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The Shadow of Your Smile Mass Market Paperback – March 22, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When a deceased nun, Sister Catherine, becomes a candidate for sainthood in this gripping thriller from bestseller Clark (Just Take My Heart), Monica Farrell, a 31-year-old Manhattan pediatrician, becomes the target of those who don't want her to inherit what's left of a fortune created by her unknown grandfather, Alex Gannon, with whom Catherine had a secret love child before she took up holy orders. That child, given up for adoption, became Monica's father. Monica must now testify whether two boys became cancer-free due to prayers to Sister Catherine so she can qualify for beatification. Meanwhile, Olivia Morrow, Catherine's 82-year-old dying cousin, ponders whether to tell Monica she's Alex's granddaughter. Clark skillfully mixes spiritual questions with down and dirty deeds as she reveals Gannon Foundation funds have been steadily siphoned off by greedy heirs and associates who will stop at nothing, even murder, to keep their criminal misbehavior under wraps. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Mary Higgins Clark, #1 international and New York Times bestselling author, has written thirty-four suspense novels; three collections of short stories; a historical novel, Mount Vernon Love Story; two children’s books, including The Magical Christmas Horse; and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges. With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she has coauthored five more suspense novels. She also wrote The Cinderella Murder with bestselling author Alafair Burke. Her books have sold more than 100 million copies in the United States alone.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; Reprint edition (March 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439180989
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439180983
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (306 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #208,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

If I were to define myself in one sentence, I would say, "I'm a nice Irish Catholic girl from the Bronx."

I was a Christmas Eve baby all those years ago, the second of the three children of Nora and Luke Higgins. Mother was pushing forty when they married and my father was forty-two. My older brother was named Joseph. Nineteen months later I, Mary, was born. Three and a half years later, my little brother, John, came along.

We lived in a very nice section of the Bronx on a street off Pelham Parkway. I loved our house. I still love it. After my father died, when I was eleven, my mother had to sell it.

I went to Saint Francis Xavier Grammar School. Two years ago I went back and was Principal for a Day. Escorted by two of the tiniest children, I was led into the auditorium while the whole student body sang "Hello Mary. You're back where you belong." I still tear up thinking about it.

I was awarded a scholarship to Villa Maria Academy which is in the Pelham Bay section of the Bronx, otherwise I couldn't have afforded to set foot in it.

I went to Woods Secretarial School and at eighteen had my first full-time job as Secretary to the creative director of Remington Rand's in-house advertising agency. If I were making that choice now I would have gone to college even though God knows we needed the income. On the other hand the three years I spent in Remington Rand was a tutorial in advertising which served me well when I was widowed with five small children. Another plus was that I left Remington to be a flight stewardess with Pan American Airways and when my contemporaries were seniors in college, I was flying to Europe, Africa and Asia.

Warren Clark and I were married on December 26, 1949 and had five children in the next eight years; Marilyn, Warren, David, Carol and Patricia. Warren died of a heart attack in 1964. The highest compliment I can pay my kids are that they are like him.

I sold my first short story when I was twenty-eight. It was alled 'Stowaway'. It had been rejected forty times before a magazine in Chicago bought it for one hundred dollars.

My first book was about George Washington. It was published in 1969 and disappeared without a trace. Three years ago Simon and Schuster co-published it with the Mount Vernon Historical Society and retitled 'Mount Vernon Love Story', it became a bestseller.

My first suspense novel 'Where Are the Children' was bought in 1974 for three thousand dollars by Simon and Schuster. Thirty-three books later, I'm still with S&S.

Time to wind up - at least for the present. As soon as I sold 'Children' I enrolled in Fordham College. Went there for five years at night and earned a B.A. in Philosophy. Summa cum laude, if you please.

I never thought I'd marry again but ten years ago I threw a cocktail party on St. Patrick's day. My daughter, Pat, urged me to invite John Conheeney. Her opening words about him were, "Have I got a hunk for you!" He came to the party and we were married eight months later.

I'm Honorary Chairman of FraXa Research. My grandson, David, has the Fragile X syndrome, which is the second leading cause of retardation after Downs Syndrome. Basically the brain of the people who have it can't send out the proper signals because there's a kind of short circuit in the synapses that carry the signals. We raise money for research with the goal of finding a medication that will work around that short circuit. I go all over the country to the fund-raisers as new chapters of FraXa are opened.

I'm always asked to name my favorite book. They're ALL my favorites. If there is one book that is very special to me, it is my memoir 'Kitchen Privileges' because writing it made me relive my early life including those first struggles to become a writer. I think 'Kitchen Privileges' is both tender and funny and it's me.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

109 of 113 people found the following review helpful By nom de femme VINE VOICE on April 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover
The Shadow of Your Smile, the latest thriller from Mary Higgins Clark, is in almost every way typical of her previous books. I want to say right away that I enjoyed it, much more than her last book as a matter of fact. MHC raises some interesting points concerning the natural conflict between faith and science in this one.

