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The Next Queen of Heaven: A Novel Paperback – October 5, 2010
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Maguire, author of the popular Wicked series of novels, which gives imaginative backstory to the events taking place in The Wizard of Oz, brings his creative storytelling from the realm of fantasy to the world of reality—but just barely. Quickly but delightfully read, Maguire’s new novel has as its canvas the entire little town of Thebes in Upstate New York. His natural compassion for people’s quirks gives his razor-sharp satire on small-town life a comfortable bed on which to rest. Maguire looks backward in time, to the advent of the new millennium in 2000. His theme is that, at this significant historical moment, town characters, including the church-lady Leontina Scale and her profanity-spewing daughter and the gay choir director, now face having their personal choices being called into question but eventually seeing the disparate pieces of their lives reconciled. Amusing entertainment but with a serious side as well. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Once word is out that the Wicked author has a new book, whether it is part of that series or not, requests will begin flowing into the public library --Brad Hooper
“Reading The Next Queen of Heaven is like hanging on to the back of an out-of-control carnival ride—terrifying, thrilling, a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.” (Ann Patchett, bestselling author of Bel Canto and Run)
“Comes alive in many dimensions, many of them funny and slightly bonkers.” (Los Angeles Times)
“A delight. . . . [A] funny and warmhearted exploration of the sacred and the profane.” (Washington Post)
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Top customer reviews
I also thought the parallels between Jeremy's long failed relationship with Willem to Tabitha's recently failed relationship with Caleb were nicely drawn. So what if Jeremy's gay and Tabitha's a bit loose? They both loved someone who loved someone else more, and it hurt no matter the sexual orientation. Then look at the nuns growing older and older, locked away from the world, while the young die from accidents and disease... The old are certain of their own upcoming deaths, while the young are certain of their long lives... Proving again that everyday is a gift not a promise.
In between bursts of sarcasm and crazy, GM brings to life the old cliches of living life well and to the fullest... Otherwise the Virgin Mary or Flying Baby Jesus might try to brain you.
The cast of characters is broad and cover both religions and other people and occupations, such as a gay choral director, a "modern" nun and some very elderly "old-style" nuns living in a creepy building, both church pastors, assorted other folk, and the three children of the woman mentioned above.
The oldest child, Tabitha, is somewhat of a rebellious teen-ager, with a jaundiced view of religion. Her brother Hogan (named after "Hogan's Heros" perhaps) is a true juvenile delinquent, and the youngest child Kirk (after Captain Kirk?) flounces around like a prima donna and sets his cap for the choir director.
All kinds of mayhem ensues, and the ending is somewhat enigmatic in that you don't really find out what happens to many of the people in the book. It's a great read, however, and I can recommend it highly.