Here Among Us

Fiction - Drama
289 Pages
Reviewed on 10/25/2012
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

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, real estate and automotive.

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.

For more information on Maggie Harryman, including a more detailed bio, please visit her website at

    Book Review

Reviewed by Alice DiNizo for Readers' Favorite

It’s February of 1970 and in South Orange, New Jersey, Seven year old Flynn O'Shea likes living in her parents' apartment which is located above the bar they own and manage. Flynn is the youngest of the three O'Shea children Maeve being the oldest and Osheen, the only son. Flynn adores her father, Paddy, her best friend and confidant, and when he dies suddenly of a stroke, she is grief-stricken. Many years later, in 2007, single mother Flynn flies home for Thanksgiving to South Orange with her teenage daughter Didi. Flynn and Didi live in San Francisco where Flynn had worked as an attorney for eleven years. The recent downsizing of her firm has left Flynn unemployed and she has a daughter to raise and lives carefully on the money from the three restaurants her mother, Oona, had created. Upon reaching home, Flynn finds that her sister Maeve's luxurious life with husband Jeffrey Tarrant is crumbling, her mother Oona is showing signs of Alzheimer's, her brother Osheen is gamling in Atlantic City, and Didi goes off shopping with Maeve in new York City. Is this any way to celebrate a family holiday get-together?

Author Maggie Harryman has created a highly-readable story of an Irish family in modern-day America. The characters, Flynn, Maeve, Osheen, Oona, Didi and their family friends and neighbors are unforgettable as they battle and then reconcile with each other. Author Harryman creates images such as Flynn's always taking the window seat in her flights on airplanes (p.20), "imagining that her father was out there in the clouds." The book is full of witty remarks like the one we find on page 121 where Osheen is presented as "a flawed and broken man who had spent the better part of his life learning the lessons only angry women can teach.” The reader will treasure these expressions and the author's lyrical writing style that makes "Here Among Us" a masterpiece.