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A Green Journey

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  589 Ratings  ·  48 Reviews
"Hassler's characters have old-fashioned values and typical human failings; they make this a novel to restore your faith in humanity."
Agatha McGee is following a dream, though it might be late in the game. She's just retired from a career of teaching and travels to Ireland in search of the romance she never had time for. And along the way, she not only dis
Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 27th 1996 by Ballantine Books (first published 1984)
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Rachel Crooks
Aug 15, 2012 Rachel Crooks rated it really liked it
I just love Agatha McGee. She is not the type of character I would expect to love, though - she is full of harsh edges and what some might call "religious spirits." But there is something so endearing in the chaos of her story among her inner certainty of how life should be. She wants to orient the world to her inner rightness, and yet it will not be righted: in the meantime she learns the gift of acceptance - acceptance of the people life throws her way.

I was not sure how to think of James O
Geri Degruy
Feb 19, 2016 Geri Degruy rated it really liked it
This was a delightful read! The book is well written. The characters were well drawn, human and ultimately lovable. One of the main themes was figuring out how to negotiate and be with people/groups with whom one has differences. Can we let go of our personal rigidities and staunch beliefs in order to make peace with another?
Oct 17, 2015 Leila rated it really liked it
Many years ago I watched the film of this book set in a small American town and have unsuccessfully tried to obtain a copy of it but with no luck. I recently decided to buy the actual book and am glad I did so. As is often the case there is so much more depth to this gentle and a little old-fashioned tale, The main wonderful character is Miss Agatha McGee who is a 'dyed in the wool' traditional member of the Roman Catholic Church and has dedicated her life to serve as a schoolteacher in the loca ...more
Em Parac
Apr 08, 2015 Em Parac rated it it was amazing
This was my first Jon Hassler book and since then got me hooked. With books, I care more about the writing rather than a grand plot. Hassler's style and his "laid-back" plots are exactly what I want.
Feb 09, 2015 Debbie rated it liked it
This novel is for those readers who like Catholic/Christian stories with a focus on a Catholic teacher. Agatha, is nearing retirement, and she is struggling with her decisions -- was it worthwhile to be a religious teacher for nearly forty years? Should she travel to Ireland and meet her pen pal of four years? Should she confide in her best friend of her secrets? I really enjoyed the character of Agatha -- she is very real and likable. The pace is quick and filled with lots of dialogue and many ...more
Sep 20, 2015 Joan rated it really liked it
A journey to Ireland is the basis of this story as told from the prospective of several friends who went for various reasons. see a man she had been writing to for 4 years but had never met, her friend Evelyn... who wanted to tour everything there was to see, Janet... who was supposed to go there for her delayed honeymoon but went anyway when her husband backed out, and Father Dick Baker... who went to try to rustle up some new priests from the Irish seminary to come to the states to ...more
Nov 22, 2014 Hope rated it really liked it
Shelves: light-reading
If it had not been for Gladys Hunt’s mention of Green Journey in Honey for a Woman's Heart, I would never have heard of it. Although the blurbs called it “charming,” “heartwarming,” and “lovely,” I approached the book with my usual skepticism toward anything written in the 20th Century. The beginning was awkward – a stilted conversation between an unwed mother, her father and a stodgy old maid. But as the character of Agatha McGee takes shape, you really begin to care about her and words like “s ...more
Oct 19, 2011 nymfaux rated it it was amazing
From my blog: (\__/)nymfaux

Agatha McGee is a brash and unapologetic no-nonsense spinster. She’s spent her entire life devoted to her Catholic faith and 46 years teaching her sixth grade students. To the small town of Staggerford, MN, Miss McGee is as much an institution as St. Isadore’s, where she teaches, and even the Church, itself. Everyone seems to have put Agatha in a neat little box, expecting her to retire and take up knitting and bingo.

A new bishop is threatening to close St. Isadore’s
Nov 27, 2008 Tim rated it liked it
In his fourth novel Hassler returns to Staggerford, Minn., for the first time since "Staggerford;" not that his incisive looks at small-town Midwestness in places not named Staggerford are big departures. Here, in fact, much of the plot ends up taking place abroad.

The strong-willed yet occasionally kind-hearted sixty-something Agatha McGee takes center stage here, visiting a pen-pal in Ireland and finding he's more (and less) than what he seems. Nice characterizations and writing, as always, and
Sep 02, 2012 Ron rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Except for North of Hope, Hassler has set all of his books (at least those I have read) in the town of Staggerford, MN. The Character of Agatha, McGee reoccurs in all of the books. She is the main character in this one. A mid to lat 60ish spinster, teacher and Staunch old-fashioned Catholic who, as she comes to the end of her career looks back on her life, finds love, she thinks, and comes to terms with modernity, in her fashion. There is a trip to Ireland that wonderfully evokes the people and ...more
Feb 26, 2009 Heather rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-09
I was hoping to get more out of this book, and I'm not sure how it made it to my to read list. I thought I was looking for funny, comical books and this one came up. It was available on so I mooched and read it.

