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the house on honeysuckle lane.

 

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"Mary McDonough welcomes readers back to the small town of Oliver’s Well, Virginia, in a story of holiday and homecoming, as three siblings gather for a Christmas that brings unexpected gifts."

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In a heartfelt story set in a picturesque small town in Virginia, Mary McDonough portrays three generations of women in a modern Irish-American family as they navigate marriage, motherhood, and independence…

The Fitzgibbons—especially the women—have long been the backbone of Oliver’s Well, Virginia. Matriarch Mary Bernadette is still striking and tireless at seventy-five, with a generous heart that belies her sometimes sharp tongue. Her husband, Paddy, owns the local landscaping business, daughter Grace is a nun, and son Pat and his wife Megan are successful lawyers. Her grandson, PJ, and his new wife, Alexis, live in a charming cottage behind the main house. Church, family, tradition, and the local historical society—everything Mary Bernadette cherishes is in Oliver’s Well. But below the surface, there are fractures.

Megan sees the strained relationship between her husband and Mary Bernadette, who has never quite recovered from the painful loss of her first-born son. Megan too is torn between gaining her mother-in-law’s approval and living life on her own terms. Alexis loves PJ deeply yet chafes against his grandmother’s influence in their marriage. Then a looming scandal brings unexpected tragedy, compelling the Fitzgibbons to determine the depth of their loyalty, find their strength—and repair the bonds that have held a town, and a family, together for so long.

With warmth and an abundance of insight, Mary McDonough artfully captures the shifting dynamics of family life—and the revelations they may bear just in time.

For nine seasons, Mary McDonough was part of one of the most beloved families in television history. Just ten years-old when she was cast as the pretty, wholesome middle child Erin, Mary grew up on the set of The Waltons, alternately embracing and rebelling against her good-girl onscreen persona. Now, as the first cast member to write about her experiences on the classic series, she candidly recounts the joys and challenges of growing up Walton—from her overnight transformation from a normal kid in a working class, Irish Catholic family, to a Hollywood child star, to the personal challenges that led her to take on a new role as an activist for women’s body image issues.

Touching, funny, sometimes heartbreaking, and always illuminating, Lessons from the Mountain is the story of everything Mary McDonough learned on her journey over—and beyond—that famous mountain.

“For someone who started out as a sweet little girl afraid to speak up, it certainly is a pleasure to hear her shout from the top of the mountain now!" --Alison Arngrim, New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of a Prairie Bitch

 


Reviews

Mary is a whole lot more than Erin on The Waltons. This book shows how she’s handled all the highs and lows with grace.
— George Clooney
She’s a radiant woman whose truth comes from within…if I had to pick one word that described Mary Beth, it would be resilience.
— Earl Hamner, Creator of The Waltons
A fascinating look at what it’s like to grow up in front of and beyond the cameras.
— Eve Plumb