Susan M. (Ashland, OR)
Mimi Malloy At Last
This well written book teaches the reader to listen and look for stories. It is so easy to judge Mimi brushing her off as a contrary old woman. We learn of her black holes of memories as she struggles to revisit her painful childhood. Her evil Stepmother whose actions are appalling and very creepy are based on the Irish beliefs of fairies, changelings, and potions. We can not judge.
The "Irishness" that permeates this story is fascinating. The Stolen Child by Yeats now has new meaning.
I'm looking forward to reading more of the author's works.
Lucy B. (Urbana, OH)
This is not one of those "delightful" stories by any means. Mimi had a sad life as a child and it followed her into adulthood. How much sadness, especially beginning in childhood, can one person endure. The death of her mother and the appearance of the "UGLY stepmother" put it all into motion. Then trying to remember as an adult what happened in her childhood, I felt Mimi's memory was blocked due to her experience. Then to top it off, loosing her husband to another woman after have six children was another devastating blow.
In the story of Cinderella, Cinderella got away from her stepmother and found her prince charming. Has Mimi now found her prince charming after all the heartaches she has been through. I felt the author did a great job telling the story in Mimi's voice and leading us on through her story to the tragic outcome. This story was mesmerizing and I could not put the book down once I started reading it.
Jan T. (Leona Valley, CA)
You will fall in love with Mimi Malloy!
Julia MacDonell's Mimi Malloy at Last is heartwarming - both wise and humorous. You will get to know all her present and past relatives. The most touching are the family dynamics between Mimi and her daughters. There is also a dash of Irish whimsy. There are lessons about the power of forgiveness, love, memory and aging. You will be charmed at the end and won't want to say goodbye to Mimi. I loved it!
Jennifer B. (Oviedo, FL)
Mimi Malloy At Last
Mimi Malloy is completely believable. She and her mostly personable and numerous family members evoked many of my own memories. With a straightforward style of language Julia MacDonnell encourages her readers to think about life's events and turnarounds in their own experiences while exploring Mimi Malloy's story. I feared this book would fall into the sappiness category, but was pleasantly surprised to be proven wrong. There was a pleasant mixture of drama, romance and mystery that made me eager to keep reading. I shall be recommending Mimi Malloy At Last to my book club.
Dorothy T. (Victorville, CA)
Memories light the corner of my mind
I was not very sympathetic toward the main character of this novel, Mimi Malloy, a reluctantly retired 60-ish divorcee with six daughters, but as the story was told, with wit and humor, I began to like her more. If nothing else this book taught me not to accept someone at face value or by a single encounter; take time to get to know and understand another person, peel back a few layers, and you may be surprised by what you find.
I cannot say that the answer to the big mystery of the book was any surprise to me, however, but watching Mimi's memories return and the effect those revelations have on her and on her relationships with her sisters and her daughters made this a worthwhile read.
Susan J. (Twain Harte, CA)
Healing the Past
This is a family saga about memories triggered by a pendant Mimi finds in her closet. It starts off light-hearted and humorous; I was expecting a pleasurable read similar to Jeanne Ray's books. Mimi isn't particularly worried about her memory issues which greatly concern her sisters and daughters. Mimi, her surviving sisters, and her daughters are the heart of the story, but five generations come into play, from Mimi's grandmother, Nana, who believed in putting the past behind, to her sister's grandson, whose genealogy project has caused the family to pressure Mimi to reveal family secrets which she has completely repressed. Daughter Siobhan believes in learning about the past in order to understand it, and her reconciliation with her mother comes about as Mimi gradually recovers her memories.
The novel becomes darker and more emotional as the tragedies of the past are revealed. It is no wonder that Mimi can't recall her father's failings and her stepmother's inhumanity.
In contrast are the lies of false memories, which have resulted in friend Duffy's son being incarcerated as a pedaphile, and the false memory of sister Fagan's disappearance which no doubt contributed to Mimi's traumatic memory loss.
The horror of Mimi's recovered memories is balanced by the healing of her relationships with her sisters and daughters as well as her sweet relationship with Duffy.
I loved the chapter titles, all songs by Mimi's favorite, Frank Sinatra.
I temporarily lost the book in a restaurant when I was only halfway through, and I was really upset that I'd have to wait until the book was released to finish it. When the book showed up, I was so relieved. I hadn't realized until then how caught up I was in the story. I can't wait for this author's next book.
Robin F. (Tucson, AZ)
mimi malloy at last
This book was so enjoyable. Mimi,the central character, is fun to read about. She has family that is determined to live her life for her, in a direction she doesn't want to go.
I just finished a book called Still Alice when I started Mimi, so, at times, both books blended together. I, too, am retired, so forgetting things isn't unusual. However, this book has spirit. Having the author introduce Duffy made the book even better to read. While we learned about Mimi's life, it was also a pleasure to learn about Duffy. Mimi was lucky in many ways to have family that cared about her. I would recommend this book to my book club.