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The New Woman

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  213 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Populated with the charming crew of eccentrics and quirky characters that keep Hassler's fans clamoring for more, this novel follows 87-year-old Agatha McGee as she discovers that friends and family are the secrets to longevity and that the essence of life lies in the details.
Hardcover, Large Print
Published February 1st 2006 by Thorndike Press (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 328)
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Jan Stanton
May 03, 2010 Jan Stanton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a typical Jon Hassler novel with rich, believable characters. Each one has a story to tell. I laughed, felt pity, and cried with some of the stories.

These are all independent people who needed others. It’s a story about faith and courage. We all need to feel that we have worth.
I liked Agatha’s statement at the end of the book “Well, I believe that range of motion applies to our psyches, as well as our bodies, Frederick. If we shut down parts of our thinking, we’ll never get them back….”
Mar 04, 2011 Tisha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read in one night. Story about Agatha who is 87 years old. She is a retired school teacher in Minnesota. She decides to move into the Sunset Senior Apartments when she had a scare home alone during a snow storm. I find out after the fact that this is the latest novel about Agatha and/or her neighbors in the town of Staggerford. I definitely want to read the others now. Very enjoyable stuff.

Found out reading these review that this is the authors last novel before he passed.
Apr 17, 2013 Joan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book. I recently found out that it existed. I thought I had read all of his writings until I found this one. It is abut a woman of 87 who moves out of her house and into "senior" apartments and her adventures there. I am hoping this book is available in large print as most of the homebound readers I visit in my job will relate to her adjustments. Some funny and touching moments occur just as in real life.
May 11, 2013 Ronna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jon Hassler has written a whole series of book about the mythical, middle-America, town of Staggerford. Agatha McGee first appeared as a staid , strict, but beloved sixth grade teacher. She never marries, and her "kids" where those children who passed through her classroom for more than 40 years. In this book, she is 87 years old, and is moving into the Sunset Senior Home.

At first, her lack of privacy and control makes her life uncomfortable, so she decides to move back into her old home. But a
Oct 14, 2010 C. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"The New Woman"
by Jon Hassler
(A Staggerford Novel)

Jon Hassler was born in Minnesota on March 30, 1933. Most of his writing was about small towns and of people in his home state. He was a teacher for many years before and while he wrote. His writing career lasted for over twenty years. He passed away on March 20th, 2008 of Parkinson disease.

Agatha McGee, an eighty-eight year old retired teacher, finds herself overwhelmed with the upkeep of her home and is hesitantly considering to move into a s
Having just finished my favorite Hassler novel, “Rookery Blues”, this book was a disappointment. “The New Woman” is Hassler’s final novel and ties together Staggerford’s loose ends. Agatha McGee is 87 years old and trying to adjust to living in the Sunset Senior Apartments. This plot is as tired as Agatha. Even Agatha’s aiding and abetting (after the fact) a kidnapping, lacks real vigor.
Sharon Zink
Jun 15, 2015 Sharon Zink rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Although this is nothing but a story about the lives of residents in an assisted living facility, it is very interesting and expertly written. I would recommend any of Jon Hassler's books. They are light reading, yet they address significant issues and are well written. A well educated person can unwind with them and enjoy them. (A person with a mediocre education can, too.)
Nancy Rogers
Perhaps I should have started with one of the earlier books in the 'Staggerford' series. A gentle and quick read, yet nothing so terribly memorable. I'd give it 2.25 stars if I could.
Janet Leszl
Aug 13, 2008 Janet Leszl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When is the last time you read a novel whose main character is 87 years old? Opinionated retired schoolteacher, Agatha McGee, reluctantly becomes "the new woman" at a residential facility for senior citizens. Immediately the author draws you into caring for this diverse cast of characters. The plot is set in motion by a missing brooch which leads some residents to stow some "valuables" in a community shoebox. Later their lives are complicated by a debate over whether to disinter a body; at anoth ...more
Dec 10, 2015 chrisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised by this book. I found I liked and disliked Agatha almost equally. I do think the book has interesting things to say about the discomfort and change that being new at something can bring about.
Dec 17, 2015 Rae rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-fiction, 2015
A long vignette with little resolution. Delightful Hassler characters.
Joy H.
Added 5/9/11.

