Book 20 of my 2014 Reading Challenge
I received this book through a Goodreads First Reads giveaway and would like to thank them for the opportunity to read and honestly review this book.
Mimi Malloy At Last by Julia MacDonnell
Summary (via the book jacket)Forced into an early retirement, Mimi Malloy enjoys the simple things in life: True Blue cigarettes, her apartment in the heart of Quincy, and an evening with Frank Sinatra on the stereo and a Manhattan in her hand. Born into an Irish Catholic brood of seven, with six beautiful daughters of her own, she knows that life isn't just a bowl of cherries - that, sometimes, it's the pits. An when an MRI reveals that Mimi's brain is filled with black spots - areas of atrophy, her doctor says - the prospect of living out her days in an "Old Timer's Home" starts to look like more than just an idea at the top of her eldest daughter's to-do list.
Yet as Mimi prepares to take a stand, she stumbles upon an old pendant, and her memory starts to return - specifically, recollections of a shockingly painful childhood, her long-lost sister, Fagan, and the wicked stepmother she chose to forget.
4.5 almost perfect stars!
I could listen to elderly people tell me their life stories all day so it was very easy for me to get lost in this book. I love Mimi. She's quirky, spunky, and even a little flirty. The interactions between her and her super, Duffy, were absolutely adorable.
This was a deceptively light read. Mimi's memories were very heavy but while I felt sorrow and regret for her, I didn't walk away with a melancholy feeling and wouldn't classify this as an overall sad book.
I love the journey Mimi took but thought the ending, particularly the way everyone and everything came together so well after years and years of secrecy and resentment, was a little too quick and neat to completely mesh. It made me happy but kept this from being an unequivocal 5 star read.
I highly recommend this book and will definitely read anything else by the author.
**Note: I read an uncorrected proof of this book and the following quote may have been altered in the final copy.
"Black spots. My brain is full of them. Maybe that's where, neatnik that I am, stashed away all of my bad memories."