Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Margaret From Maine by Joseph Monninger

3 Star

Brought together by war, separated by duty, a love story for the ages.

Margaret Kennedy lives on a dairy farm in rural Maine. Her husband Thomas—injured in a war overseas—will never be the man he was. When the President signs a bill in support of wounded veterans, Margaret is invited to the nation’s capital. Charlie King, a handsome Foreign Service officer, volunteers to escort her. As the rhododendron blossoms along the Blue Ridge Highway, the unlikely pair fall in love—but Margaret cannot ignore the tug of her marriage vows.

Jen - 3 Star

Margaret From Maine didn’t speak to me as much as I thought it would after reading its description. The  beautiful cover photo did enough to pique my interest and I wish I could say my interested didn’t stop there. Luckily, Joseph Monninger knows what elements make a great love story, so it has high points that made many points of the story enjoyable.

Maybe it was the dairy farm, where Margaret lives with her father in law and young son, Gordon. Maybe it was Margaret’s matter of fact, vague descriptions of the setting and people around her. But I just couldn't connect with this twenties something military wife who lived on a dairy farm.

The disconnect continued when I read about Margaret’s husband, Thomas, who has been left in a vegetative state after being wounded in fighting overseas. It’s been six years since he was injured and I think six years is too long of a gap for Margaret to still be on the dairy farm, going every day to see her husband. She doesn't seem that connected to Thomas but at the same time, she’s still there, taking care of his father and their family business. 

It’s only when Margaret flies to Washington to witness the President sign a bill for wounded veterans that the book picked up pace for me, because in walks Charlie King, a handsome officer who volunteers to escort her to the White House and around D.C. Charlie and Margaret’s love affair that follows  saved the story from that point on for me. He pulls a “Cinderella story” on her, complete with a beautiful borrowed dress and a night out to a ball. It was enchanting to read about a young woman who has been virtually asleep on a dairy farm come alive again in the arms of a handsome stranger. 

It’s their love story that spoke the most to me in this story, even though the strongest bond throughout Margaret’s life is her marriage to Thomas. I won’t tell you how the story ends or even what happens in the second half of the book. There are some really great points in this book like dedication to loved ones, standing your ground and doing what you feel is right even when it hurts, being a good mother, and being kind to others. With those common themes as the story’s backbone, it still goes right in the long run. 

Thank you to Plume for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Joseph Monninger here:

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