I finished reading this book around July 2011. I enjoyed the story and the characters. The main character, Agatha McGee (87 years old), was drawn well. The book is an easy, pleasant read. It kept my interest but wasn't compelling. I read it at my leisure.

My only criticism is that the story names too many characters. They're easy to keep track of but I found it annoying having to keep track of so many minor characters.

The author, Jon Hassler, uses words well. He keeps them simple but
Jun 06, 2009 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you enjoyed the Mitford series you will surely enjoy the Staggerford series--by the gentle writer Jon Hassler of Minnesota the setting for this wonderful book.
Agatha, now retired, from a lifetime of teaching and being a principal, has moved into the Senior Sunset Assisted Living Home. It doesn't take long for her to decide that this is a mistake or is it.
Miss Agatha has always been a very influential person in Staggerford--
Are her days of importance over?
Ruth Ann
Light-hearted read. Those who have an attachment to small town life and/or charms and quirks of the elderly would enjoy this.
Jo Marie
This is so much better than the last two Staggerford books, mainly because Agatha is the main character again, but also because it is so much more interesting. Agatha is now 87 years old and adjusting to living in a retirement community instead of her beloved house. It's nowhere near as good as A green journey but still worthwhile.
Oct 12, 2011 Marie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. Gave me food for thought as far as aging and keeping yourself occupied and interested and cherishing those you love while they are still here. Wish I had read this before my father passed away. Might have helped me see things from his perspective a little easier.
Jennifer Black
This is my first introduction to the Staggerford books - I've read all of Jan Karon's Mitford books and enjoyed the characters in them. I'm finding a similar enjoyment with the characters in this book, and will have to look up the other Staggerford books next
Steve Voiles
Jun 13, 2015 Steve Voiles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Surprising depth to simplicity. As always he leaves you thinking.
Barbara Mader
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 08, 2011 Lyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Fans of Hassler, Staggerford, and the character of Agatha McGee will definitely want to read this last novel. But taken as a story itself, it is really not much of one.
Feb 05, 2010 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this last Staggerford novel Hassler wrote before he died. It was a very sweet inside look into what it is to become old and the importance of staying young at heart.
May 12, 2014 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish it were longer! I want to keep reading about Agatha's life. I believe Jon Hassler has a series of novels set in Staggerford, so I look forward to reading those.
Gitte Mohr
Sep 02, 2009 Gitte Mohr rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jon Hasslers last book.... I have read all his books, I'm sad this is the last. I'm sure I will reread many of his books, my all time favorite is "The love Hunter".
Sep 07, 2009 Chandra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Maybe if I were over the age of 80 and/or living in an assisted living center I might like this book. Since I'm not I finished this book only for the sake of finishing.
Jun 28, 2008 Ann rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Jon Hassler's book about Agatha McGee are very light but fun reading. In this book, Agatha, is 87 and moves into a retirement apartment. It is Hassler's last book.
Laura Lee
Senior apartments. 87 year old sixth grade teacher. She's retired but can't stop telling everyone what to say and do. Just okay.
Happy to have Agatha back at the center of things. Maybe contrived, maybe unrealistic in parts, but I still liked it.
Oct 27, 2007 Deb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mn-authors
We love you Agatha. Hassler keeps his sense of humor about aging even though he is dealing with Parkinsons. Excellent reading.
Mar 14, 2010 Terry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
An enjoyable read, catching up with Agatha and the other Staggerfordians. Not as complex plotwise as Hassler's earlier novels.
Aug 27, 2007 Deb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up for a buck, and found it was about Minnesota. I liked it - think I'll look for some more by this guy...
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Jon Hassler was born in Minneapolis, but spent his formative years in the small Minnesota towns of Staples and Plainview, where he graduated from high school. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English from St. John's University in 1955. While teaching English at three different Minnesota high schools, he received his Master of Arts degree in English from the University of North Dakota in ...more
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