Margaret from Maine by Joseph Monninger

margaretfrommaineGenre: Dramatic
Publisher: Plume
Publication Date: December 2012

Margaret Kennedy lives and works on a dairy farm with her son and father-in-law. A coma has confined her husband to a hospital bed for the past six years due to a war injury. The president is about to sign a bill meant to aid wounded veterans and Margaret is invited to Washington for the special weekend.

Foreign Service officer, Charlie King has personal reasons for volunteering to escort Margaret during her trip. He knows all too well the toll it can take on a family when their loved one is in a vegetative state. However, he didn’t expect the sudden surge of feelings for the hard-working woman who has lost so much.

The opening of Joseph Monninger’s Margaret from Maine had me in tears as I prepared myself for an emotional and heart-wrenching novel. However, I became increasingly disappointed as the story went downhill very quickly after that. I expected to see the struggles of a wife who develops feelings for another man while her husband lies in a coma, but in the end, she would win out and remain faithful to her vows. Instead, I discovered the book was all about her affair with Charlie King.

If that weren’t disappointing enough in and of itself, the author attempted to pass lust for love. Charlie and Margaret meet on Friday morning, but that night they are already in bed together. By Saturday, they are talking about not wanting to be separated and on Sunday, she cancels her flight home to her six year-old son to run off with Charlie for a few days. I can’t call that romance.

It’s not until Charlie enters her life that Margaret starts thinking of her husband as “dead.” This switch didn’t feel genuine but merely an attempt to ease her guilt over the affair. Everything about the story happened too fast to feel believable. Charlie and Margaret’s relationship was sorely underdeveloped because it was crammed into a weekend and they barely knew one another.

To avoid spoilers, I won’t say much about the ending, but it felt like a tacky attempt at justifying Margaret’s choices. Margaret from Maine is one book I cannot recommend.

Review copy provided by publicists

**Originally posted on Fiction Addict

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