Cecile G. (Mansfield, TX)
Mimi Malloy at Last
Always looking for characters who make me laugh , I have enjoyed Mimi Malloy at Last, Julia MacDonnell's book featuring a senior citizen who craves her independence. Mimi is looking at her past and trying to understand her Irish-Catholic father and events of her childhood as well as her daughter's who are sure they know what is right for their mother in getting her to move to more protected housing. I was eager to return to the book after each sitting. I found it be a well written and entertaining novel. I will recommend Mimi's story to my book club and well read friends. I was uplifted by Mimi's spirit and her approach to a new relationship with the wonderful Duffy. A good novel for women of all ages, mothers, daughters and friends of mothers and daughters. Good job, Julia. Persons of Irish descent should find the novel irresistible The new cover was a definite improvement.
Rita K. (Bannockburn, IL)
At Last Closure for Mimi Malloy
At first I couldn't make up my mind whether or not I liked Mimi.
In the beginning she sounded like "poor me", but as the book progressed, you understood why. Her father whom she adored was very weak. He always overlook how cruel the stepmother was to Mimi and her five sisters. Then she married a man who was very controlling and with whom she had six daughters. At the end of the book, you really have to admire Mimi. I highly recommend this book.
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.
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.
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.
Diane W. (Lake Villa, IL)
Mimi and her generation
I started this book late Sunday evening, with the intent to read only a chapter and turn out the light. I continued to read it well into the night and finished it the next evening. Originally, I sensed it was a light novel about an independent, aging woman and her family....but as I got into it more and more, the story became complex, intriguing, and both sad/happy at the same time. Mimi strongly reminded me of my mother and her large family of sisters, raised before and during the great recession years, strongly Irish and Catholic --- and their way of never speaking the family secrets and code of "denial", I guess you'd say. Though happy and historic days were sometimes briefly discussed, there was always an air of deep sadness and many unspoken stories and memories, I believe, related to grief, fear, longing, and "things that weren't discussed", consciously or unconsciously forgotten or put away. Some of this behavior continues in my generation, as well..... This is a book I will ponder and fuss about in my mind for a long time. I enjoyed it immensely, while at the same time, feel a sense of loss about family history that may now be lost and never spoken about aloud.