The Mother I Imagined, The Mom I Knew

What is memory? How much of what we remember actually happened? How much is wishful thinking, added to and embellished over the years? These are questions you’ll be asking yourself while reading The Mother I Imagined, The Mom I Knew


Press Articles & Reviews


“A web of memories as delicate as the perfume of a flower, and yet as strong as the currents in the sea. It is joyous, funny and sad, and speaks not only of love but of infinite understanding.”

Anne PerryInternational Best-Selling Historical Novelist and author of three acclaimed Mystery Series: Thomas & Charlotte Pitt; Monk; WWI

“A compelling read about the changing relationship between a mother and son over time.”

Ruth HarrisNew York Times bestselling author

“In his unique hybrid memoir, Paul Fahey artfully blends the lines between reality and memory. Part tribute, part confession and all parts sincere, the author lovingly recalls an often transient childhood with a strong, independent mother from whom he no doubt inherited his tenacity. Thinly-veiled short stories combined with snippets of their evolving relationship underscore the immutable truth of a complex mother-son relationship. In the end, The Mother I Imagined, The Mom I Knew is an earnest examination into human resilience, the power of love and ultimately, the gifts of forgiveness and self-acceptance.”

Eldonna EdwardsAuthor of best-selling memoir Lost in Transplantation and the forthcoming novel This I Know

“Paul Fahey’s mother, Mary Eileen Smith, comes off as part Auntie Mame, part Joan Mommie Dearest Crawford, and part Mama Rose. She has a wickedly funny wit, sharp survival skills, and great poignancy and vulnerability. Fahey captures all of this in this unusual memoir that combines the art of fiction with the even deeper art of remembrance.”

Perry BrassAuthor of King of Angels, and The Manly Pursuit of Desire and Love

“This is as much an autobiography of the author as it is the story of his mother, and as such is an intimate and revealing view of all that influenced him. Included are some fascinating short stories that in many ways parallel both his and his mother’s life together. Fascinating reading.”

Marilyn MeredithAuthor of Deputy Tempe Crabtree Mysteries

“Fahey’s strong writing and quirky characters unite to create a beguiling coming-of-age tale set in 1950’s San Francisco.”

Sue McGintyAuthor of Bella Kowalski California Central Coast Mysteries

“Paul Fahey is a master story teller, and his latest book brings his usual charm to the page. In The Mother I Imagined, The Mom I Knew, he creates a unique and delightful “hybrid” of memoir, fiction, and poetry . . . flawlessly interwoven, and rich in insight and filled with love. . . another joyful read for Fahey-followers.”

Anna Unkovich Co-author with Jack Canfield & Mark Victor Hansen of Chicken Soup for the Soul in the Classroom

“Fahey's gambit in mixing fiction and memoir pays off with dividends. The result is a layered, intimate but never sentimental, fascinating portrait of a remarkable woman and of a parent-child relationship that went beyond that and might have been the most crucial in both of their lives.”

Felice PicanoAward-winning author of Nights at Rizzoli

“A rewarding ride through the unique life journey of a mother and son. It’s all here, with a stunning precision of details: the joys, the sorrow, the confusions, and above all, the deep and abiding love. The mix of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and commentary lets you see inside the unfolding relationship from all sides. A powerful and memorable read!”

Barbara JackshaAuthor of Vision Pages: a vision journal for imagining your dreams to life

“Paul Fahey uses his superb talent for entrancing the reader with the sights and sounds of places from Burbank to Ethiopia in this compelling account of his relationship with his vagabond mother and her Auntie Mame lifestyle.”

Diane BroylesAuthor of Out of Time on Santorini

“A fantastic read--poignant and funny and hair-raising all at once.”

Anne R. AllenAuthor of the Camilla Randall Mysteries