Meet Mimi Malloy: A daughter of the Great Depression, Mimi was born into an Irish-Catholic brood of seven, and she has done her best to raise six beautiful daughters of her own. Now they're grown, and Mimi, a divorcée, is unexpectedly retired. But she takes solace in the comforts of her new life: her apartment in the heart of Quincy, the occasional True Blue cigarette, and an evening with Frank Sinatra on the stereo and a highball in her hand. Yet her phone is arguably the busiest in greater Boston - it rings "Day In, Day Out," as Ol' Blue Eyes would say. Her surviving sisters love to gab about their girlhood, while her eldest, Cassandra, calls every morning to preach the gospel of assisted living. And when an MRI reveals that Mimi's brain is filled with black spots - areas of atrophy, her doctor says - it looks like that's exactly where she's headed, to spend her days in "a storage facility for unwanted antiques."
Mimi knows her mind is (more or less) as sharp as ever, and she won't go down without a fight. As she prepares to take her stand, she stumbles upon an old pendant of her mother's and, slowly, her memory starts to return - specifically, recollections of a shocking and painful childhood, a sister who was sent away to Ireland, and the wicked stepmother she swore to forget.
Out of the ashes of Mimi's deeply troubled history, Julia MacDonnell gives us a redemptive story of the family bonds that break us and remake us. Mimi Malloy, At Last! is an unforgettable novel, alive with humor, unexpected romance, and the magic of hard-earned insight - a poignant reminder that it's never too late to fall in love and that one can always come of age a second time.
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT
I'm at my table by the window, watching, without wanting to, other tenants rush off to work, bundled up against the frigid morningrunning to catch the T, or starting their cars, warming them up in the parking lot before they take off for offices, stores, banks, schools, hospitals, wherever, just the way I used to, not so long ago. The only work I'm doing now is on my first cup, Maxwell House Master Blend, and a True Blue, lit with the last match from a splint book picked up at Grab & Go. I'm enjoying the first drag, if not the scenery, when, like an alarm, my phone rings. I check the time. Just past eight. I let it ring a few more times. It's got to be Cassandra, my firstborn. This time of day, she works on her to-do list, at the top of which is my name, my life, her plans to make it better scribbled underneath.
"Mimi, there's an open house tomorrow at that new seniors' complex, Squantum River Living." She's ...
Julia MacDonnell's novel, Mimi Malloy At Last held me captive from the first page. I often found myself losing track of time, reading late into the night. The novel, while set in present day New England takes us back to Mimi's long forgotten childhood trauma, repressed as a survival instinct that will no longer be denied resolution. This novel has earned a place on my read again bookshelf.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers).
Full Review (1173 words).
Autumn of Age. Isn't that a beautiful phrase? It conjures the image of magenta and orange leaves falling from trees, and the landscape preparing to take stock for a season, quietly hunkering down, stripping itself of the old, and getting ready for the new.
In the First Impressions Review of Mimi Malloy At Last, by Julia MacDonnell, one reviewer offered this: "We read Coming of Age books, but this is the opposite. This book is the Autumn of Age." And it really is! Mimi Malloy grew up in the Great Depression. She has six grown daughters, is divorced, and has recently retired. She is in her 60s, well past the typical coming of age age, and yet it is at this moment in time – just when her own wind is blowing and she, like the ...
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