Monday, January 27, 2020


The Love Story of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey
Publication: April 7, 2020
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Genre: Fiction
Rating: ★★★

The world has changed around seventy-nine-year-old librarian Millicent Carmichael, aka Missy. Though quick to admit that she often found her roles as a housewife and mother were less than satisfying, Missy once led a bustling life driven by two children, an accomplished and celebrated husband, and a Classics degree from Cambridge. Now her husband is gone, her daughter is estranged after a shattering argument, and her son has moved to his wife's native Australia, taking Missy's beloved only grandchild half-a-world away. She spends her days sipping sherry, avoiding people, and rattling around in her oversized, under-decorated house waiting for for...what exactly?

The last thing Missy expects is for two perfect strangers and one spirited dog named Bob to break through her prickly exterior and show Missy just how much love she still has to give. In short order, Missy finds herself in the jarring embrace of an eclectic community that simply won't take no for an answer--including a rambunctious mutt-on-loan whose unconditional love gives Missy a reason to re-enter the world one muddy paw print at a time.

Filled with wry laughter and deep insights, The Love Story of Missy Carmichael is a coming-of-old story that shows us it's never too late to forgive yourself and, just as important, it's never too late to love. - Goodreads

The story moves around Millicent “Missy” Carmichael, she had a hero for a father and a suffragist for a mother, had a first-class degree in Classics, a wife to renowned author and historian, and a devoted mother to both Ali and Mel. It has every issue of concern that every woman (of every age) deals with daily life -equal opportunity, motherhood, romance, or the lack of it, amour-propre, fashion, and community. Every woman may relate to Missy in many ways indeed.

The atmosphere and community are perfect in building the entire premise together. The collection of characters here is diverse and relevant even to younger readers even if it is dubbed as “coming of old age” or “boomer” genre. In this community, both the idealist and the practical played a role, making it an ideal and safe environment. (Who wouldn't want a place like this?) It is replete with life lessons and quotes we can pick up along the way. Annoying Latins will pop up every now and then, but we can deal with that when reading about a classicist. Right? Also, Ms. Morrey managed to keep the language very nearly unsoiled.

I want to love this book, honestly. The arc between the recollections and the present narrative is easy to follow and I really like how the plot was moving –Missy is having a renewed life and recognizing her old self again, friends are pouring, revelations and understandings are surfacing- and tying each end of the subplots along the way, until after 90% of the story. SPOILER AHEAD →
I really do not understand why suddenly kill Bob at the apex of this story, especially, when it is the dog who brought the very life within its pages. Frankly, I didn’t care much for the rest of the story after that. I am convinced that any ending will not suffice, even though I plowed on. It left an emptiness, so sharp that it was difficult to realign my fondness for this book all over again. Sorry. If that is the kind of reaction this book wants to achieve, then it is most successful.


About the Author:

Beth Morrey's work has been published in the Cambridge and Oxford May Anthologies and shortlisted for the Grazia Orange First Chapter competition. She lives in London with her family and dog. The Love Story of Missy Carmichael is her debut novel.

*Thanks to G.P. Putnam's Sons for the DRM copy of this book in exchange for this honest review.
*This post is a part of the monthly linkups organized by Lovely Audiobooks! You can click here to check it out and be a part of it.


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