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Sunday, 24 December 2017

From Stepford Wife to Wonder Woman – and Back

Maggie's DreamWhile US medic Sam Lerner is in Italy mending fellow soldiers’ broken bodies during the depths of World War II, his new bride Maggie works as a drill presser at a Baltimore munitions factory whose products will destroy the opposition.

Work for Maggie as a  ‘Rosie’ is hard, the conditions squalid and her co-workers are beneath her in class and education. Further, the unaccustomed freedom away from the confines of home makes her restless and she buys black market tranquilisers that give her a haunting dream …
So begins Maggie’s Dream **, the latest novel by prize winning writer Leslie Tall Manning who leads us into a funny ol’ world combining the fight for women’s rights, pop psychology and magical realism.
The tale’s surprise finale is intriguing but the jagged plotline and uneven writing leave many questions unanswered and makes the story occasionally difficult to read.
It is unclear to me for which market Manning is writing here. So I suggest that she would have been better shaping her heroine as a college student during US engagement in the Vietnam War as that overlapped with second-wave feminism and the scandal surrounding Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert.
** Maggie’s Dream by Leslie Tall Manning is available from Amazon on Kindle ($2.99) and in Paperback ($13.99).
© Natalie Wood (24 December 2017)

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