BRINGING MAGGIE HOME
Decades of Loss, an Unsolved Mystery, and a Rift Spanning Three Generations
Hazel DeFord is a woman haunted by her past. While berry picking in a blackberry thicket in 1943, ten-year-old Hazel momentarily turned her back on her three-year-old sister, Maggie, and the young girl disappeared
Almost seventy years later, the mystery remains unsolved, and the secret guilt Hazel carries has alienated her from her daughter, Diane, who can't understand her mother's overprotectiveness and near paranoia. While Diane resents her mother's inexplicable eccentricities, her daughter Meghan -- a cold case agent -- cherishes her grandmother's lavish attention and affection.
When a traffic accident forces Meghan to take a six-weak leave of absence to recover, all three generations of DeFord women find themselves unexpectedly under the same roof. Meghan knows she will have to act as a mediator between the two headstrong and contentious women. But when they uncover Hazel's painful secret, will Meghan also be able to use her investigative powers to solve the family mystery and help both women recover all that's been lost?
A timeless story that explores the ripple effect a tragedy causes across generations. It's a rich, multi-layered tapestry of emotion that really made an impact on me. Told from the multiple view points of Hazel (grandmother), Diane (daughter) and Meghan (granddaughter) with the occasional flashback, it really illustrates the power a parent's words and actions hold. And how they shape the future generations beyond the moment they are said or done. This was an eyeopening read for me.
I adored Hazel. Closing in on eighty, we get the benefit of her memories first so it's easy to see how the disappearance of her sister shaped the rest of her life. But since she's buried that secret for decades, her daughter and granddaughter don't have the same insight the reader does and that makes family dynamics complicated. Especially between Hazel and her daughter.
True confession: Diane irked me from the very start. My least favourite character, I was bordering on hostile for most of the read. But Sawyer does an exceptional job of weaving a tale of grace and forgiveness and the patience it takes to live both truthfully so that was a huge takeaway lesson for me. :-)
Meghan is easy to love. She's has a unique relationship with her grandmother and it's that bond that catapults these three women onto a journey of discovery and healing.
One of my favourite quotes from the book is courtesy of Hazel -- a woman of faith paired with a wry sense of humour. "God, not to be irreverent, but sometimes I wonder if You listen to me at all." (p. 52) I can totally relate to that sentiment and might be guilty of saying the same thing from time to time. :-) Unfortunately, Diane has had a very different experience with religion which has left her contemptuous of anything to do with faith while Meghan is quietly questioning thanks to the gentle but direct encouragement of a friend. Loved the insights that come from the realistic mix of characters at different stages of their faith journey.
A page-turning family drama with the hint of romance and plenty of mystery.
If you would like a chance to win a copy of Bringing Maggie Home, leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you add your email to a comment remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easy for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday January 21 2018. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck!