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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

The Search for Maggie Ward
A Book Review by Chuck

The Search for Maggie Ward
by Andrew M. Greeley
Thorndike Press, 1991, 726 pp.
ISBN: 1-56054-980-7

Discharged from the Navy in 1946 following the end of World War II, Jerry Keenan is taking a slow trip home to Chicago. A former naval aviator with two Navy Crosses and no physical scars from the war, Jerry is struggling with inner pain and nightmares from his war time experiences.

While having breakfast in the cafe at the railroad station in Tucson, Arizona, Jerry notices a young woman sitting nearby. Something about the frail and almost ghost like woman stirs Jerry's thoughts away from his own troubles and toward her. Having all but lost his faith in God and having lived with death and horror for the past couple of years, Jerry was close to dead inside. But the sight of this young woman stirs Jerry and begins to rekindle both romantic and sexual desires which have been suppressed by the horrors of the past couple of years of war. The re-emergence of the suppressed romantic and sexual feelings restore his urge to live and he sets off to find this woman.

But the young woman turns out to be struggling with her own demons which Jerry must uncover and overcome in his quest to both discover the real woman behind the emotional wall she has erected around herself and to breech the wall and win her love. In doing so Jerry reacquires his faith in God and will to live and love.

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