Maggie Elizabeth is a thirteen years old little girl who deals with the struggles of a simple life with her father and her grandmother in a mining village at upper Michigan in late 1800’s.
The plot drags the reader to a teen romance. The first words you see are “My father drowns my kittens.” Wow.
You keep on reading. As I don’t want to reveal the story, I’ll just advance that this young couple sticks from average people around them, with the intention of protecting a little pack of wolf puppies in the mountain, away from the hunters.
Maggie is a complex character. Her father is obviously resentful to her, blaming her for the death of her wife. Emotionally abandoned, misunderstood, lonely and introverted, this sweet lady focuses her heart and kindness on saving those animals.
This book, in my opinion, develops the plot in two main aspects. The central story, which tells us about the kids’ adventure and the rocks on the way they find to accomplish their objective and, the inner, deep, sensorial and sensitive world in the mind of Maggie Elizabeth. I love how the author manages to stir together the obsession of protecting the animals and her personal storm, related to the destructive relation with her family.
“My father doesn’t say anything, but I am not surprised, he hardly ever
says anything. He just stands next to James Stetter, holding the lantern,
looking at me, but not saying anything. I am wondering if this is how the rest
of my life with him is going to be.”
As a reader, you cannot get to guess if she’s only looking for a way out to run away from her ghosts, guilt, resentment and hurt feelings or if her heart actually aches for equality. I can see the hard work of Swykert, trying to compose a complex character, tender, compassionate yet sharp and confident. Nothing can tear her up.
“As I comb my hair I look at myself in
the mirror. I look into my blue eyes to see what is in there, what’s inside me.
I really don’t see anything, and I think how silly this is, because I know I am
in there. I am alive; I am not empty.”
You can see this book as a kind of a slow story, “waiting” for something else to happen, or you can appreciate the delicate shades of the evolution of our kind Maggie and just, enjoy the beautiful descriptions and submerge on the incandescence of this special author’s writing.
I recommend this book to all those readers who don’t rush to finish a book. This is a piece to appreciate, discover, trace and let the emotions flow. Descriptions are abundant, fair, fresh and sometimes, visceral.
Swykert writing is pleasurable, easy to read and perfectly correct. I needed more time than other books, so you do not only stare at the thread but try to catch all the effort from the author, which is obvious and brilliant, but it’s absolutely worth it.
Different, unique, heartwarming and thrilling, this book creates a little special room in the mind of the reader. Congratulations.
Review written by Mar G.-Amorena
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