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A Mentor and Her Muse

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  25 ratings  ·  19 reviews
Under the guise of mentor and muse, a frustrated writer and her ambitious teenage protégé take an illicit summer road trip fraught with racial and sexual tension. This is a compelling psychological novel about social norms, artistic ambition, and obsession.

Maggie Barnett works in the media center of a school in Flint, Michigan where she meets Taezha Riverton, an aspiring t
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Paperback, 266 pages
Published August 15th 2017 by Open Books
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3.92  · 
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 ·  25 ratings  ·  19 reviews


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Milana Marsenich
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
First, let me say “bravo” to Susan Sage. She has written an excellent novel. Her writing is beautiful, crisp, and refreshing. A Mentor and Her Muse courageously explores issues of age, love, race, sex, and freedom. Sage quite naturally shows us the closeness and distance of relationships, and the growth that happens as a result of striving for balance and holding on to others.
Maggie Barnett, a 52 year-old teacher and frustrated writer, works in the media center at a high school in Flint, Mich
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Shanannigans
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
At first, I thought this was going to be a modern-day 'Lolita' and there is a bit of a ‘Lolita’ vibe throughout the story but it is far more complex than just a fleeting attraction or sense of sexual confusion. That is just one of many thematic instances. This book covers many important issues like racism, poverty, and addiction. Maggie is a complicated protagonist who has done a lot of living which offers unique insight to these issues.

It’s finely written, and I enjoyed the style and flow of th
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Luna Selas
A Mentor and Her Muse has one of the more unique plots I have encountered in contemporary fiction.

The protagonist, Maggie Barnett, is a middle-aged woman working in the media center of Jefferson School. Independently wealthy, she doesn’t need to work, but she cares about at-risk children, and her personal calling is to assist them in whatever way she can. At Jefferson, Maggie takes a particular interest in 12-year-old Taezha Riverton. She is aware of the adolescent's troubled home life, as well
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Susan Rooke
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Do not make assumptions about this book based on a quick glance at its lovely cover image, nor on its innocent-sounding title. A closer look at the cover will show you the truth of Susan Sage’s disturbing tale of obsession: a brick wall, and in it, a wooden door so crisscrossed with wiry vines that it cannot be opened.

Maggie is middle-aged and white, a writer whose promising career fizzled not long after she produced in her 30s a single, modestly successful novel. Childless and never married af
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Paula
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Confusing Trip of Discovery and Hope
I just finished reading this compelling psychological novel, A Mentor and Her Muse by Susan Sage. I found the cover of this book to be as thoughtful and provoking as the contents were creative and artistically written. The main character, Maggie a fifty-something frustrated writer works in the media center of a school in Michigan. At work is where she meets Tae, an ambitious teenager with a difficult home life. Tae is an inspiring writer and when she discov
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Rebecca
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
The book’s narrative is exciting, enjoyable and well written, with each chapter, perspective and character voice distinctive from the others. I also appreciate the integration of the racial inequalities and prejudice present within society.

For me, the most enjoyable part of the book was the dynamic between Maggie and Tae; it is at times close, but in equal measure it can be electric and unpredictable. I found both of these characters to be incredibly relatable, even though they are both drastic
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Faye
Apr 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Before you start reading A Mentor and Her Muse, be sure that you have no pressing appointments or must-do-right-away items on your schedule! Once I opened this book and read the first few chapters, I knew that it was going to be one of those novels I wouldn't want to put down until I had finished reading it. With that in mind, I curled up in bed in a Lionel Richie "Easy on Sunday Morning" kind of mood and settled in for Maggie's and Taezha's road trip. But even before they hit the highway, I beg ...more
Jack Messenger
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
‘I wouldn’t classify what I did as a crime, rather as a sort of vigilante justice', proclaims the intriguing opening line of A Mentor and Her Muse. Thus are we introduced to the moral and emotional uncertainties that haunt schoolteacher Maggie, the story’s central protagonist. They also haunt the novel itself, for good and ill.

Taezha (Tae) and Maggie both live in Flint, Michigan, a town whose fortunes declined precipitously when the auto industry shut up shop without a backward glance or moral s
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Joy Murray
Sep 07, 2018 is currently reading it
Ms. Sage has written an exciting and very unique story filled with unusual plots and themes. I really enjoyed discovering where the story was going next! Susan is a gifted writer and I can't wait for her next novel!! Well done!
J.D. DeHart
Jan 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Author Susan Sage has a talent for description that invites the reader into this book's world. Sage gives us a main character who grows as the pages go by, and works in a journalistic way for part of the book.

