Last week, I bought The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh. I’ve followed Therese’s blog, Writer Unboxed, for awhile, and I love supporting debut authors. There’s also been a buzz in the Tweetosphere about this book, so I couldn’t wait for Santa.
The Last Will is the story of twins, tragically separated by anger and jealousy, whose reunion is tied to a Javanese dagger, called a keris. The story moves between the present day–where the surviving twin, Maeve, struggles to find peace in her life–and the past, before the terrible night that forever altered their lives. The book is part mystery, part romance, and part ghost story.
I loved The Last Will, and finished it in a matter days. The pace was fast, but the story was richly layered. I enjoyed learning about the keris with Maeve Leahy, and watching her grow and change. I enjoyed the insight Walsh provided into the connection between twins. The supernatural elements of the book were handled well, and the end of the book came as a surprise, and was very satisfying.
I’m always interested in the connection of the arts and their influence on each other, so I was delighted to see Walsh’s references to music and literature in the book. I went searching online to hear some of the songs she mentioned (i. e. “Harlem Nocturn”, Mozart’s “Piano Concerto #20″…), and enjoyed the references to Jane Eyre .
I was most moved throughout the book by the refrain of the word “eling”— or “remember.” It reminded the reader over and over the importance of remembrance of the past, and ultimately, the state of Purgatory where one remains until forgiveness is achieved. It was a beautiful theme in the book, and will stick with me like the ring of a note from Moira’s piano.
Therese Walsh set the bar high for herself with her debut novel. I look forward to her next book.