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Monthly Archives: October 2014

The Shadow of Your Smile

By Mary Higgins Clark


Mysteries have always intrigued me.  As a child I watched every episode of the Thin Man, Maddox, Blackie, and Charlie Chan.  I can still see #3 son in my mind and I loved the way Chan spoke in stilted English. “Before speaking son should first look closely at puncture wound then say what cause of death might be.”  Later Rockford Files, The Fugitive, Kojack, Murder She Wrote, and Monk filled my evenings with intrigue. NCIS and Blue Bloods hold my attention now.

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys held my interest each night as I sat in my twin bed with my pink radio on playing WCAO.  I’d read into the night much to my mother’s chagrin.  I couldn’t get enough of those bloodless murders.  I also enjoyed playing Clue with my friend Jeannie.  The funny thing is I could never guess the murderer whether in board games or books then and I still can’t now but I totally love the stories, their heroes, heroines and supporting characters.

They people my life forever after.  That’s why I love rereading the books.

One night about 13 years ago, our house burnt down.  I was quite distraught and needed something else besides fire to occupy my mind.  I was staying at my daughter Jill’s along with my husband, our kids, 3 dogs and a cat.  Restlessly I picked up a book called The Cradle Will Fall.  It really scared me at first but then I couldn’t put it down.  I was held on the edge of my seat throughout the whole thing. Since then I have read every book that prolific Mary Higgins Clark has written at least once.  I also enjoy the books she writes with her daughter Carol and Carol’s  books about Reagan Reilly as well.  Mary Higgins Clark’s autobiography, Kitchen Privileges a fascinating look into her personal and at times tragic life.  She wrote it with humor and honesty.  I have bought that tiny book four or five different times and keep giving it away.  I will buy it on Amazon several more times I am sure.

Today’s review is on The Shadow of Your Smile which I just finished reading for the second time.  I plan to read it again in a few years.  Mary Higgins Clark immerses the reader in the action from the first scene. Olivia and Monaca both need to be protected from the very onset by greedy and ruthless fiends.  The scenes crisscross between their lives in a very exciting fashion.  The reader becomes a part of the story immediately and as such laughs, cries and worries about these two special people. Since Ms. Clark has the  superb ability to literally birth her heroines, they truly become the reader’s friends and even family. So ,‘friends’ are fun to meet again and again over the years.

Olivia has just been told that she has less than two weeks to live and she has to decide whether to share a secret about her cousin Sister Catherine who is up for beatification Her dying mother told her not to reveal the secret, but she feels she must. Monica is intricately involved with that secret although she does not know it.  Greedy family members will stop at nothing to prevent the connection of the two women.

Another wonderful aspect of all of her books is the honorableness of the main characters and the inclusion of Church scenes.  Olivia and Monaca are good people who believe in right and wrong. As they say in the computer world ‘Garbage in, garbage out’ We become not only what we eat but what we read.  This book uplifts the spirit and portrays women we would like to emulate.

Finally stepping into the scenes with these “friends” allows the reader to live above her means looking down from penthouse windows onto Central Park and riding in first class autos for a change.

The Shadow of Your Smile is an excellent book I highly recommend to all readers.


Celia Wendel