Margaret from Maine by Joseph Monninger

Margaret from Maine CoverMargaret from Maine by Joseph Moninger
Published by Plume, an imprint of Penguin
Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley

Margaret Kennedy’s husband, Thomas, is a war veteran who was injured in Iraq and will never be the person he once was. In fact, he’s basically in a vegetative state and the doctors don’t believe he will ever get better. Margaret still finds joy in her life, though, working on the farm her father-in-law owns and taking care of her young son, Gordon. When the President signs a bill in support of wounded veterans, Margaret is invited to the capital for the gala that follows. Charlie King, a Foreign Service officer, volunteers to escort her to the event, and when Margaret accepts his offer she has no idea what she’s getting herself into. Before she knows it, she’s head over heels in love with Charlie and faced with an awful decision to make.

I tried really hard to like this book. Honestly, I put my best effort into it. Unfortunately, I found myself loathing the time I spent with it, and even though I did finish the thing, I can’t come even close to recommending it. I’ll try to explain why without being too harsh and relatively quickly. Here we go.

First of all, the entire premise is incredibly unrealistic. I get the love at first sight thing but this was insanely quick. Margaret and Charlie knew each other for all of ten minutes before they were completely in love and in my opinion that just doesn’t happen. I get that a lot of romance novels have that crazy fast-paced thing happening but this was WAY fast.

Also, the writing felt clunky and awkward, the dialogue was just weird, and I had a difficult time really getting into the feel of the book and connecting to any of the characters. The novel is set in the present day but the way it was written gave it a much older feel (1950’s is what I was thinking while reading it).

The book tries to say big, important things about war in general, about whether the current war or any war is worth the countless lives lost, and also about the care we give to our wounded veterans, but ultimately I felt like it simply tried to say those things and didn’t make the points clearly or forcefully enough to really say much at all. Also, the ending was sort of good. But besides that, there was so much I didn’t like about Margaret from Maine that I can’t recommend it. Unless you REALLY like romance and are willing to overlook everything else. In that case, by all means! Enjoy.

Overall, even though I tried to like this book, it’s so not my cup of tea.

7 thoughts on “Margaret from Maine by Joseph Monninger”

  1. I get irritated when a book does that whole “love at first sight” thing, when REALLY what they should say is that there is immediate chemistry and that they really just want to rip off their clothes and sleep with each other. Love takes a little bit longer than 15 minutes. I sure hope she debated with herself a little bit with she should fall in love in 15 minutes while her husband is laying in a vegetative state.

  2. I am pretty sure that it’s almost impossible to fall in love at first sight, or in 10 minutes, whichever comes first. Like Sandy said: chemistry and passion are different than real love, and this would have annoyed the heck out of me. Besides, I don’t think that I could really respect a woman who falls head over heels for her driver in 10 minutes, while her WAR HERO husband lays in a vegetative state. I am going to be skipping this one.

  3. You’re not the first person that I heard say this one didn’t work. I HATE those “fell in love instantly” plots. I get that you might be instantly physically attracted to someone but not at all that you could fall in love with them and I can’t get past that in a book.

  4. aw this is sad. :/ I’ve only read one book by this author, but I remember really liking it. I’ve been wanting to read more by him for ages but I guess this won’t be the next one I try!

  5. 10 minutes to insanely in love just doesn’t work for me either. Authors need to understand that in order for us to buy into their stories, they must first be plausible. Especially when writing a contemporary and current one at that. I think I have this one on my Kindle via NetGalley but I won’t be in any rush to read it. I think your review was very fair and not harsh at all.

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