The book realistically portrays a young adult in Maggie, the main character, and that is no small feat. Often, the result in many books feels strained, but not so here. Moreover, the book tackles some complex issues when it comes to race and maturity, and does so in a way that is natural to
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Darla Nagel
May 21, 2019 rated it liked it
A Mentor and Her Muse blends stream of consciousness with chick lit and road trip story through the unusual and changing relationship between a teacher and student, both from dysfunctional families. That blend makes this book unique. The psychological thriller element would have been stronger if the narrative had started at the moment the road trip began. This is a book for natives of mid-Michigan, free spirits, and creative writers; others are likely to find the stream of consciousness style an ...more
Karen
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Taezha Riverton, a young girl who wants to become a writer. She lives in Flint Michigan. She's a bright girl, a talented young writer, and according to Maggie, an "intellectually curious" young girl. She lives with her mother and three sisters, although she questions whether Quintana is actually her mother. Taezha befriends Maggie Bennett, a woman in her 50's who works at the school Taezha attends. Taezha (Tae) has discovered in Maggie something that has been missing since her Aunt Serafina died ...more
Linda Watkins
This was an intriguing novel. The protagonist, Maggie, is a middle-aged failed writer who has one published novel under her belt, but has produced nothing since. To make ends meet, she works in the local high school media center. Approaching menopause, she is alone, lonely, and frustrated. Tae is a 15-year-old black girl who is a student at the school. She is talented and vivacious and Maggie develops an overwhelming obsession with her, befriending the family and encouraging the young girl to be ...more
Mark Schultz
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was a little wary of this book when I first got it. A book about writers, on the surface, seemed like it could wind up being very self-serving. I was pleasantly surprised as I was drawn into the well-written story about an older woman dealing with a growing number of crises, while trying to mentor a young inner-city teenager with considerable writing talent.
Using a mix of POV and changing formats, including journaling, and inner dialog, the cross-country trip turns into a series of discoveries
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Tiffany {Beyond the Stars: Book Blog}
I received a copy of A Mentor and Her Muse via the author in exchange for my honest review.

It took me a while to get through this one, both due to personal reasons and to what I felt was lacking in the story.

I felt like something was missing the whole time I was reading. I’m not sure if I was looking too much into it but I felt like it was leading up to a huge plot twist and then nothing came of it. I feel a little let down and almost mislead? I mean, it’s just a little too picture perfect, espe
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Christine,
Jun 12, 2018 rated it did not like it
When offered a free copy for review by both the publisher and independently from the author, A Mentor and Her Muse had a deceptively enticing story. Marketed as a psychological thriller with racial and sexual tensions juxtaposed with the art of writing, I wanted to know more.

Unfortunately, not only did the title fall short in interest and editing, but I also found myself sick to my stomach with the poor discussion and depictions of race. Over and over again, I questioned the stereotypes and info
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mk
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was ok
I read only 30% but it got sooooo boring. I was waiting for some more action but I just can’t anymore... Sorry, but my TBR list is too long and my life is too short to waste it on trying to finish this book. I don’t know, maybe I’m just not in the mood at the moment, I may even give this book another try in the future. For now I have no more patience left.
Skyler Boudreau
I really enjoyed the conflict between Maggie and Tae. It added a lot of tension to the plot overall. I wasn't too big a fan of the way the journal entries were written. A full review can be found on my blog, linked below.

https://skyviewbookreviews.wordpress....
Kevin McLogan
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book.
The author builds tension as the road trip goes on (although it would drive me nuts to travel just a few hours each day I would have made that trip in a day).
The tension between the two ebbs and flows, but never reaches a breaking point, but remains unresolved, causing the relationship between the two women to evolve in strange ways.

The ending is quite realistic, and satisfying.
A lot of SE Michigan references throughout, which was a nice touch.
Good read, hard to put d
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Susan E. Sage is a fiction writer and poet. Her career as a ‘word herder’ began at age twelve on Thanksgiving Day.

Born in Detroit, Michigan, she is the youngest of three daughters. Susan received an English degree from Wayne State University. During her college years, she began publishing her poetry, and was a
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