Click the link above to read the first three chapters of Maggie in PDF format.
Extenuating circumstances force Maggie, a forty-year-old woman emotionally traumatized from a childhood accident, to realize the insignificance of her own problems when compared to the life and death tragedies that have befallen others.
MAGGIE: The novel’s 40-year-old narrator, Maggie lives at home with her father and works at the family store in the fictional small town of Rosemont, Illinois. She is so socially withdrawn that most townspeople question her sanity. Maggie’s troubled past revolves around a childhood accident that left her cheek badly scarred and her sense of confidence and self-worth in shambles. Following years of mostly unsuccessful therapy, Maggie has learned to put on the happy face everyone seems to expect.
MEAN MAGGIE: The straight-talking, cynical side of Maggie’s personality that reemerges when Maggie’s comfort zone is threatened by a robbery at the store. After a series of subsequent events leaves her father in deep trouble, Maggie is fearful that Mean Maggie’s abrupt style—which Maggie finds nearly impossible to control—may land her in a sanitarium.
KATHERINE: Maggie’s younger sister, Katherine, works as an editor at a high profile newspaper in San Francisco. Katherine has everything Maggie secretly covets: beauty, self-confidence, success, and respect. Following Maggie’s accident, Katherine assumed the big sister role and never let go.
DAD: A former Chicago detective seriously injured on the job, Dad (Tom Murray) has taken to small town life in Rosemont, where he runs a grocery store with Maggie. He understands her difficulties stem from her mother’s abandonment and does his best to provide her with a safe and loving environment.
TERRY: Terry Summers, aka Terry Radke, relocated from Chicago to Rosemont to escape his past. Terry is haunted by the sins of his son, Richie, who, at the age of 13, committed a horrendous crime. Desperate for absolution, Terry confides his secret to Maggie only to find out that she, too, is hiding from the past.
RICHIE: Richie is serving a life sentence. Although Terry visits regularly, Richie refuses communication. He has not spoken a word to his father since committing the crime ten years earlier, nor provided any explanation—to Terry or anyone else.
Chief Kruger: A small town police chief nursing a 20-year-old crush on Katherine and a strong suspicion of newcomers.
Gretchen Wilcox: A high-profile attorney with an impressive winning percentage and a take-charge attitude that threatens to nick Katherine’s nail polish.
Congressman Mason: A local politician with ambitions that stretch beyond the small town boundaries of Rosemont.
Noah Gatley: An astute, shy young man with an aptitude for song-writing and collecting secrets.
Rob Mason: The eldest son of Congressman Mason and every parent’s dream: star athlete, honor student, and community volunteer.
Pete Mason: Rob’s opposite in every way imaginable and the first to be blamed when trouble arises in town.
Before an attempted robbery at the family store left local sports hero Bobby Tyler dead, Maggie didn’t care that most people thought she was slow as a doormat. It made life easy. No one bothered to ask why she still lived with her father, whether she planned to get married or have children of her own, if she was jealous of her sister’s success, felt guilty for her mother abandoning the family, or, worst of all, how she would manage if something happened to her father. If anyone had dared to approach the unapproachable, however, Maggie would have pasted on her goofy smile, the one she had come to master after years of useless therapy, and say something like, “Well, I don’t know, but I’m sure it will all work out.”
With her sanity now balancing on a thread, however, Maggie’s goofy smile has vanished beneath the scowl of Mean Maggie, that horrible, face-the-facts part of herself who knows the jig is up. Her father is the prime suspect in two murder cases and Maggie is falling for the man who might be the real killer—newcomer Terry Radke.
Suddenly Maggie is faced with questions of true significance. If Terry is the great guy he seems to be, why won’t he talk about his past? Is his affection for Maggie just a ruse to throw the investigation off track? What will happen if Gretchen Wilcox’s defense fails to exonerate Dad? Will social workers try to have Maggie committed? Will Katherine let them? Join Maggie in a journey of self discovery that truly that turns her life inside out.