About the book, Maggie’s Turn
Maggie Harrison is a devoted wife and mother, always putting the needs of her family ahead of her own. Then, one day, without planning to, she drives away, leaving behind an indifferent husband and two sulking teenagers. Maggie goes off on a quest of self-exploration, enjoying adventures, meeting new people, and rediscovering her passions. For the first time in years, she dreams about what she wants out of life, and she realizes that her deteriorating marriage can no longer continue as it is. Can she and Andrew repair their floundering relationship, or is their marriage over?
Andrew Harrison likes his life to be in perfect order. He enjoys his work and status in the community, leaving Maggie to take care of everything at home. He knows his marriage isn’t perfect, but after twenty-three years and two kids, whose marriage is? When Maggie leaves without a word, he is forced to start paying more attention to his home life and his almost grown children, and he begins to do a little self-exploration of his own. Slowly, he begins to understand what drove Maggie away, and how important she is in his life. Is it too late to resolve their differences and save their marriage? Or will Andrew lose Maggie forever
About the author, Deanna Lynn Sletten
Deanna Lynn Sletten writes women’s fiction and romance novels that dig deeply into the lives of the characters, giving the reader an in-depth look into their hearts and souls. She has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime.
Deanna’s romance novel, Memories, was a semifinalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Books of 2012. Her novel, Sara’s Promise, was a semifinalist in The Kindle Book Review’s Best Indie Books of 2013 and a finalist in the 2013 National Indie Excellence Book Awards.
Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her northern Minnesota home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd or relaxing in the boat on the lake in the summer.
Her latest book is the contemporary women’s fiction, Maggie’s Turn.
Connect with Deanna
I jumped at the chance to read Deanna Lynn Sletten’s novel Maggie’s Turn because it’s so rare to find a story about an adult woman that doesn’t begin with her involvement with either a murder attempt or a torrid affair, and I’m glad I did, because in many ways, I feel this book was written just for me.
Okay, I don’t have Maggie’s two kids (mine all have four feet and fur), and my husband works from home, so when he says he has to work late, that just means I bring him a mug of soup, but I know all too well how it feels to find yourself in the middle of a marriage that’s happy on the surface, but leaves you somewhat diminished.
I also know what it’s like to want to run away from home. “Let’s blow off life and go traipsing around Europe,” I often wistfully tease my closest girlfriends. “Or teach improv in a progressive school in Colorado.” They know it’s mostly a joke, but there’s always the possibility. (As it is, I run off to Baja Sur, Mexico, a couple of times a year.)
Deanna Lynn Stetten makes it clear, however, that Maggie is not a victim of any kind. We see that her life, in the beginning of the novel, is the result of choices, both made and unmade, and opinions both spoken and not.
Likewise, we are privileged to see Maggie, not rescued by a man (although she does meet at least one very interesting man), but rescued by herself.
There’s an old adage, “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t no one is.” I’ve learned through many of the people I’ve interviewed that being happy isn’t enough. You have to put yourself first, as a whole person. You have to acknowledge that ‘mother’ and ‘wife’ (and daughter, sister, friend, volunteer, writer, artist, whatever) are not your whole self, but that each role you play is one aspect of your life. Then you have to model this for others – you can’t teach fulfillment and self-esteem, but you can demonstrate them.
In Maggie’s Turn, we see what happens when Mama – Maggie – ain’t happy, even if the root of that unhappiness is somewhat indefinable, but we also get to see what happens when she is.
More to the point, we see this through richly drawn characters who feel as much like aspects of ourselves as they do real people. Maggie, especially, is so real, so vivid, but so is her husband, her children, and people like “Wild Bill” whom she meets on her journey.
As I said, I’m not a soccer mom with two kids, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t made choices that sometimes put family before fulfillment in my own life. Maggie’s Turn was a well-written, entertaining, novel, but it was also an object lesson in finding, if not happiness, then at least contentment.
Well done, Ms. Sletten. Well done.
Goes well with A latte laced with cinnamon and nutmeg, and a slice of freshly baked pumpkin bread.
Read the first chapter of Maggie’s Turn
It had not been a good morning at the Harrison household. At least not for Maggie. Her nineteen-year-old son, Kyle, had slept in late, which meant he was late showering and would be late to one of the four college courses he was intent upon failing. Because he was running behind, her fourteen-year-old daughter, Kaia, was late getting ready for school, which meant Maggie’s husband, Andrew, had to rush to shower for work. And, of course, Maggie had to rush too since she was always the last person to use the bathroom.
Kaia was pouting and stomping around, because she’d wanted to get to school early to “hang” with her friends. Kyle rolled his eyes as he went out the door to his rusted pickup truck, mumbling that it really didn’t matter if he made it to class or not. And Andrew ran through his schedule with Maggie as he rushed out the door to work.
“Remember, I have a seven o’clock meeting tonight, so make sure dinner is on time so I’m not late,” he instructed Maggie and was gone a second later.
All Maggie had time for was one long sigh as she slipped a light sweater over her head, pulled on khaki pants, and grabbed her short, red wool jacket and purse, then ran out the door, hoping Kaia wouldn’t be late for school.