Thursday, April 10, 2014
MIMI MALLOY AT LAST by Julia MacDonnell
Perhaps being 68-years-old and forced into retirement isn’t exactly a bed of roses. Neither is living on a fixed income or as Mimi Malloy puts it “fixed just above the poverty line - enough so you can survive, but not enough to have much fun.” Nonetheless, Mimi’s making the best of it. She’d be content to smoke her True Blues, listen to Frank Sinatra records and sip a Martini. Oh, if only she could do this in peace and quiet.
Mimi, the third of seven daughters once known as the glorious Sheehan sisters, is alone now. Some 15 years ago her husband divorced her and ran off with his bookkeeper. But she does have six daughters, one especially determined one - Cassandra who wants to see Mimi in an assisted living facility. No way as far as Mimi is concerned, although her financial situation is certainly precarious. And then there are those strange black spots on her brain that showed up on a recent MRI.
She does hear quite often from her four surviving sisters or as she calls them the Yik Yak Club. They love to talk about the past, remembering their youth. But Mimi has no desire to do this; she’d much rather forget about her impoverished childhood. However, it soon seems she has no choice.
Mimi’s grandnephew wants her help in making a genealogical chart. All are in favor of this and pester Mimi to contribute. Then she accidently comes upon her mother’s blue pendant whhich she had not seen in years. Her dear mother had died in childbirth, and was soon replaced by a stepmother, the beautiful Flanna who is the epitome of every evil stepmother seen or imagined.
As Mimi’s thoughts begin to coalesce she thinks of her younger sister, Fagan, who was only five when their mother died. Despite tongue lashings and slaps Fagan refuses to kowtow to Flanna. The other sisters were told she had been sent to live with a family in Ireland but would return to them....or would she?
Mimi Malloy At Last is a sad, funny story of life and family as well as a reminder that it’s never too late to love.
- Gail Cooke