13 Book Review

posted Aug 10, 2017, 9:28 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Aug 10, 2017, 9:29 AM ]

The Merry Tongue

by Milly Pereira & Noella Menon
Published by Noella Menon, 2017.
Available with Milly Pereira Tel. 2642 3949/98335 95859

Reading ‘The Merry Tongue’ has had a great impact on me. It is, in my humble opinion, a masterpiece of spirituality, containing many nuggets of gold that one needs to discover for oneself.

The book is unusually produced – the combined work of a mother, Milly Pereira, and her daughter, Noella Menon. Noella was the recipient of her mother’s narrations and a witness to her experiences over the years, and has committed all this content to writing so beautifully. The book is a tribute as much to Noella, as it is to Milly.

I came to know Milly when I was closely involved with both our ecclesiastical movements for widows: The Fraternity of Our Lady of the Resurrection (F.O.L.O.R.) and the Hope and Life. Over the years, our acquaintanceship has grown. Milly joined both these movements, and for a while, even coordinated the F.O.L.O.R, having being elected to its leadership.

The strength of the book is that it tells a very simple, homely love story. I am sure most people would easily relate to the events narrated. As Milly faces the inevitable ups-and-downs of daily life, she slowly, but surely, develops a tremendous closeness to God. If she could cultivate such a communion with Him, so can all of us; but how is this to be done?

I found the answer in Chapter 13, ‘The Embrace of Grace’ - the day that Milly lost her husband. They were both young, in their early forties, with three young children. She was distraught and shattered, feeling she was going insane. At this precise moment, she heard the Lord say: “You said you trusted Me. Can you surrender?” And Milly did surrender!

It is after she surrendered to the Lord that her friendship with Him started rapidly to deepen through the trials and sufferings, and paradoxically, through the immense joys she experienced in her widowhood as well.