When Madeline Was Young
Doubleday, 2006 (2006)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
Read an Excerpt
Reviewed by Michael Graves
hen Madeline Was Young
is a great family chronicle essentially covering two periods in the life of the protagonist, Mac Maciver, first as a boy in the 50's and then as a father of three girls in the present time.
he novel switches time from the past to the present throughout the story, which in some books can be quite irritating. However, in this one each time frame is equally enjoyable and each sequence adds its own richness to the narrative. The later period interestingly adds a different perspective to the boyhood experiences, both told in a first person narrative.
he Madeline of the title is like a sister to Mac but in fact, is his father's first wife. She suffered brain damage from a bicycle accident and is left with the intellectual capability of a six year old. She then lives with her ex-husband, Mac's mother (father's second wife), Mac and Mac's sister. It's an unusual circumstance that helps drive some of the more interesting situations in the novel.
he story covers sixty years to the present time, and an interesting side bar is the author's insights, as told by Mac's mother and her sister-in-law, into the Vietnam War from both a Republican/Democrat and pacifist/soldier perspective.
he book's strength lies in the variety of intimate and interesting family incidents that merge to form strong characters, who linger with the reader long after the story has been completed.
Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.
Find more Contemporary books on our
or in our book