that led to the writer and translator she is today.”

St. Louis Post Dispatch

“With carefully crafted narrative, Linda Murphy Marshall has written the next great memoir about her painful and still mysterious childhood. A multi-linguist, Murphy Marshall applies her language skills to translate the dialogue that still echoes.”

Donna Koros Stramella, author of Coffee Killed My Mother

“A comfortably white middle-class American family living in the Midwest: what could go wrong? Her memoir takes us deep into the dysfunction of one such family, “translates” parents’ actions into meaning.”

Chivvis Moore, author of First Tie Your Camel, Then Trust in God: An American Feminist in the Arab World

Ivy Lodge is a brave, beautiful book about the unspoken language of family. Linda Murphy Marshall is unafraid of looking in the dark corners of her childhood home to find meaning, peace, and light.”

Dawn Raffel, author of The Secret Life of Objects

“Marshall’s accomplished, incisive memoir….[H]er considerable acumen as a prose stylist…[H]er portraits of family and accounts of conflicts …prove as striking as her descriptions of her beloved dolls, her father’s toy soldiers, and Ivy Lodge’s lofty gables…..[S]he proves a persuasive, perceptive analyst of the ‘Murphy dynamic’….a touching reckoning with a family, a home, and one’s place in both, in elegant prose.”


“A unique memoir triggered by the death of the author’s parents…an exciting recollection…a captivating journey into the author’s past…A deeply personal and honest account that captures the reader’s heart early on…This book is a masterpiece of social observation and self-scrutiny…Highly recommended.”

Readers’ Favorite
“Translation, at its essence, is the rendering of one into another. Murphy Marshall journeys deep into the labyrinth of memory, perception, and the shapeshifting forces of identity. A beautiful debut.”
Harrison Candelaria Fletcher, author of Presentimiento: A Life in Dreams

Ivy Lodge pulses with the dynamic of family dysfunction and isolation. [Her] exploration of the ostentatious house in which she grew up peels back the layers and brings [it] into brilliantly sharp focus.”

Sue William Silverman, author of How to Survive Death and Other Inconveniences

“Using translation of languages to search for the meaning of family relationships, [she] takes the readers on a journey of recollection to understand her parents. [A] story of self-discovery through the language of love, [i]t is an extraordinary book.”

Allison Hong Merrill, author of Ninety-Nine Fire Hoops: A Memoir