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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Review of Hello, Molly! by Molly Shannon

Molly Shannon explores the childhood tragedy that changed her life forever, but her general optimism and joy feel like the heart of her memoir Hello, Molly!

Should I begin this review by admitting that I once kind of, sort of followed Molly Shannon through my neighborhood when we lived in New York, or is that too creepy? Does it seem more acceptable if I clarify that I only went a block out of my way to do this on my way home? Yes? No?

Anyhoo, Hello, Molly! is Shannon's account of her childhood and the shocking tragedies, determined joy, and persistent resilience that led her to become the person she is.

A horrific car accident with her father at the wheel changed her family forever when Shannon was very young, and she doesn't shy away from exploring her young understanding of the circumstances, loss, and her shifting feelings about all of it as she grew older. She reflects on her complicated, sometimes fraught yet affectionate relationship with her dad, her youthful yearning for would-be mother figures, and her unconditional affection for her sister.

Her memoir focuses largely on her younger years, including her youthful passion for acting and her path toward and development into a comedic actress and performer. Hello, Molly! also explores her mainly positive, almost dreamlike Saturday Night Live years, her writing and collaboration with various other performers, her friendship with Lorne Michaels, and more.

I listened to Hello, Molly! as an audiobook. Listening to Shannon's entertaining account of the Gary Coleman Incident (if you know, you know) could have been dangerous while driving--it's unforgettable, disturbing, and in Shannon's hands, a full tragicomedy.

Shannon is so enthusiastic, full of wonder about the world, and unfailingly optimistic (with a slight, wonderful edge), my main takeaway from reading Hello, Molly! is how generally gosh-darn appealing she is.

Do you have any Bossy thoughts about this book?

I've become a huge fan of listening to memoirs in audiobook form so I can hear the author's words about his or her life straight from the horse's mouth.


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