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The book's narrator calls to mind a Boston-Irish Olive Kitteridge, as peppery as she is big-hearted. Now they're grown, and Mimi cherishes the comforts of her new life: Frank Sinatra on her stereo, walks with her super, Duffy, and spare time that is finally hers to spend.

Sure, her eldest worries about her memory lapses, and Mimi's surviving sisters, who love to gossip, question her indifference to the past. As far as Mimi is concerned, she's entitled to enjoy the present—and that includes the occasional Manhattan.

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But when she stumbles upon a long-lost pendant of her mother's, recollections of a shocking and painful childhood begin to surface. With the help of her siblings and her daughters, Mimi must find the courage to confront her troubled history—and discover that the stories that refuse to be forgotten are the ones she ought to treasure most.

And when an MRI reveals that Mimi's brain is filled with black spots - areas of atrophy, her doctor says - it looks like she's destined to spend her days in "one of those storage facilities for unwanted antiques. Yet 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, including her 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. Genre: General Fiction.

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Packed to the brim with repressed memories from a traumatic childhood, Mimi refuses to outline her Irish ancestry or explore her Depression-era upbringing. But when she discovers an antique pendant that had once belonged to her mother, Mimi takes the first tenuous step down an extremely crowded memory lane. Bit by bit, she unveils the secrets that she has struggled to hide: a mother who died in childbirth, a secret sister sent away to Ireland and an abusive stepmother.

With the help of her sisters, Mimi slowly begins to piece together the mystery behind the disappearance of their beloved sister Fagan. In the background is a budding friendship between Mimi and her widowed superintendent, Dick Duffy. MacDonnell truly shines in creating a cast of unforgettable characters who struggle to forgive each other, spinning a story that recalls The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, though with a bit more of an edge.

Mimi Malloy, At Last!: A Novel

Mimi Malloy, at Last! Apr 06, Maura rated it really liked it. First the disclaimer: I received this book as part of the GoodReads free giveaway program. That said, this is a fantastic book! Engaging from the first page, all the characters are well written and fleshed out with details, and very believable. As you read, you'll be drawn in further to an engaging story of betrayal, loss, courage and laughter. While the family is Irish Catholic from Boston, the issues of aging, being estranged from family members, keeping family secrets, and family loyalty are First the disclaimer: I received this book as part of the GoodReads free giveaway program.

While the family is Irish Catholic from Boston, the issues of aging, being estranged from family members, keeping family secrets, and family loyalty are ones anyone can identify with. You will laugh at Mimi's predicaments, and shed a tear for poor Fagan. The book jacket says this is Julia McDonnell's first book in 20 years, I certainly hope it won't be nearly that long for her next one, and I'll be finding her first, A Year Of Favor, on my next trip to the library. I give this 4. Jul 04, Joan Hanna rated it really liked it. MacDonnell weaves the present, the past, and all the possibilities for the future into an interesting fabric that reminds us of the resilience of the human spirit.

And while we begin the story wanting Mimi to be safe, we end the story realizing that she is truly the master of her life in ways we could never have imagined. Her resilience and strength in the face of loss and danger is more than an inspiration; it speaks to how women have always lived their lives and reminds us that even in the face of the most horrendous fear, our true strength will break through and always, always save us. May 01, Mari rated it it was amazing. I somehow expected this book to be light, entertaining and of the Marian Keyes variety which I love.

I was all off and I couldn't be happier. This book may not resonate for under 50s and being Irish adds another level of charm. I did not want to put it down, even to needlepoint!

Mimi Malloy, At Last!

It also speaks to the sense of memories, how clear are they,how exact is the information passed to us by the generation before us Don't miss it!!! Nov 17, Joanie Driemeyer rated it it was ok. I really disliked it at first. By the time I finished, it was OK. But just OK. Way too many characters the main character, 6 sisters and 6 daughters, plus the love interest The story didn't really flow - the skipping back and forth between past and present can work, but didn't transition well in this book.

It treated a serious subject child abuse in too lighthearted of an approach. Feb 11, Deborah Shaw rated it really liked it. I was a goodreads winner. It was a nice book to read. I didn't want to put it down. Aug 28, SundayAtDusk rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction-general. This story was a surprise. Looking at the title and book cover, I thought it was going to be more of a humorous type story of a divorced older woman who now had a lot of time to think about her life, and was going to do so because of a recent visit to a neurologist.

Instead, it turned out to be an exceptional story about a woman who has no intention of going into an assisted living home, and is beginning, for the first time in her adult life, to deal with painful childhood memories. She is not b This story was a surprise. She is not being assisted by a shrink, either; she has a daughter, who has had enough therapy for the both of them, to assist her.

And that is where both the fun and tears begin. There is a lot of both in this book, which is another reason it is exceptional. It is funny, it is sad, it is intelligent and it all seems very real. Mimi, her sisters, her daughters all seem like real women, particularly Mimi. This is not a story about impending illness or disability. It is not a story about a bitter divorced woman who dislikes living alone.

Mimi loves living alone, and having everything all nice and clean and in its proper place. She also likes her drinks and her cigarettes and her music and her television shows and her apartment's super. Mimi has more than enough phone calls, visits and get-togethers with family members.

She is glad to be rid of her husband, but still pines for the first home they lived in, when her daughters were so young. She is also glad to be rid of all her old childhood memories, but the dam holding them back starts leaking, just like her closet ceiling in the beginning of the book. Then, all those memories start flooding her mind, but Mimi is much too strong a woman to drown or to wallow in self-pity. With the help of her daughters and sisters, she puts all the pieces of her life story together, allowing dead family members to finally rest in peace and walls between her and some of her daughters to fall.

Apr 05, Nakeisha Campbell rated it really liked it Shelves: first-reads. However, things start to go haywire when one of her daughters drags her to the doctor for her memory problems. This causes her daughters to worry, and they consider sending her to a retirement home. But on top of this, Mimi also stumbles upon an old blue pendant that causes a fountain of her old memories to resurface. She recalls her relationship with her six sisters, her loving father, Da, and her evil stepmother, Flanna.

As she reflects on these disturbing flashbacks, she not only struggles to come to terms with all that happened, but she also manages to develop a stronger bond with her sisters and her daughters. But once I completed this book, I realized that it did so much more. It showed me the harsh, painful consequences trying to erase or repress old memories. It taught me that age is irrelevant when it comes to starting fresh and finding new love.

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And it allowed me to feel that indescribable, special bond between close siblings. I imagine that I would have disliked her character if the story were not told in her point of view, because on the surface, she often came off as a bitter and stubborn old lady. But once I got the chance to understand her on a deeper level, I began to relate to and sympathize with her.

  1. Mimi Malloy, At Last!: A Novel;
  2. Hardback Editions.
  3. The A to Z of the Shakers (The A to Z Guide Series);
  4. Mimi Malloy, At Last!.
  5. The Slonehill Mystery (The Slonehill Series Book 1).

The more I read, the more I started to love her as if she were my own grandmother. The metaphors, particularly, are just lovely. And as I read the story, I actually paused at certain points—just to marvel at how brilliant the comparisons were. So close like that, sleeping, breathing softly together, it was like we shared one body.

Lots of arms and legs, but a single heart and soul. When she shared those adorable moments with Duffy, I blushed and giggled and cooed too.

Julia MacDonnell on Mimi Malloy, At Last!

When she thought back to the warm memories with her precious Da, I just melted with joy. And whenever she thought back to those painful memories of Flanna, of how she ruined their entire family, I started to feel hurt, angry and afraid.