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FBI Girl: How I Learned to Crack My Father's Code

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FBI Girl: How I Learned to Crack My Father's Code Cover

ISBN13: 9780446533102
ISBN10: 0446533106
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From an evocative new voice comes the touching childhood memoir of an Irish Catholic girl struggling to connect with her enigmatic FBI agent father.

Young Maura Conlon's dad is a secret agent. And Maura knows what that means: chasing cars, jumping over buildings, handcuffing bad guys, just like on The FBI, her favorite TV show. But no matter how many times Maura asks her father about his work, he never says anything. So Maura decides to become an FBI girl-in-training. Balancing the rigors of Catholic school with reading the latest Nancy Drew mysteries, keeping track of license plates on the neighborhood cars, and jotting down observations in her special FBI girl notebook is a lot of work, but Maura is determined to infiltrate her dad's silent world. However, it will take the birth of a Down's syndrome baby and a family tragedy before she has the courage to confront him using real words instead of cryptic code. A heartwarming tale of a father/daughter relationship, FBI Girl is about family bonds, the trials that test them, and the triumphs that make them stronger.

Review:

"Conlon-McIvor was a Hoover-era FBI agent's daughter, and her diverting memoir tells her story from birth to adolescence while depicting her father as a man so taciturn that she became convinced his every word was code for something else. As a kid, determined to decipher his character and the other silences around her, the author cast herself in an ongoing dream life as a Nancy Drew-type agent. This made her somewhat withdrawn and silent herself, and at her Catholic school she became known as the shy girl. At home her mother and siblings livened things up, even though the condition of Joey, the youngest, born with Down's syndrome, made her father even more remote. Other relatives in the extended Irish-American family, especially Maura's New York uncle Father Jack, provided a sense of a larger world in a home where the picture of J. Edgar Hoover frowned down from the wall. When tragedy struck, playing at secret agent didn't help as it used to, and Conlon-McIvor finally grew into herself. She conveys her time (the 1960s) and setting (Los Angeles) with precision and detail; her feel for story, structure and understatement rightfully earns the poignancy of many moments. Agent, Stephanie Kip Rostan. Forecast: Conlon-McIvor's straightforward, funny memoir will appeal to readers of Jennifer Lauck's Blackbird and Mary Karr's The Liars' Club." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"With a style that cleverly matures as the writer recounts her childhood, this book is a delightful and compelling read....Conlon-McIvor successfully reanimates a shelf-worn topic and crafts a book exploring the dynamics of an emotionally and physically absent father." Elle

Review:

"[T]ouchingly honest...always true to a child?s point of view....[An] occasionally funny, affecting account of family ties and personal growth." Booklist

Review:

"The fey filigree of similes is unrelenting and, like the words of a child, unconvincing. Could be effectively pitched as a heartwarmer for young adults, but this jejune effort is seriously misplaced among adult nonfiction." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Readers will enjoy this journey through Conlon-McIvor's Irish American, Catholic-school childhood. An endearing, truthful, and joyful account of coming of age in the 1960s and 1970s; highly recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"FBI Girl is a gorgeous, sumptuous book. Conlon-McIvor takes a subject (herself and her family) that might have sunk in other hands, beats egg white under her words and the whole thing rises like a dream. It's a love story for her people and for a time and place. Read it." Alexandra Fuller, author of the New York Times bestseller Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight

Review:

"Beguiling....Few memoirs in recent memory offer such wit, poignancy, and pleasure." Karen Karbo, author of Generation Ex: Tales from the Second Wives Club

Review:

"FBI Girl is touching and funny, inspiring and tragic, enlightening and sad. I closed the book with tears in my eyes and admiration in my heart for the girl Maura Conlon was and the writer she became." Beverly Donofrio, author of Riding in Cars with Boys

Review:

"The beauty of the enthralling FBI Girl is that it speaks to the universal themes of love and dignity, and the healing power that comes from the heart. While memoirs, by nature, are about one person, the best teach us something about ourselves. Maura Conlon-McIvor does that with a great deal of poignancy, a dose of humor, and moments of real heartbreak. This is a book to treasure." Tom Hallman, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of Sam: The Boy Behind the Mask

Review:

"Oh, I love this book. It offers us a bygone Los Angeles, Catholic School, the FBI — all woven into a funny, moving, beautifully rendered account of a girl coming to know her father." Mike Rose, author of Lives on the Boundary and The Mind at Work

Review:

"An unusual achievement. Joe, Joey, and young Maura Conlon evolve, page by page, heartbeat by heartbeat in this most notable work." Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.

Review:

"A pitch-perfect rendering of the mysteries of parents played to the audience of their young children. Conlon-McIvor achieves something special." Frances Kuffel, author of Passing for Thin

Synopsis:

From an evocative new voice comes the touching childhood memoir of an Irish Catholic girl struggling to connect with her enigmatic FBI agent father.

