The Last Will of Moira Leahy

The Last Will of Moira Leahy

by Therese Walsh
4.8 25


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The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh

"An original, intriguing tale about the ways that love can break us or bind us."
–Therese Fowler, author of Souvenir and Reunion

This haunting debut novel explores the intense bond of sisterhood as a grieving twin searches for her own identity in the ruins of her sister's past.

Moira Leahy struggled growing up in her prodigious twin's shadow; Maeve was always more talented, more daring, more fun. In the autumn of the girls' sixteenth year, a secret love tempted Moira, allowing her to have her own taste of adventure, but it also damaged the intimate, intuitive relationship she'd always shared with her sister. Though Moira's adolescent struggles came to a tragic end nearly a decade ago, her brief flirtation with independence will haunt her sister for years to come.

When Maeve Leahy lost her twin, she left home and buried her fun-loving spirit to become a workaholic professor of languages at a small college in upstate New York. She lives a solitary life now, controlling what she can and ignoring the rest–the recurring nightmares, hallucinations about a child with red hair, the unquiet sounds in her mind, her reflection in the mirror. It doesn't help that her mother avoids her, her best friend questions her sanity, and her not-quite boyfriend has left the country. But at least her life is ordered. Exactly how she wants it.

Until one night at an auction when Maeve wins a keris,a Javanese dagger that reminds her of her lost youth and happier days playing pirates with Moira in their father's boat. Days later, a book on weaponry is nailed to her office door, followed by the arrival of anonymous notes, including one that invites her to Rome to learn more about the blade and its legendary properties. Opening her heart and mind to possibility, Maeve accepts the invitation and, with it, also opens a window into her past.

Ultimately, she will revisit the tragic November night that shaped her and Moira's destinies–and learn that nothing can be taken at face value–as one sister emerges whole and the other's score is finally settled.

The Last Will of Moira Leahyis a mesmerizing and romantic consideration of the bonds of family, the impossibility of forgetting, and the value of forgiveness.

From the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307461582
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 08/03/2010
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.32(w) x 11.06(h) x 0.68(d)

About the Author

THERESE WALSH is a cofounder of the blog She lives in upstate New York, with her husband, two children, a cat, and a bouncy Jack Russell named Kismet. The Last Will of Moira Leahy is her first novel.

From the Hardcover edition.

