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Leaving Maggie Hope
This debut novel by an award-winning poet won the 2003 Novello Literary Award; Lee Smith calls it the most moving coming-of-age story I have read in many years.
Hardcover, 177 pages
Published December 3rd 2005 by Novello Festival Press
(first published October 2003)
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As a contrast to The Catcher in the Rye, which I just taught this fall for the first time in 15 years, I enjoyed Leaving Maggie Hope more than I thought I might. A bias in this is the fact that LMH is set at the Lowell School, a thinly-veiled stand in for Fay School, which the author attended and where I now teach. Imagine reading about a fictional place whose social norms, way of life, and traditions are the basis for your current reality. That's better than reading a non-fiction article and mo ...more
The back cover proclaims that this is a novel, with the conventional disclaimer inside that resemblances to real persons are coincidental. The main character, David, is not the narrator, but the perspective is entirely his, so that readers see everything through his eyes and his limited understanding. The title’s Maggie Hope is his mother, an alcoholic whose emotional demands he escapes when he is sent to boarding school. School presents social challenges more than academic ones for him. David i ...more
This is a coming-of-age novel about a boy living in New York with his sister and alcoholic mother. A kindly godmother furnishes the tuition money for David to go a a private school to escape the dire living conditions. Maggie Hope is David's mother. The story encounters all the obstacles that David (a boy with a club foot)completes in his quest of leaving his mother. But it is his mother, who instills in him that life must have hope, courage, determination, and love. A gentle telling of David's ...more
This is a novel but Tony Abbott admits it is a memoir. Tony is a retired English professor at Davidson College. The story is similar to The Glass Castle but Abbott's writing does not measure up to Jeannette Wall's. More like it was written by an English professor.