About the Author

Maura Conlon-McIvor grew up practicing her Irish brogue while bodysurfing the waters of Orange County, California. From there she zipped off to the University of Iowa and became a freelance journalist interviewing Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, National Geographic photographers, mountain climbers, pro sports players, national broadcasters, massage therapists, life coaches, and anybody else with a unique story. She enjoyed a brief stint at The New Yorker and just the other day had lunch with her old boss at the Algonquin Hotel (great tuna sandwiches). Before writing FBI Girl: How I Learned to Crack My Father's Code, Maura worked in the visual effects film industry. Maura Conlon-McIvor sculls on the Willamette River, and divides her time between Portland, Oregon, and New York City. She is married to her husband, Andrew, whom she met on a train platform in Innsbruck, Austria, eons ago.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

jenny kennedy, May 23, 2006 (view all comments by jenny kennedy)
sometimes you just appreciate a story that grounds you, reminds you about what's important in life --- I read the blogs daily, some of the papers -- so consider myself fairly worldly. but this book just got me, hard to explain, kind of like how a lightning and thunder storm can grab you, force you to abandon whatever it is you're doing, and just head out and watch the powerful forces of nature at work,
anyhow, that's what the best stories do: remove us from our couches, to take a look, a new, at the world. there you have it...jk
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(12 of 37 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780446533102
Author:
Conlon-McIvor, Maura
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
California
Subject:
Fathers and daughters
Subject:
Daughters
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Political Freedom & Security - Law Enforcement
Subject:
U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation
Subject:
United States Officials and employees.
Subject:
Biography - General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
August 2004
Binding:
Hardcover
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.67x5.74x1.10 in. 1.15 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Crime » Enforcement and Investigation
History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » Family

FBI Girl: How I Learned to Crack My Father's Code Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Warner Books - English 9780446533102 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Conlon-McIvor was a Hoover-era FBI agent's daughter, and her diverting memoir tells her story from birth to adolescence while depicting her father as a man so taciturn that she became convinced his every word was code for something else. As a kid, determined to decipher his character and the other silences around her, the author cast herself in an ongoing dream life as a Nancy Drew-type agent. This made her somewhat withdrawn and silent herself, and at her Catholic school she became known as the shy girl. At home her mother and siblings livened things up, even though the condition of Joey, the youngest, born with Down's syndrome, made her father even more remote. Other relatives in the extended Irish-American family, especially Maura's New York uncle Father Jack, provided a sense of a larger world in a home where the picture of J. Edgar Hoover frowned down from the wall. When tragedy struck, playing at secret agent didn't help as it used to, and Conlon-McIvor finally grew into herself. She conveys her time (the 1960s) and setting (Los Angeles) with precision and detail; her feel for story, structure and understatement rightfully earns the poignancy of many moments. Agent, Stephanie Kip Rostan. Forecast: Conlon-McIvor's straightforward, funny memoir will appeal to readers of Jennifer Lauck's Blackbird and Mary Karr's The Liars' Club." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "With a style that cleverly matures as the writer recounts her childhood, this book is a delightful and compelling read....Conlon-McIvor successfully reanimates a shelf-worn topic and crafts a book exploring the dynamics of an emotionally and physically absent father."
"Review" by , "[T]ouchingly honest...always true to a child?s point of view....[An] occasionally funny, affecting account of family ties and personal growth."
"Review" by , "The fey filigree of similes is unrelenting and, like the words of a child, unconvincing. Could be effectively pitched as a heartwarmer for young adults, but this jejune effort is seriously misplaced among adult nonfiction."
"Review" by , "Readers will enjoy this journey through Conlon-McIvor's Irish American, Catholic-school childhood. An endearing, truthful, and joyful account of coming of age in the 1960s and 1970s; highly recommended."
"Review" by , "FBI Girl is a gorgeous, sumptuous book. Conlon-McIvor takes a subject (herself and her family) that might have sunk in other hands, beats egg white under her words and the whole thing rises like a dream. It's a love story for her people and for a time and place. Read it."
"Review" by , "Beguiling....Few memoirs in recent memory offer such wit, poignancy, and pleasure."
"Review" by , "FBI Girl is touching and funny, inspiring and tragic, enlightening and sad. I closed the book with tears in my eyes and admiration in my heart for the girl Maura Conlon was and the writer she became."
"Review" by , "The beauty of the enthralling FBI Girl is that it speaks to the universal themes of love and dignity, and the healing power that comes from the heart. While memoirs, by nature, are about one person, the best teach us something about ourselves. Maura Conlon-McIvor does that with a great deal of poignancy, a dose of humor, and moments of real heartbreak. This is a book to treasure."
"Review" by , "Oh, I love this book. It offers us a bygone Los Angeles, Catholic School, the FBI — all woven into a funny, moving, beautifully rendered account of a girl coming to know her father."
"Review" by , "An unusual achievement. Joe, Joey, and young Maura Conlon evolve, page by page, heartbeat by heartbeat in this most notable work." Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.
"Review" by , "A pitch-perfect rendering of the mysteries of parents played to the audience of their young children. Conlon-McIvor achieves something special."
"Synopsis" by , From an evocative new voice comes the touching childhood memoir of an Irish Catholic girl struggling to connect with her enigmatic FBI agent father.
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