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The Last Will of Moira Leahy 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
CJfromNY More than 1 year ago
Therese Walsh's brilliant writing and vivid details bring this story to life. You can visualize the scenes she describes, feel the emotions that her characters are going experiencing, and get swept away into such a unique story. When I am reading THE LAST WILL OF MOIRA LEAHY, the rest of the world disappears. I absolutely love this book!
RunningShoeGirl More than 1 year ago
So I stayed up last night and finished "The Last Will of Moira Leahy: A Novel. I decided to start it last night to wind down before bed and wound up not going to bed until I finished it. The combination of factors really kept me turning pages. It wasn't a romance, oh wait, it kinda was. It wasn't a mystery, oh wait, there was that...well it wasn't a paranormal, well, maybe a little....Oh I know, it was a helluva book! LOL Really enjoyed this. The thing about it is I don't know what genre it goes in, but it was very well written and had so many parts that I could relate to in ways that I never expected when I started to read. I've already bought The Moon Sisters by this author and would have bought every one of them had there been more by Ms. Walsh. This book is just that good. I recommend this book hands down. To everyone, but especially those with a sister.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting plot and a bit of a surprise too. Worth the read!
jlking More than 1 year ago
The Last Will of Moira Leahy is a wonderful debut novel. I enjoyed following the journey of identical twin Maeve Leahy through her search for self, spurred by her discovery of a relic that reminds her of her twin. As Meave begins to heal from her past, the story unfolds as to what really had happened between she and her twin, Moira, years ago. What emerges throughout is a page-turning story of romance, adventure, and self-discovery, all leading to a satisfying ending and redemption. Highly recommended for fans of commerical fiction.
darlyn5 More than 1 year ago
The Last Will of Moira Leahy for me is quite a difficult read, in a good way. I was easily immersed in the story, intrigued and the whole summary really got me intrigued. It started quite slow though, with Maeve keep herself so tight and avoiding to tell us what's going on with her. She's mysterious, which made me don't understand her but it kind of weird when I think she's so connected with me as the story goes on. Walsh deserves credit for writing a character whose personality leaps off the page. There were so many times in this novel that I thought I knew exactly what action Maeve was going to make, and eventually twisting the book's journey. I got surprised a lot by Maeve, which always turned me down when I was wrong. So when she got the keris, everything went back to her and she wants to discover the truth behind it. I don't think I ever read something like this before; a mix of mystical and mysteries in a contemporary fiction. I was fascinated by the keris itself, because I myself has Javanese blood (even my fiancee is Javanese). Keris for real has mystical power which holds thousands mysteries to the owner of one. As that being said, I kind of truly understand the connection of the keris and Maeve's past. If you don't know this, when you read the book, there will be the part where you will learn the truth of the keris function in the story. You maybe think it's nothing but I got the chill on my spine. So this book got me an impact. There's some flash backs of Moira and Maeve that told us how close they were and how they became apart. It tells a lot even though it's less than two pages each time. The bond of twins fascinated me, which I truly adored their relationship, mostly when they can read or block their mind on each other. However, because of some tragedy, Maeve became the Maeve we know right now in the book; well-kept, mysterious, hurt, and pessimistic. I wish she could enjoy her life because she really deserves it. Not to waste it for nearly a decade after her sister's death. And I love Noel! (thank God there's some romance in it!). I thought the book would be a heavy and depressing read after all. Noel is tender, gentle and a great guy. He waited for Maeve for as long as he knows her. And funny too. In this, I was glad for Maeve, Noel is someone who will complete her. Teenage Moira was the best. I don't know why, but I think I love her wittiness and how she wants to do what she wants despite of being so different from Maeve like their mother wants. I dislike her mother for separating their likeness into something so-called identities just because she can't tell which is which between the twin. That being said, I like the book so much. Walsh really did an excellent job bringing the mysteries of keris and a woman's past that we keep pondering until Walsh ties the two threads together beautifully at the end of the book. There's a bit of suspense elements, but it kind of worked okay to me. But I cried when I learned the truth and how she and Moira let go the worst past in their life and forgave the person who come between them. This book was ultimately about healing from grief, siblings relationships, and about remembering past and yet letting it go forever. Highly recommended.
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AmyAtwell More than 1 year ago
I read this book in hardback last year, and I cannot forget it. Maeve Leahy still mourns the loss of her twin, Moira, and embarks on a journey of self-discovery that leads her travel, explore, reach out and connect with loved ones. It's a wonderful story of coming back to life after hiding in the shadows for far too long. I wept like child, but I felt so good at the end of the book!
Booklover53 More than 1 year ago
