The women’s fiction is comprised of books that target a female audience and their concerns. Some are completely serious, some are humorous, and some are a mixture of seriousness and humor. On Maggie’s Watch is the first book from this genre I have ever read.
“Wash your hands and say your prayers, ‘cause Jesus and germs are everywhere!” The opening line of On Maggie’s Watch, by Ann Wertz Garvin, drew me immediately into the book and had me hooked. Ms. Garvin’s first novel is about a very serious subject, but the author succeeds in lacing the seriousness with just the perfect amount of humor. Very real and perfectly full of flaws, the characters are definitely not just cardboard cutouts.
Maggie Finley and her husband have moved back to Ellwood, Wisconsin. This is the small town where Maggie grew up. She lost her first baby during the eighth month of pregnancy and is now expecting another child. There is a need to be among friends and family during her second pregnancy and to get away from where the death of the first child occurred.
Maggie needs to occupy herself with something until the baby is born. Her best friend, Julia, jokingly suggests that she revive the defunct Neighborhood Watch group. Maggie is so worried about keeping her unborn child safe that she takes Julia up on her suggestion and becomes the president of the group.
She soon discovers that there is a dangerous man, a registered sexual predator, living just down the road from her. This scares her and she decides this man must be persuaded to leave her neighborhood. Maggie begins to try and persuade this guy to leave by vandalizing his property - cutting the heads off his geraniums, pouring bleach on his lawn, stealing his light bulbs, letting the air out of car tires and stopping his newspaper delivery. Her husband does not realize she is doing these things because he is spending so much time at work.
Several people show up at the first meeting of the Neighborhood Watch. Maggie, who is 8½ months finds herself attracted to one of them. David Johnson becomes her handyman. Nothing ever happens between them, but there is an obvious attraction. She remains attracted to him until she finds out that he is the resident of the house she has been vandalizing.
Julia sees all that Maggie is going through and tries so hard to keep her best friend under control. She even clues Marvin, Maggie’s husband, in about her vandalizing the suspected predator's property.
There is so much more to this story than I could possibly tell in this review. Well, I could clue you in on more of the events in the story, but then I would give away the many unexpected twists and turns that the plot takes. I don’t want to ruin the story for those of you who would like to read it. I gave one of the twists about David Johnson away, but that one is kind of expected. There are many more twists that are not so expected.
A ‘Reader’s Guide’ is at the back of the book. It consists of fourteen discussion questions that are sure to help people discuss the difficult issues covered in this book.
This book was sent to me free of charge by BellaOnline management to read and review. If you would like your own copy of Maggie’s Watch, it is available through Amazon. In case you would like to purchase a copy, I have provided a link below. Whether you purchase this book using the link below or purchase it somewhere else, I highly recommend this enjoyable book.