Opening in 1943, the time settings and character perspectives of Bringing Maggie Home dance about bringing viewpoints built on both environmental and individual angles. However, the transitions are a bit jarring for the reader.
The premise of the story is built upon a tragic event and the ensuing impact on the three generations that follow. Hazel Mae Blackwell’s three-year-old sister, Maggie, disappears while the girls are picking blackberries. Life in the Blackwell home is never the same. Hazel eventually marries and allows her fears to virtually suffocate the relationship with her own daughter, Margaret Diane. Diane, in turn, takes a hands-off approach with her daughter Meghan, causing a different type of rift.
When the three women end up under one roof for the summer, the air is thick with strife. Sadly Kim Vogel Sawyer’s tale seems to focus more on the interpersonal upheaval within the family than actually solving the mystery of her sister’s disappearance. The pace of the story does not quicken until the final few chapters.
The most interesting part of the story is when Meghan, a cold case detective, and her partner return to Cumpton, Arkansas, to find the truth of what happened that horrible day.
*A complimentary copy of the book was provided in exchange for this review.