Picked up this book because of it's nomination with RWA. I enjoyed the story and I think I saw why it was chosen. The characters could have been better developed individually but I think they weren't intentionally to keep the reader off track. Wasn't sure exactly where the story was going until it wound down at the end. It is a story about a woman who suffers nightmares because of something that happened in her past that involved the loss of her twin sister. Her life has been put on hold and she's given up things that she loved but we don't find out until towards the end of the book what is really happening. It jumps back and forth between the past as told by her twin and the present told by the protagonist. It has that little bit of woo-woo in the story similar to Sarah Addison Allen and Alice Hoffman. That edgy part of the story kept me guessing and it felt more like a mystery than a romance. It definitely didn't fit the normal romance of everyone living happily ever after. I did choose to believe that is how it would eventually end though. I can't honestly say that I would have stayed up late to finish it but I was interested enough to finish it within a week. I felt the end tied up all the story lines and explained why she had to have this adventure. Didn't really get the part of her sister's connection with the dagger or sword or whatever it was. That part got just a little too complicated for me. I would read the next book by this author just to see her growth between the two books. I did love the cover and felt it was a good choice for marketing.
sifyguy More than 1 year ago
Although it is woman's fiction I found myself guessing at the ending and when I had about 60 pages to go I didn't want to put it down. Had to stay up late one night just to finish it. It is well written and I think I would would classify it as very good literature. A friend of mine who have read it also thought it was wonderful and "can't wait for the second book".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This a beautiful story of family and relationships. Suspense with some mystic elements. It travels between the present life of Maeve Leahy, a professor of languages and her childhood in Castine, Maine where she grew up with her twin sister Moira. A tragedy when she was sixteen causes immense pain to Maeve. The story is her journey as she becomes the woman she would have been but for the tragedy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Usually when I read a book, I CAN predict what is going to happen next and how the book will end. This was NOT the case with The Last Will of Moira Leahy. I was surprised several times with the twists and turns of the plot. I loved getting to know the twins and the relationship between them which continued to grow even though they were not physically close or able to communicate in the traditional ways. An awesome read!!!!
lovelyladyreader More than 1 year ago
I am hooked on this book! It pulls you in from page one and doesnt fall short at any point. The entire book is wrapped in mystery that unfolds like a beautiful tapestry. The layers are intricate and leave you wanting more. The characters are ripe for the disecting and are relatable on many levels. This new author has a huge fan in me for sure!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this book has so much that you can relate to and it takes you there. you feel like you are with Meave as she travels her path. this is a must read!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =) =)
Mother-Daughter-Book-Club More than 1 year ago
Twenty-five-year-old Maeve Leahy likes her life orderly with limited surprises. But she's feeling restless one November night as she thinks about her twin, Moira, whom she lost to a night in November nine years before. As a distraction, she attends an antiques auction where she places the winning bid on a special dagger, a Javanese keris, very much like one she accidentally dropped into a bay years ago while playing a pirate queen with Moira. Soon mysterious things begin to happen. A book on weaponry is nailed to the door of her office at the small college in New York State where she teaches. She feels she's being watched. Then she receives a note asking her to travel to Rome where she can learn more about her knife from a man who uses an age-old tradition to make blades just like it. In Rome she's joined by Noel, the only man Maeve has let into her inner world while still keeping him at a distance. Noel has been in Europe searching for answers from his own past and escaping from the uncertainties of his relationship with Maeve. Together they start to unravel their feelings for each other, the mystery of the keris, the man behind the blade, and the voices in Maeve's mind that refuse to go away. Maeve also finally confronts her own feelings for her twin and the shocking event that separated them as teenagers. The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh is a richly conceived tale that weaves mystery, romance, adventure and self-discovery into one beautiful package. Moira's story from years before appears tucked in between Maeve's narrative in the present. The twins' inseparable bond is both a comfort and a burden to them as they learn to find their own talents. Topics to discuss include the special bond that exists between twins, learning to be true to your own personality without taking away from family members, honesty in relationships, deciding to have sex with a boyfriend, learning to deal with family tragedy and more. The Last Will of Moira Leahy is billed as women's fiction, but it is appropriate for book clubs with girls aged 15 and over. Highly recommended.
bridget3420 More than 1 year ago
Moira and Maeve are twin sisters. Moira's life is taken in a tragic accident and it seems that a piece of Maeve has died with her. Maeve purchases a dagger that reminds her of the time she spent playing with her beloved sister. Maeve decides that it's time to start anew and moves into a new apartment. The dagger holds more power than Maeve could have ever imagined. She soon learns that there are secrets revolving around her sisters death and it's up to her to find the truth. This is an emotional account of the love between sisters. Magically written and beautifully told, this is a timeless story that captivates you, mind, body and soul.
