Maggie McCarthy is more than ready to be just a regular teen. Ever since her mother's death, Maggie has found herself acting as a mother to her two younger brothers and serving as the resident housekeeper. All of that changes after she rescues a classmate and rival from sexual assault and becomes an accidental hero and celebrity at her high school. Now Maggie must reconcile popularity with true friendship, deal with the fallout of sexual abuse and redefine her place in the family. And with the help of an unlikely friend, Maggie begins to discover God's grace in her life. Author Michelle Buckman offers an edgy, realistic story for teen girls that honestly explores some of the most challenging issues today. Buckman balances tough themes with the hope found in God alone, leading readers to embrace their faith in everyday life. Sometimes everything you want is what you already have.
While most girls are going to parties, Maggie is busy acting as mother and housewife to her two brothers and father. When she turns 16, Maggie hopes it will be a great year. But then she hears a noise in the woods that takes her on a path that changes her life forever.
That wise and wonderful Southern writer, Lee Smith, once observed, I was at a point in my life where all my friends, women I had grown up with, were suddenly floundering, because we were following someone elses idea of who we ought to be and what we ought to do.
I remembered Lee Smiths remark soon after I began reading Michelle Buckmans excellent new novel, Maggie Come Lately. How well it dramatizes the predicament of young Maggie McCarthy. We are present at that moment when she was four years old and her entire life shifted. We meet her later in present time - a perfect daughter, a perfect substitute mother to her siblings, a perfect student, and a perfect friend. There is only one problem. Influenced by to the pressure of society, submitting to the circumstance of her position in the family, responding to every demand made upon her to conform to what is expected of her, Maggie has neglected to become her true self.
That voyage of self-discovery begins on her sixteenth birthday when she first assumes the role of surrogate mother to her orphaned siblings, of willing housekeeper to her widower father, of compliant friend to her schoolmates.
Under Mrs. Buckmans skilled hand we live through Maggies longing for someone to love her and her eventual discovery of that love. We share her dismay when her father courts a totally inappropriate second wife, and we experience along with Maggies her deep concern when a younger brother begins to retreat from life.
A shocking event early on, the murder of one of her classmates, shadows the action and the fabric of the book.
The suspense is intense for a work primarily intended for youthful readers, but the author knows what she is doing and the reader is compelled to keep reading until the surprising climax.
While this book is directed toward a younger readership it can also prompt each of us to reflect on who we are and how we got that way. As Lee Smith asks, Are we someone elses idea of who we ought to be, or are we our true selves? - Earl Hamner (Creator of The Waltons and Falcon Crest, author of Spencers Mountain and The Homecoming)
It was amazing. I loved it! Despite everything that's going on, I had time to read another amazing book by Michelle Buckman. With Maggie Come Lately, I was completely drawn in by her characters and real-life issues that she tackled in the story. In her second book, My Beautiful Disaster, she drew me in even more with her compelling story about Maggie's best friend-turned-sister, Dixie. In
Dixie's story, she goes through love, loss, fear, and redemption. I can honestly say that I felt Dixies emotions when I read her words. I felt my chest puff up with pride as if I knew her myself. I felt connected. I could not put the book down for three days straight. You want a good read? You're looking at it." - Jordin Sparks, American Idol winner 2007