There are comments on the back about wanting to read aloud passages, and laughing at parts...I did neither.

I guess I was just expecting something more. It was a good book about a retired catholic school teacher, Agatha McGee, who feels the catholic faith is going down hill
Nov 26, 2015 Bonnie rated it really liked it
A very enjoyable read. I love agatha McGee, this is a satisfying story with some great characters. Can't wait to read the sequel Dear James. There are a couple surprises and a really funny scene that shows that priests and bishops are human too.
Alissa Prevost
A wonderful read for a day when you're feeling Irish, whimsical, or are in need of cheering up, 'A Green Journey' will help with that.
Take with tea and rain until finished.
Dec 23, 2015 Patricia rated it it was amazing
My second book of the Staggerford series Agatha retires, a baby is born, a relationship via letters begins, a trip to Ireland. I Love Agatha
Erin Fanning
Jan 20, 2015 Erin Fanning rated it it was amazing
Wonderful, old-fashioned story about three unlikely travel partners in Ireland. The author has a perfect touch with details, and every character's voice rings true. I highly recommend this novel.
Ann A.
Jan 14, 2015 Ann A. rated it really liked it
I liked the characters; they were well thought out. I liked the writing and enjoyed the book
Apr 10, 2014 Ann rated it it was amazing
great characterization. looking forward to reading more by Hassler, an author I did not know
Feb 15, 2016 Julia rated it liked it
Perfect fluffy upbeat book to read while waiting in a hospital room.
Tamra Karl
Jan 24, 2014 Tamra Karl rated it it was ok
I'm halfway through this book and still don't care what happens to the characters. So, back to the library with it.
Mar 06, 2010 Jo rated it really liked it
A wonderful story of a retired Catholic School teacher in the mid 80's. She travels to Ireland to meet a life long penpal for the first time. There are characters galore and surprises abound all wrapped up in the scenery of small town America and the misty land of Eire. Tea and crumpets slathered with butter and marmalade and eaten while sitting in your favorite chair would be the perfect accompaniment. Enjoy
Geo Forman
Apr 22, 2012 Geo Forman rated it really liked it
another thoroughtly enjoyable book by Hassler. This story revolves around Agatha McGee as she discovers that, even though she is several years past retirement age, life still offers lessons and challenges. I found myself laughing out loud at some of the incidents related in the book. thankfully there are still books involving Staggerford residents to anticipate.
Jan 10, 2014 Em rated it really liked it
I found this as a very cheap (@5 pesos) second-(or so)hand book with uninteresting cover at a book sale, but because it's so cheap I bought it. So I was not expecting much from it. But I was pleasantly surprised to be enjoying it. Good writing with nice characters, I couldn't put it down (if only I don't have to work).
Feb 03, 2013 Kaia rated it it was ok
A sweet story, but a little boring. It does seem a bit dated, the characters seem much older than they are supposed to be. I'm not sure that the story gives the best depiction of Ireland, again that may be due to the changes that have taken place in the country since the era in which this story took place.
Jul 14, 2009 Susan rated it liked it
A Staggerford book of characters we've met before, here a retired teacher. "Green" refers to going on a trip to Ireland to meet a man she's been penpals with who turns out to be a priest who wanted a friend who didn't relate to him as a priest but as a person.
Jun 24, 2010 Debbie rated it it was amazing
I have now read this book four times. Each time I laugh, each time I dread certain things coming, each time I think about the characters long after I have finished the book. Hassler is exceptional in his portrayal of humans with all of out strengths and foibles.
May 19, 2008 Rae rated it really liked it
Shelves: other-fiction
In this very gentle fiction, an unmarried retired school teacher travels to Ireland to meet the penpal she has written to for four years. The plot thickens when she learns he is a priest. I enjoy almost everything this author writes.
Another well-written story from Mr Hassler. I really like how believable and well-thought out his characters are. My only gripe with this story is I can't figure out how it really "ends".
May 28, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing
These Jon Hassler books are gems. This one has a tv movie available on Neltflix. The movie doesn't follow the book very precisely, but both the book and the movie are good experiences.
Jun 24, 2010 Bayneeta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Bayneeta by: Debbie
Agatha, Janet, and Lillian Kite visit Ireland. Agatha meets her penpal, and considers what she'll do with her life in retirement. Book 2 in Hassler's Staggerford series.
Jun 05, 2011 Lyn rated it liked it
If you enjoyed the character of Agnes McGee in Staggerford, you will enjoy this one more, as it expands on that character and gives her a soulmate. Enjoyable.
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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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