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Monday, December 03, 2007

Maggie Again

Time-travel novels tend to come in two basic types: those in which the time-travelers have to fight for their survival and those in which they find romance in the past and are tempted to stay there. Of course, even those time-travelers forced to fight for their lives often manage to find romance along the way but they seldom want to stay in the violent era in which they find themselves.

With Maggie Again, John Husband offers up the gentlest of the second type, a novel in which not one real villain appears even for a moment, a novel in which even New York City policemen and mental institution employees fall in love with the three young men who arrived there in 1984 believing that it was still 1926.

Life in rural Cobblers Eddy, Indiana, was a good in 1926. Teenagers of the time went to school and worked hard to support the farming efforts of their parents but they had plenty of time to be kids. And, although these were more innocent times, they fell in love and looked forward to raising families of their own right there in Cobblers Eddy. Just when Tom and Maggie seemed to be heading that way, Maggie’s father accepted a Wall Street position and she found herself beginning a whole new life without Tom.

Things took a strange turn when Maggie’s three best friends, Tom, Alphie and Gordy, hopped into an empty boxcar that they hoped would take them to New York City at her invitation. They never showed up and no trace of them was ever found. Maggie, grief stricken though she remained for her entire life, eventually married and had a son whom she name Tom in memory of her first love. But in 1984, widowed and having lost her son, and preparing to retire from a lifetime of work, Maggie got the surprise of her life. Tom, Alphie and Gordy were in the city looking for her and they have not aged a day since she had last seen them fifty-eight years earlier in Cobblers Eddy.

And the best is yet to come, as Maggie and the boys find when she decides to help acclimate them to their new world by taking them back to Cobblers Eddy to see if anyone they remember still lives there. Maggie Again is more than a nostalgic look at simpler times. It is a book about second chances and being wise enough to take advantage of those chances when they fall from the sky. This one will be published in January 2008 and will make a nice start to the reading year for those who spot it.

Rated at: 3.5

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