Hollywood has come calling already to Mary McGarry Morris, with Debra Winger playing one of her characters in the movie version of "A Dangerous Woman."
Oprah's Book Club? The Andover author has been there, done that. Her book "Songs in Ordinary Time" was selected for the club and Morris had a seat on Oprah's couch for a book discussion.
Live National Public Radio interviews? She's done those, too.
The literary buzz is about to heat up again for well-known Abbot Street resident Mary McGarry Morris. Her seventh book, "The Last Secret", is set to be released on Tuesday, April 7. Reviewers are already raving about the book and its author, with Michiko Kakutani in the New York Times calling Morris "one of the most skillful writers at work in America today."
Humble and gracious, McGarry Morris is married to Andover lawyer Michael Morris and together they have five grown kids and several grandchildren. She shifts the conversation away from reviewer accolades and talks about her first stop on her upcoming book tour. Just 48 hours after the book release, she'll be reading and signing at her first and favorite book-tour stop, the Andover Bookstore on Main Street. It's always the first stop on her tours. She'll visit the Andover Bookstore on Thursday, April 9, at 7 p.m.
"I like to look out and see friends, people who stop me in town and tell me they like my books," said McGarry Morris, who does most of her writing at her Andover home. "I'm so proud to live in Andover where there is a 200-year-old bookstore ... I'm really proud of that."
It's been four years since she published a book ("The Lost Mother," 2005) and reviewers seem more than ready.
According to book's Web site, "The Last Secret" tells the story of Nora Hammond, a woman seemingly blessed with the perfect life: a charming husband, two bright teenage children, a successful career in the family's newspaper business, and an esteemed role in the charity work of her New England town. But Nora's comfortable existence threatens to unravel when she learns of her husband's longtime affair. A sordid incident from her youth returns with terrifying force after she mistakenly turns to Eddie Hawkins, a man from her past who "sees her in a Newsweek article and sadly, the unraveling begins," said McGarry Morris.
McGarry Morris speaks with genuine affection about Nora but when talk turns to Eddie, the conversation turns chilling.
"Nora sees her past and deep in her conscience are nightmares about Eddie Hawkins...She was just a teenager [when she knew him], but it was violent," she said. "It was 25 years ago and she has gone on to lead a good life, but..."
Sounds dark, but it's a style that suits McGarry Morris well, as studying the dark side of life has been a key element in her writing.
"It's part of the mystery of writing," she said when asked to talk about how she delved into the psyche of Eddie Hawkins.
She said the book's story has been on her mind for a couple of years. The writing first came "in fits and starts," she said, but she eventually buckled down.
Mary McGarry Morris book bag:
"A Dangerous Woman"
"The Lost Mother"
"A Hole in the Universe"
"Songs in Ordinary Time"
"The Last Secret"
Mary McGarry Morris
New book, "The Last Secret"
Thursday, April 9, at 7 p.m.
Andover Bookstore, 89R Main St.
Free event, public welcome