Friday, November 23, 2012

Book Review: Here Among Us


Here Among Us
Maggie Harryman

Print Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Straight On True (October 1, 2012)
Genre: Literary Fiction


Book Synopsis:

When unemployed San Francisco attorney, Flynn O’Shea, and her teenaged daughter, Didi, are summoned to New Jersey for the Thanksgiving holiday by Flynn’s socialite sister, Maeve, she expects a fight.

After all, she has been battling Maeve most of her life. Disagreeing about the extent of their Irish mother’s creeping dementia and the fate of the family’s thriving restaurant business, named for their beloved, long dead father, Paddy, is surely a recipe for a world-class brawl.

What Flynn doesn’t expect is the fragile truce the sisters forge to save O’Shea’s from the clutches of Maeve’s scheming husband, Jeffrey. Flynn and Maeve are reluctantly aided by their forty-four-year-old brother, Osheen, a handsome Peter Pan still cruising the Jersey shore, getting high and dodging responsibility.

And while Didi tries to convince her mother that “everything is as it should be,” just when Flynn is sure she’s gained the upper hand on Jeffrey, her own mother’s shocking confession sends her into a wine-soaked tailspin and forces her to deal once and for all with the ghosts of her past. Devastated, Flynn must choose to save O’Shea’s or risk losing forever all she has left of her father.

In Here Among Us, the O’Sheas find themselves dealing with the very timely issue of Alzheimer’s, a disease that strips the victim's identity and wreaks havoc on the family left to pick up the pieces. But Flynn, Osheen and Maeve’s troubles began long before their mother started to “slip.” For the O’Sheas, much of their shared angst is rooted in the single most devastating event of their lives—the death of their father when they were young children. The novel explores not only how deep wounds can seem impossible to heal, but how refusing to let go of the stories the O'Sheas desperately cling to about who they are, threatens to hasten their demise.


    Here Among Us was a fun read with a great balance of family drama, crime, blackmail, with a dash of romance. Flynn is that relative that every family has who keeps her distance to avoid the drama. This particular year, she gets sucked into visiting for Thanksgiving. She expects to find drama waiting for her, but what she doesn’t expect is to be sucked into a giant whirlwind of secrets, scheming, and drama. 
    Flynn's mother’s memory is failing her. Her sister, Maeve, has a whopper of a secret to share with the family. Not to mention the fact that Maeve’s husband is trying to finagle the family business out from under all of them. Secrets that have been kept for decades are exposed, and Flynn has to absorb the shock. 
    I couldn’t wait to get to the end of this book. I kept reading and reading to find out what happened next. Of course when I reached the end, I hoped for more. Harryman did a great job bringing her characters to life. I would love to see more from the O’Sheas. 


About the Author

Maggie Harryman was born in New Jersey and moved to San Francisco soon after college. She received an MA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University and spent the ensuing years working as a copywriter in various industries including healthcare, tech and real estate/finance.
Maggie lives in Northern California in the heart of wine country, has two wonderful children in college and an old, faithful dog named, Humphrey.
Here Among Us is her debut novel. She also has two short stories on Amazon; Jesus, Mary and Joseph Michael Duffy Has Arisen and Cleaning Naked.

You can purchase Here Among Us for $7.99 on Amazon

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