When her father dies in 1939, Mary's indomitable Irish mother puts a classified ad in the "Bronx Home News": "Furnished rooms! Kitchen Privileges!" Very shortly, there arrives the first in a succession of tenants who will change the lives of the Higgins family and set the young Mary on her start as a writer, while bringing them all a dose of the ...
When her father dies in 1939, Mary's indomitable Irish mother puts a classified ad in the "Bronx Home News": "Furnished rooms! Kitchen Privileges!" Very shortly, there arrives the first in a succession of tenants who will change the lives of the Higgins family and set the young Mary on her start as a writer, while bringing them all a dose of the Christmas spirit.
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Mary Higgins Clark's personal story is as fascinating as her fiction. What a resourceful woman. A young woman raising a family on her own, she showed resourcefulness, courage, good sense, with a healthy sprinkling of humor. A friend whose parents grew up in Brooklyn enjoyed the book as well and said it brought up many memories of stories her parents told her. Great book!
Publishers Weekly, 2002-11-04 Clark, author of 27 bestselling novels, has shifted gears and written a memoir that speaks directly to readers. The touching collection of anecdotes begins with a Depression-era childhood in the Bronx lacking in money but rich with love. The author's mother, who told everyone, "Mary is very gifted... [she's] going to be a successful writer," supplemented her income by renting out rooms with "kitchen privileges," and raised her children with selfless heroism, proving a shining example when Clark became a young widow, left to bring up five children on her own. The book proves particularly engaging when Clark tells of her writing group and the professor, William Byron Mowery, who taught her to think "what if" and "suppose" as a way of devising interesting plots. She conveys her courtship with her first husband sensitively and humorously, and writes of his death in honest, understated prose. Clark charts her literary road frankly, pointing out the numerous rejection slips and the failure of her first book, Aspire to the Heavens-the love story of George and Martha Washington-due to a misleading, uncommercial title. It's typical of her optimism that she considered it a triumph ("I knew... I had what it took to actually write a book"). Ranging from stories of illness and struggle to her happy 1996 marriage to Merrill Lynch CEO John Conheeney, this memoir shows what can be done when someone pursues her dreams, remains action-oriented and fights to overcome enormous obstacles. Photos. Agents, Eugene Winick, Sam Pinkus. (Nov. 19) Forecast: Clark's many fans will be clamoring for this, and although it's not a self-help volume, it offers concise, valuable tips for aspiring authors, which could open it up to an even wider audience. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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