Dr. Monica Farrell, a pediatrician with a successful practice in New York, doesn't know her father's birth mother was a woman who later took vows and is now being considered for sainthood. Miracles of healing have been attributed to Sister Catherine, her grandmother, including one involving a patient of Monica's with terminal brain cancer. Dr. Farrell is no longer a practicing Catholic and considers herself to be a scientist first and foremost. To her, miracles are simply events that will have a logical explanation some time in the future.

The man who fathered Catherine's child was an inventor whose patents provided an enormous income he willed to "any issue" of his, not knowing what had happened to the child Catherine bore in secret. The default heirs are two brothers whose greed and dishonest business practices have resulted in the necessity for multiple murder to keep their house of cards from collapsing. After the suspicious death of a close friend of Dr. Farrell's, one who was trying to help her find her father's parents, Monica is marked to be the next victim.

As with all other MHC books, there is no bad language, no descriptions of heavy sex or blood or violence, although obviously bodies do turn up - proof that a good thriller doesn't have to commit assault and battery on the senses. The female characters, whether eighteen or eighty-eight are all lady-like, dress conservatively, drink pots of tea and come from solid Catholic families.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Laurel-Rain Snow TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
When 82-year-old Olivia Morrow receives the news that she is dying and has little time left, she must make a big decision. Many years ago, her deceased cousin Catherine, who became a nun, had a big secret. And Olivia has letters in her possession that confirm the details of the fact that, at age seventeen, Catherine gave birth to a baby boy, whom she subsequently put up for adoption. The child's father, Alex Gannon, went on to become a world-famous doctor, scientist, and inventor holding medical patents.

Just to complicate things a bit further, this same nun is being considered for "beatification" because of alleged miracles she has performed, by healing terminally ill children.

Meanwhile, also living in New York City is Dr. Monica Farrell, daughter of that same child, completely unaware that she is the only living "issue" of that famous man. His other relatives--nephew, etc.--are squandering the fortune and are involved in nefarious activities. Unaware of the possible connection between them, Dr. Farrell is being called upon to "testify" as to the medical facts and supposed miracle that healed one of her patients, all in support of the sainthood of this nun.

So the scene is set. What will Olivia do? And what will certain others do to keep the truth from coming to life?

Through the pages and chapters, which I am rapidly turning as the suspense builds, we see glimpses of each of these characters and watch as events speed up and tensions heighten, while lives hang in the balance--literally. I enjoyed the way the author pulled in supposedly incidental characters and created unique circumstances that would help bring down the house of cards built by the unworthy characters, somehow forestalling disaster.
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29 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Lee Ann on May 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
MHC is becoming so increasingly formulaic that she could probably dash these things off in her sleep. Or maybe she actually does. The characters (and there are far too many of them) are unbelievable (woman who had an illegitimate child becomes a nun and is--after death, of course--on the path to sainthood), dialogue is stilted (Who in New York ever calls that state across the Hudson "New Jersey"? It's "Jersey."), and errors and typos are rife. Clark always thanks her director of copyediting, but heaven knows why; a number of quotes begin but never end, at least one time an adult character's name in dialogue is substituted for another, and there is a reference to a biblical episode that does not in fact exist.
Save your money and your time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Phoenix_dream on May 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have been a fan of MHC from the very beginning, and look forward to her books as they arrive. This one really disappointed me. The writing and story line were boring, and I just could not get into the characters - I just did not care what happened to them. In fact, I stopped reading it half-way through. Like anyone, my time is just too valuable to waste it reading a book because I usually like the author. Come on, MHC, I know writing is not easy but I also know you can do it. Please put some more time and thought into the next one as your readers really want you to succeed!
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful By B. Woodard on May 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have always been a fan of Mary Higgins Clark so it pains me to write this review. The story was not as bad as others suggest, a little far fetched, but I dont mind suspending belief a bit if the story is good. Sadly it was not.

I had a hard time relating to the actions and thoughts/dialog of the characters. The young people, well they acted and talked like much older people. I dont mean wiser, I mean the dialog seemed to be from a much older generation. It completely removed me from the story.

The thought process of the characters was too simplistic. Plus so much of the the characters thoughts were completely irrelevent. The characters thought in a dialog of an older generation as well. Reading the characters workig out every thought in their head with outdated cliches was just too much for me.

And this might be a bit nitpicky but as a mother of young children, I was completely thrown from the story when the Doctor suggested baby aspirin for a toddler. What? You dont give aspiring to young children anymore. And also giving a bottle to a 19 month old toddler. Again, nitpicky but it is generally suggested to wear a child from a bottle by 12 months, yet this Doctor was feeding a toddler not just milk but other drinks like water from a bottle. Perhaps a bit more research would have been in order.

All in all, I cannot recommend this book, and I hate that, because I grew up reading MHC's books and loved to share them with others.
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