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Publisher's Summary

For fans of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and A Man Called Ove, a life-affirming, deeply moving "coming-of-old" story, a celebration of how ordinary days are made extraordinary through friendship, family, and the power of forgiving yourself - at any age.

"At a time when people are having to isolate, [this novel is] a balm, offering an expansive sense of love and possibility at a time when the main characters feel like those chances are gone." (Christian Science Monitor)

The world has changed around 79-year-old librarian Millicent Carmichael, a.k.a. Missy. Though quick to admit that she often found her roles as a housewife and mother less than satisfying, Missy once led a bustling life driven by two children, an accomplished and celebrated husband, and a Classics degree from Cambridge. Now, her husband is gone, her daughter is estranged after a shattering argument, and her son has moved to his wife's native Australia, taking Missy's beloved only grandchild half-a-world away. She spends her days sipping sherry, avoiding people, and rattling around in her oversized, under-decorated house waiting for...what exactly?

The last thing Missy expects is for two perfect strangers and one spirited dog named Bob to break through her prickly exterior and show Missy just how much love she still has to give. In short order, Missy finds herself in the jarring embrace of an eclectic community that simply won't take no for an answer - including a rambunctious mutt-on-loan whose unconditional love gives Missy a reason to re-enter the world one muddy paw print at a time.

Filled with wry laughter and deep insights, The Love Story of Missy Carmichael is a coming-of-old story that shows us it's never too late to forgive yourself and, just as important, it's never too late to love.

©2020 Beth Morrey (P)2020 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"Masterful and a real page-turner. Missy is a joy...the humor and courage with which she faces loss and ageing are handled with such wit and empathy. The world needs more assured female voices like Beth Morrey’s. Her novel is a breath of fresh air!" (Felicity Hayes-McCoy, author of The Library at the Edge of the World)

"For everyone with an Eleanor Oliphant-shaped hole in their heart, this is the book to fill it. Gorgeous characters, heartfelt storytelling and the sort of book that lifts your heart." (Eithne Shortall, author of Grace After Henry)

"Morrey has deftly created a series of love stories, interwoven together and told in snippets through time.... Pain, grief, and hurt are all part of life in this moving portrayal of the many forms love can take." (Kirkus Reviews starred review)

What listeners say about The Love Story of Missy Carmichael

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Emotional roller coaster!!!

Wow. I do a lot of browsing, and usually gravitate toward mystery/suspense/procedurals. Every once in a while, a brilliant character study pops up like magic, and I thank the book gods! The last such gem was "Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine". When I looked at the cover of this one and saw that this one featured a dog, I was in. The world is such a mess, and this story of an aloof, depressed near-octogenarian and the strangers that become her "extra" family gives hope. The addition of Bob to her life strikes a chord with my heart. Dogs love unconditionally, and dog people do tend to find each other and create bonds. I will say that I sobbed uncontrollably through most of the final five chapters or so. The revelation pertaining to Leo was genius, and so unexpected! I also must mention that I audibly gasped through my tears at the new family cat's name: Sourpuss. I adopted my first cat in 1995, which started my life of rescuing four-legged souls. His name, of course, was Sourpuss. This book is as good as it gets, and the narration is perfect. This one will stay with me for a long time. 💜

4 people found this helpful

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spoiler alert

spoiler alert. dog gets hit by car and dies. don't bother if you like dogs. sob story the entire time and it's the first audible book that I kind of want a refund on...

1 person found this helpful

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Beautiful

I loved this book and cried through so much of it . It is beautifully written both happy and sad.

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A boring story with a good ending.

This was a book club pick, and that is the only reason I made it to the surprisingly sweet and tender ending. The whole story was a mental exercise in attempting to care about a very bitter and jealous old lady that never seemed to be lovable even when the plot was trying so hard to make her seem sympathetic. Honestly, it was as if the author was so concerned about giving Missy flaws to make her seem human that she forgot to give her any redeeming qualities at all. I did give an extra star because I finished the book and because the last few chapters were comparatively enjoyable, but I couldn't recommend anyone else waste that many hours of their life just to read the end.

However, the narrator was excellent and deserves five stars.

1 person found this helpful

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Loved this!

Loved this tender, big hearted, beautifully written novel. Have already recommended it to several friends.

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Profoundly depressing

I kept waiting for the glimmers of happiness and the “things are going to be all right” feeling. It never comes. Any moment that you dare to hope in this story is quickly smacked down to the depths of despair. It’s the story of the tragic happenings in the life of a basically selfish woman. It contributes nothing positive to the world at large, so if you need positivity, do not seek it here.

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  • LR
  • 10-24-20

Love!

This story is filled with the rich emotions of life. All of the characters jump off the page and into your heart--the two legged ones as well as the four legged. As we go along with Missy on her journey we feel her sadness and her happiness. We are inspired by her courage. Missy Carmichael will stay with me for a long time.


At some point in life many women will find themselves in the same place as Missy. The kids grow up, the family may live far away or have already passed. Perhaps your husband was the only friend you thought you'd need and suddenly poof you're a widow. Whatever the case, you're alone and just maybe you have to create a new life for yourself. Now you might be thinking this sounds like a depressing book why in the world would I read it? You read it because it's wonderful and authentic. You read it because although there are sad moments you'll find much joy and inspiration on these pages. I enjoyed every minute of it.

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Heartwarming

I was into the book right from the start. A heartwarming story that was not predictable. I loved it.

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A sweet and amazing emotional rollercoaster

This book had all the feels. I laughed, I teared up a bit, and was overall surprised. I read this one on a whim. I've heard a lot about this one since the pandemic, and was looking for something a bit different, but wasn't sure how different. So, I took a dive. I'm a librarian, and I've heard a few of my patrons talking about this one and thought, "why not." Boy, I'm glad I did. Every once in a great while, you encounter a piece of work that sticks with you on so many levels. This is one. It's sweet, charming, and so much more. I don't want to gush at book's length here, but, suffice it to say, it had every aspect from that warm fuzzy cozy feeling, all the way to the sad, but yet, uplifting spots, and that general inspirational touch that just brought it home. Hallmark movies sometimes lose my interest, but, this was like a cozy Hallmark channel special, with life thrown in. It was sweet, but not over the top so. This isn't a genre that I normally find myself enjoying, but, I think this has opened a part of me up that wasn't before, and I could see myself enjoying other things like this every so often. Goot job Ms Mory. You hooked me from the very start. Thank you for the book I didn't know I neede. And Ms Walters, thank you for doing such a phenomenal job, you brought Missy and the crew to life, all the way in a huge way. Great job guys. Thank you again.

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  • ET
  • 08-19-20

Very lovely listen....

Friends, dogs, love, grandmothers, children and kindness - what’s not to love with a great story and the perfect narration. It made me laugh and made me cry and made me forget about the horribleness out in the world, at least for a while. Best kind of story.