Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Book 70- The Last Will of Moira Leahy

The Last Will of Moira Leahy (by Therese Walsh) took me forever to read because... well, I have no idea. I think the fact that I read this over a period of 6 weeks, putting it down and reading something else then picking it back up, was probably a disservice to the book, and for that I apologize. it probably influenced the fact that I wasn't really a fan of this novel.

The premise is a bit odd. The story is told now and mingled with flashbacks. Moira and Maeve are twins, separated by a tragic incident in their teens. Maeve is telling the story, about her lonely life as a university professor, with a small limited world. The story unfolds and we find that she's purchased a Japanese dagger in a sheath called a keris. The keris seems to, at first, remind her of her twin Moira, and then it seems to have some sort of magical, mystical powers, that cause Maeve to abandon her quiet and orderly life and traipse off to Rome to find answers that she's been looking for for her adult life.

There, encounters a man who wants to do her harm because of the keris, and a man who wants to help her understand the dagger's power. The man she's secretly in love with, who is in Europe on his own journey of self discovery, meets up with Maeve to help her solve the mystery of the keris. She follows the clues left her by a strange Indian man and tries to find all that is lost to her: her live, her sister, love, her music, her own sense of self.

I like the idea of ghosts and magic in a novel. I like the mysticism that can surround a modern day type of ghost story and I think I had a different perspective of what this story was GOING to be about rather than what it IS about. I just struggled getting into the characters. I often was confused at what was going on with the twins in the flashback sequences. They have strong twin powers ( activate! ) which I think was part of Walsh's tie to the magic of the dagger but it just felt overdone and overworked. And of course, since the girls were twins, they often pretended to be each other and sometimes I was confused about who was doing what, and to whom. Add to this that the "love" story between Maeve and Noel sometimes meandered into just flat out "romance novel" writing that I wanted to puke. There's a line between lyrical writing and harlequin romance style writing, and this drifted in both camps.

While I appreciate the settings of Maine and Rome, but not even these locales could save this book for me. I just didn't enjoy the read, which could be why it took me many weeks to complete this often tedious and wordy novel.