Vaughn Roycroft's Reviews > The Last Will of Moira Leahy

The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh
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Feb 08, 2011

it was amazing
Read in February, 2011

This story opens with a bang, when Maeve Leahy feels strangely compelled to attend an auction, and then to bid on and purchase a Javanese blade called a keris. I was immediately hooked, drawn into Maeve’s suddenly turbulent world.

We quickly glean that something tragic has happened with Maeve’s twin, Moira, and that the keris Maeve has purchased seems—at least to her—to possess a mystical power. The blade and the special bond the twins share both become apt metaphors over the course of the tale, relatable and adaptable. Walsh deftly entwines so many literary devices and techniques, I wondered briefly just what genre I had wandered into: mystery, paranormal, spiritual, romance—what was it? I quickly surmised it didn’t matter, and surrendered to be carried along on her lovely prose.

Indeed, very early on, I fell in love with reading this book. By that I mean I loved the actual process of reading it—not something that always happens for me, even with some books I end up liking. The primary, present-day storyline is carried by a sharp, first-person narrative from the point-of-view of Maeve herself. But this is pleasingly interspersed with a progressive back-story told, with a perfectly distanced third-person point-of-view, by her twin Moira. The style has a comforting cadence, but also builds an increasingly urgent tension.

This book has it all: a mysterious talisman with a dangerous side, a journey (actually a fine travelogue for Rome), a romance, a dark past, and spiritual revelation, all carefully woven into a satisfying story and an emotional journey for the reader. I found myself wondering if Walsh was actually a: twin, Javanese weapons expert, sailing aficionado, musician, travel agent, linguist, or all of the above. Most importantly, whether she is any or all of those, she is an exceptional and polished writer. Most would be shocked after reading it to learn Last Will is Walsh’s debut novel.

So do yourself a favor and buy this beautifully written, artfully woven, and emotionally powerful book.
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09/24/2016 marked as: read

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