erlovesbooks More than 1 year ago
This book is as wonderful and lovely as the cover. It has suspense, mystery, romance, and magic. Above all, magic. Twenty-five-year-old Maeve Leahy is haunted by the tragic accident of her twin sister, Moira, nine years ago. Since then, Maeve, the vibrant twin and saxophone prodigy, has shut down her emotions and shut out the music, leading a lonely and sterile life as a professor of languages in upstate New York. But she can't resist the call of a keris>, a Javanese dagger, that she buys at auction. The keris leads her to Rome, and to danger and romance and a confrontation with the past and the present. The chapters alternate between the present in Maeve's voice and the past in Moira's voice. Walsh is an artist with words, using them exquisitely, painting pictures with a few strokes that evoke emotions. Yet the pace is quick, the scenes enchanting. This is Walsh's debut book, and I'm already eager to read th the next one. I hope it's soon!
Kathleen-Irene-Paterka More than 1 year ago
When sixteen-year old Maeve Leahy lost her twin sister Moira one wild November night, Maeve's own world might as well have ended, too. Maeve coped by burying her emotions and shutting herself off from everything she held dear, including her family and friends. Years later, when an irrational urge to purchase a Javanese dagger ("keris") at auction proves irresistible, a reluctant Maeve is suddenly thrown into a world of shadows and intrigue. When a series of surprising twists and turns leads her on an unexpected and unwelcome journey to Rome, Maeve eventually meets up with the mysterious Empu and is ultimately forced to confront a past she wished remain forever buried. Therese Walsh is a hugely gifted author with a unique voice that will surely appeal to readers of both literary and commercial fiction. THE LAST WILL OF MOIRA LEAHY is a break-out first novel that aches with vulnerability as the reader joins Maeve on a haunting journey which speaks of love and loss; of darkness and destiny; of sisters, shadows, and the secrets shared by twins. For only when Maeve finds the courage to allow herself to embrace the truths revealed by the keris, is she finally able to release her grief and embrace the one secret we must all discover for ourselves. It is love that binds us; it is love that holds us; it is love that will never let us go. Bravo, Ms. Walsh, for offering readers such a beautiful story. Surely it will continue to linger in hearts and souls long after the last page is read.
Richard_Mabry More than 1 year ago
Debut author Therese Walsh has crafted a book that combines Gothic romance, adventure, more than a hint of the paranormal, and unusual settings. It deals with twins, their relationship and the special, very unusual bond that exists between them. Add a Javanese dagger (kiris) that supposedly has magical powers. Mix in romance (including some definitely R-rated scenes, yet handled quite smoothly), and you begin to see a bit of what this author has put together. She is a talented wordsmith, painting word pictures and inspiring the reader with such passages as "With a rush of guilt, she tucked the tiny charm into her pocket, where it burned for the rest of the day with all the weight of a stolen sun." Women may enjoy this one more than men, but if you admire a well-crafted, unique story, I recommend this whatever your gender.
sandrabrazier More than 1 year ago
The Last Will of Moira Leahy Maeve Leahy is a work-a-holic. She is a professor of languages at the local university. She works so hard that she leaves no time for fun. She doesn’t even visit her parents at their family home. It’s been years! This all starts to change when Maeve is at an auction and spots a keris, a dagger, and the memories come rushing back. She remembers being out on the lake out her identical twin, playing make-believe, and she is holding her grandfather’s dagger high in the sky, announcing that she was a victorious pirate princess. She remembers dropping it. The dagger had disappeared in the deep water that day, but the memory lingered, causing Maeve to want the keris, in order to hang onto this memory of her twin, Moira. Once Maeve bids on the keris and wins it, things start to change. The keris seems magical. Is she losing her mind? This is a wonderful story, filled with magic and folklore, love and family, memories and dreams of the future. The characters are well-defined and strong, and the settings are beautiful and realistic. The reader discovers Maeve’s secret past little-by-little, making the reader want to read and read in order to learn the mysteries of her past. This is a well-written and very enjoyable book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book its now one of my favorits :)
Beverly_D More than 1 year ago
Because I've come to know Therese through her incredible generosity to other writers on her Writer Unboxed site and FaceBook group, I wanted to love her book, but was afraid I wouldn't. Fear was unnecessary. This was a beautiful, emotionally moving novel, and I would have loved it even if the writer wasn't Therese. Still, I'm stumped as to where to mentally shelve it. There's twins Moira and Maeve, growing up together in Maine - is it a YA? Not really. There's a romance, even sex, so is it a romance? Not really (though my cover notes it was a RITA® finalist in 2010). There's a Javanese dagger called a keris, which seems to have magical powers, is it perchance a paranormal? Noooo... There's mystery, there's a journey to Rome, there's danger, there's complicated family dynamics, and above all, there's lovely, lovely writing. And a surprise twist at the end which I am not giving away.
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Kionna More than 1 year ago
This book was awesome. I could not put it down and that is a tough feat for a working mom with three children and a demanding job. This read was full of suspense, action, comedy, drama, and it even had me crying at the end. Thank you to the Author for the ride.