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The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh

The Last Will of Moira Leahy is Therese Walsh's debut novel.  It's breathtaking, heart pounding, tragic, and there's a bit of an unexpected twist to one part of the story that leads to a slightly hokey scene near the end, but I enjoyed the book.  The author does an expert job of drawing the characters--especially the smarmy, sinister 'villain.'

Moira and Maeve are twins who were once so close they spoke their own language and knew what the other was feeling.  In their sixteenth year Moira, driven by jealousy and spurned affections,  embarks on a secret love affair built on betrayal and deception.  The consequences irrevocably rend her family in pieces and destroy her relationship with her twin forever.

Over nine years later Maeve has left home and is teaching at a university.  She's left behind her beloved music and blocked out her past at the expense of love and friendships.  She buries herself in her work and keeps her almost boyfriend at a distance.  However, now her life is starting to fracture-- she's seeing her sister everywhere, suffering from nightmares and waking dreams.  Her boyfriend has left the country and gone incommunicado, and her bitter mother continues to avoid her.

When Maeve spies a keris, an ancient Javanese knife, at an auction, it reminds her of a similar keris she lost in the sea as a child, and she has to have it.  After she buys it and brings it home, inexplicable things start happening.  The blade is warm to the touch, and cryptic notes are nailed to Maeve's office door while she feels the eyes of an unknown observer upon her.  Encouraged by her father and her roommate, Maeve travels to Rome to find out more about her Javanese blade and to rendezvous with her absent boyfriend.  In Rome a mysterious and sinister adventure awaits her, and it's clear that the blade is leading her on a personal journey of self discovery and reawakening.

I must admit that before the big reveal of the tragedy Maeve suffers nine years prior, that my twist-y sense was tingling.  I could sense a twist coming but the twist I thought was coming (and was actually praying wasn't coming) was not the one that came in the end.  For this I'm glad because I believe I already read a book by Brunonia Barry that had that twist.  Ultimately this is a fascinating, page turning, vivid read, and I recommend you check it out the next time you visit the library.

--Reviewed by Ms. Angie

Comments

Therese Walsh said…
Thanks for this review, Ms. Angie. I'm so glad that you enjoyed the book.

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