Wednesday 22 September 2021

Molly of the Mall

Finished September 17
Molly of the Mall: Literary Lass and Purveyor of Fine Footwear by Heidi L.M. Jacobs

This book awoke memories and kept me thoroughly engaged. Written over the course of a year, Molly narrates the book in a style that feels like a diary. The book is divided into the summer and two semesters and starts as Molly begins work in a shoe store at West Edmonton Mall. She does well and returns to her full-time seasonal position for the Christmas season and the following summer. 
The portion with her working at the mall is filled with long work shifts, the surface encounters of retail, interactions with her co-workers and other mall stall, and musings on her life. She meets an older man while browsing at the book store and they begin a friendship without even knowing each other's name. 
Molly is a huge Jane Austen fan and reads and rereads her books often. Both her parents are professors at University of Alberta, her mother in art and her father in English literature, her own major. Her older sister Tess is in France and her brother Heathcliff is busy with his agronomy studies. As you can guess, all three children have literary names, each from the book her father was teaching at the time of their birth. Molly is named for Moll Flanders. 
The time that Molly is at university is taken up by her studies, friendships, and aims to be a writer herself someday. She is an innovative student in some ways, submitting a mix-tape for one assignment and an apology for another. Molly doesn't have a boyfriend, but she might like one. Not that she really has time in her busy life. She has good friends, and a good relationship with her parents, who are also interesting and engaging characters. 
One reason that I really connected with this book and with the character of Molly is that I also studied at the University of Alberta and worked at West Edmonton Mall. I however worked at the less upscale Phase One section in a no-longer-existent department store. Her wanderings through the mall and her life on campus brought back fond memories in a nostalgic way. Beyond that, Molly is an optimistic and caring person and one who has dreams for the future. 
I borrowed this from my local library, but may have to splurge on my own copy.  

No comments:

Post a Comment