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On Maggie's Watch Paperback – Bargain Price, November 2, 2010

28 customer reviews

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Paperback, Bargain Price, November 2, 2010
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From Booklist

Maggie Finley is a woman at loose ends. Having suffered through the birth of a stillborn daughter, Maggie is pregnant again. As part of her desperate search for security and stability, she and her husband have moved to her Wisconsin hometown, where Maggie restarts the long-defunct Neighborhood Watch program. As Maggie gets closer to her due date, her focus on safety and perceived threats increases, as does her already neurotic behavior. One of these perceived threats is a handsome new male friend, another threat is a mysterious sex offender in the neighborhood. A late plot twist and Maggie’s psychological makeup are hardly subtle, but the book remains compelling because it touches on so many issues relevant to modern parenting and suburban life. Although there are a few wacky-neighbor incidents, for the most part, this debut novel remains tightly focused on Maggie’s unraveling and reconnecting. An included reader’s guide makes the book a perfect fit for suburban reading groups. --Marta Segal Block

About the Author

Ann Wertz Garvin is a full professor at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater, where she teaches courses on nutrition and stress management. This is her first novel.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425236781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425236789
  • ASIN: B005DI8W72
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,508,980 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kirkus Review THE DOG YEAR:
With humor and compassion, Garvin shows how recovery depends on honesty--often with other people who share an addiction, whether to booze, drugs or shoplifting--and on helping others, whether stray dogs or stray people. Hopeful but not saccharine, this novel offers a deeply sympathetic view of recovery from grief.

Ann Garvin is an Easterner who lives in the Midwest and a fiction writer who makes a living as a scientist and educator. While working as a nurse she completed her PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, in exercise psychology publishing extensively in the area of exercise, mental health and media and later became a prize winning short story writer.
Decades of teaching health and studying what makes people tick proved a perfect backdrop for her novels ON MAGGIE'S WATCH & THE DOG YEAR (June 2014/Berkley Penguin). Her teaching position as an adjunct in the Masters of Fine Arts position at Southern New Hampshire University allows her to marry her love of people, story and writing and help others do the same. Ann, a natural storyteller, is a sought after speaker and educator at conferences where writing, health and human nature is discussed.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mom of 2 Boys on January 2, 2013
Format: Paperback
The prose started out witty and intelligent, but oddly enough, the story and characters were not clever and/or interesting. After reading the book jacket, I had a hunch as to how this book would end. Several chapters in, I grew bored, skipped to the last few chapters and voila - the ending was exactly as I had predicted it would be.

Ann Wertz Gavin is a competent writer, but this book lacked that certain *something* that causes a book to be passed around amongst friends. Not a page-turner. Definitely more articulate and witty than your average beach read, but just as predictable. After 2 years on the shelves, I'm not surprised I was the first person to check this out from my local library.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Molly on May 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
When I sat down to read this book, I was really expecting it to be rather slow, honestly. I am not afraid to admit that. But, what happened totally blew me away. I was instantly captured and taken by surprise at how fast of a read and how engrossing of a read this truly was. Garvin really did a FANTASTIC job at writing this novel.

On Maggie's Watch is a perfectly blended combination of humor, love, friendship, and worry. I'm not going to go into deep detail about the novel, for if I do, I will give away the spoilers, and my blog isn't about that. So, what I will tell you is this: Maggie is a flaw-filled character trying her best to not make another mistake in her unborn child's life. When she learns that one of her neighbors is harboring a deep and dark secret, she goes to great lengths to protect her neighborhood. She starts the Neighborhood Watch, but what she doesn't realize is that the people around....well, they are all flawed, just like her. They all have secrets they are harboring. But, still, she wanted to protect her baby and would do nothing to stop herself from vandalizing the neighbor who holds the dark secret. She will stop at nothing to make the world a "perfect" place for her sweet baby.

I truly loved this book in the end. It made me laugh in places, but it made me stop to think about the world today. Garvin took serious issues in the world today, and blended them with the flawed characters, and turned out a 4 star plot that will hook you and reel you in. It will get your mind turning and thinking and make you realize, as a parent that the world is not perfect, but sometimes you have to have a little TRUST. Well done, Ms. Garvin!

*This review is based on a complimentary copy which was provided for an honest review*
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By readingbody on November 29, 2010
Format: Paperback
The only reason I read these days is to enjoy an author's language and style. I don't care much what a book is about, I just care about whether the words and sentences are fresh and skillful. Ann Garvin's "On Maggie's Watch" is a pleasure to read. I loved the natural dialogue and the direct, expert prose. Every line of dialogue rings true to the character who delivers it, and the story is told in a funny, light, and smart style. Under the light touch, there are some dark feelings, but Garvin handles the mix well. Can't wait to read her next book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lori Caswell VINE VOICE on May 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
This is truly a story of a woman who has suffered a tragedy and her efforts to get her life back on course. Maggie Finley first child was still-born and while the grief was overwhelming for both her and her husband, it has turned Maggie into a entirely different person. When she finds out she is pregnant again, they pull up stakes and move back to her hometown in Wisconsin, where she reconnects with her best friend.

But Maggie becomes obsessed with protecting herself and her family. She restarts the Neighborhood Watch and even becomes the president. Then she learns from the internet that there is a sex offender in the neighborhood. This seems to push her over the edge and causes some very unusual actions.

Her friends and family are very worried about her and work hard to bring the old Maggie back. It may take the birth of this new child to set things right.

This was a very compelling book and the local connection made it even better. Yes, the Wisconsin town was fictional, as was the county, but this book could of took place practically in my backyard.

The topics taken on in this story are very relevant in today's world. The author handles these hot topics with care and makes it so easy to read and feel Maggie's pain and fall totally in love with her and want to be her friend.

I am amazed that this the author's first novel. I hope she is working on her next novel as I write this because I definitely want to read more by Ann Wertz Garvin soon. This is a perfect book for my blog because it will give you an "escape" for a few hours of pure pleasure with a peek into Maggie's life.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from THE AUTHOR. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By McGuffy Ann Morris on June 29, 2011
Format: Paperback
Maggie and Martin Finley have returned to Maggie's Wisconsin hometown, leaving behind a fast-paced, high-profile life. The purpose is to create a safe environment for their child. With the birth impending, safety is increasingly important to Maggie, still recovering from a tragedy that is still fresh.

Maggie decides that the best way to create a safe environment for her baby is to resurrect the inactive neighborhood watch. In doing this, she gets more than she bargained for, including becoming the leader. Then, while organizing the group, Maggie discovers online that a predator is living in the neighborhood! The more Maggie tries to take control of the situation, the more she loses it!

Before she even realizes it, Maggie is making predawn cruises through the neighborhood streets, doing things she knows are not safe, including becoming too involved with the handyman. Her lifelong friend, Julia, tries to be a voice of reason, but has her own set of issues.

Nothing is what it seems for anyone. There are lessons to be learned by everyone. This suspenseful book is very unique and quirky. There are amusing moments and unexpected twists that will keep you guessing, and leave you thinking.
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