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FBI girl : how I learned to crack my father's code
Maura Conlon-McIvor
Adult Nonfiction CT275.C7628 A3 2004

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From Publishers' Weekly:

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 This made her somewhat withdrawn and silent herself, and at her Catholic school she became known as the shy girl.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. (Aug. 24) Forecast: Conlon-McIvor's straightforward, funny memoir will appeal to readers of Jennifer Lauck's Blackbird and Mary Karr's The Liars' Club. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Conlon-McIvor writes lovingly of her childhood in Southern California as the second of five children of Hoover-era FBI agent Joe Conlon and his homemaker wife, Mary. The author's father clearly held center stage in her childhood, while her youngest brother, a Down syndrome child, was the heart of the family. Conlon-McIvor spent years keeping her own FBI log, trying desperately to glean information-any information-from her silent father. As she got older, she came to see that his quiet nature was not just the requisite FBI-agent reticence but part of his true personality. This realization, coupled with support from her mother, helped her overcome her own painful shyness. Sadly, the author relates that a loved one of the Conlon family was murdered, but she does not make the heartbreaking details the focus of her book. 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.-Karen Sandlin Silverman, CFAR-Ctr. for Applied Research, Philadelphia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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