The Pathway Collection #1: Maggie Come Lately
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Number of Pages: 320
Publication Date: 2007
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.50 (inches)
Availability: In Stock
Series: Pathway Collection
Maggie isnt exactly popular. In fact, shes pretty much invisible. While most girls are going to parties with boyfriends, shes busy acting as mother and housewife to her two brothers and father. But what she really wants is to be noticed by her brothers friend Webb. Unfortunately, hes dating the schools hottest cheerleader.
When her sixteenth birthday comes along, Maggie makes a wish: Please, Lord, let sixteen be a great year; let me be pretty and popular and let Webb . . . its too big a dream to even put the rest into words. Then she hears a noise in the woods that she cant ignore and takes a path that changes her life forever.
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
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Located in: South Carolina
Submitted: November 30, 2007
Tell us a little about yourself. Although born in New York, I've lived most of my life in the south and love adding that southern flavor to my stories.
What was your motivation behind this project? As a mother of four teenagers (and a baby), I wanted to create a story that offered girls respite from the typical secular stories that insinuate premarital relationships as being the norm. Maggie's struggle to become popular force her to face this issue and incorporate her faith and beliefs in to her decision.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? A realistic view of a teen facing a contemporary relationship and weighing it against her faith. Sharing Maggie's journey will help other girls see how they can stand up for their beliefs.
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? The night the proposal was due to be turned in, I had to attend a workshop at our church in order to become a volunteer working with youth. The workshop included a segment on how to spot child molesters as well as personal accounts of two child molesters on video telling how they convinced youth to give in to them. When I learned that 1:4 girls in the States today are molested (by coaches, teachers, and church workers), I knew God was nudging me to include that info in the story--not graphically, but just enough to reach out to children and teens who found themselves in such a situation. It's staggering to think of looking around a classroom at school or church and imagine that many children being abused without recourse, or afraid to tell an adult. After the meeting, I revised the story outline.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? My faith is my biggest influence, and I pray nightly that God guides in me in what I write. In terms of authors, my favorite is Anne Tyler.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: I'm very excited to announce that Jordin Sparks, American Idol 2007, endorsed the Pathway Collection. Jordin is not only a fantastic vocalist, she is a Christian teen who stands for purity and abstinence. She is also pro-life, which is why book two, My Beautiful Disaster, appealed to her. I couldn't have a more appropriate celebrity endorsement. Older folks may be interested to hear that Earl Hamner, creator of The Waltons, ("John-boy"), and author of Spencer's Mountain and The Homecoming, has also reviewed the book. They can read his review on my website.