Title: The Last Will of Moira Leahy
Author: Therese Walsh
Release Date: October 3, 2009
Publisher: Shaye Areheart Books
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: WOW Blog Tours
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Maeve Leahy is a woman with a haunted past. To everyone around her, she is a gifted professor who doesn’t like taking chances with her life. She tries to fly under the radar as much as possible, dying her brilliant red hair a pale, colorless blond. But a long time ago, Maeve was a vivacious girl who loved being in the spotlight. She loved living on the edge and was completely fearless – it was her twin sister Moira who played it safe. The twins had a special connection with one another, one they thought could never be broken – until they became caught in a tangled web of deceit, lies, and betrayal.
Now, Maeve goes about her life, shutting out her past as much as possible. But when she obtains a keris, a dagger from Indonesia that is supposed to have mystical powers, things begin to change for her. As she copes with hallucinations and sounds that only she can hear, Maeve begins to face what happened to Moira and comes to terms with the horrors of her past.
I honestly don’t know how to start this review of The Last Will of Moira Leahy. There is too much here to put into words; I’m not sure I can articulate what it was that made me enjoy this book so much. I can tell you that a big part of it was that it defied my expectations with every twist and turn. Maeve was like a real person to me, with real impulses and desires of her own. She made her own choices on her own terms – neither the desires of anyone around her in the novel nor the reader’s thoughts were going to change what she was going to do. There were so many times in this novel that I thought I knew exactly what decision Maeve was going to make, and as a result, which direction the book was going to turn. Almost every single time, I was wrong. I loved being surprised by Maeve. Walsh deserves real credit for writing a character whose personality leaps off the page.
When I started The Last Will of Moira Leahy, I was apprehensive because though I thought it sounded interesting, I have read a lot of books lately about damaged women. I’ve also read a lot about twins, and damaged women who happen to be twins. Therefore, I didn’t know whether I’d be reading something new, or more of the same with this book. I was so pleasantly surprised, therefore, by the way Walsh tackles this novel. She doesn’t give in to any of the stereotypes or clichés – instead she forges ahead fearlessly, creating her own book on its own terms. Never knowing quite what to expect added to the suspense of this wonderful novel and made it a delight to read.
The addition of the keris takes The Last Will of Moira Leahy to an entirely different level. I love books where I have the chance to learn something, and this novel was no exception. At times, the inclusion of it was a little odd – an Indonesian dagger didn’t really seem to have a place in this novel of a broken woman haunted by her past. But the keris is a catalyst for change in Maeve’s life – or is it the driving force behind it? As the novel progresses, the reader ponders this question more and more until Therese Walsh ties the two threads together beautifully at the end of the book.
If that weren’t enough praise, The Last Will of Moira Leahy is beautifully written. The imagery in this novel is simply breathtaking. From the very first page, Walsh’s words create vivid pictures within the reader’s imagination. Additionally, Walsh knows how to create suspense and keep the reader hooked without resorting to manipulative tricks.
I absolutely loved The Last Will of Moira Leahy and could not put it down. It was excellently written, unique, and powerful; I can’t recommend it highly enough.