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4 Stars Out Of 5
March 26, 2010
While I loved the book The Dead Don't Dance, I found the sequel to be a little disjointed. Although still a good story, I thought all the action and misfortune of the main characters too unusual to be realistic. However I would still recommend it as a follow-up to the original story, The Dead Don't Dance.
This is a strong emotional tale, and very well told. As in the earlier book, and now this sequel I find myself very annoyed with the behavior of the main character - he continually makes wild and even dangerous, selfish and stupid choices - and yet, I cannot stop reading sometimes with tears even. I have a very mixed feeling. But, if you buy it you will enjoy the read.
Maggie continues the poignant journey of Dylan and Maggie Styles introduced in Charles Martin's excellent debut novel The Dead Don't Dance. Maggie has awoken from the coma into which she fell after the traumatic labour that ended in the stillbirth of her firstborn son. Dylan, forever grateful for her restoration believes, "All the world was right.". As with all tragedy those it strikes are permanently changed and life never returns to what it once was. Dylan and Maggie struggle to adjust to the emotional and physical fallout from their trauma and as life becomes complicated and their hopes for a family diminish rapidly they need to find a way to hope again.Parallel to their story, Martin develops the intriguing yet damaged character of Bryce Kai McGregor, whose penchant for playing the bagpipes naked added so much humour to The Dead Don't Dance. In Maggie, his eccentricities are highlighted and explained, as Dylan discovers the horrors through which he has lived, survived but scarred in deepest places of his heart. Dylan and Bryce's friendship is one of the many treasures to be discovered in this novel. Dylan's childhood friend, Amos and his wife, Amanda Lovatt also return as part of the tapestry which connects this sequel so seamlessly to The Dead Don't Dance.Charles Martin's characters tug at your heartstrings due to their authenticity and his ability to convey the inner workings of their hearts and minds. His secondary characters are of the same quality and substance as his main characters being one of the many factors that set Charles' writing apart. While the number of tragedies befalling the young couple and their friends escalate at an alarming rate, the story is saved by Charles' unique literary style and unequalled character development. Charles use of symbolism throughout his novels is beautifully done and his avoidance of tying up all the loose ends neatly is a credit to him and a compliment to his readers.