After Maggie wakes up from being in a coma for 4 months, Dylan is elated but knows he and Maggie must walk through the grief of losing their son during the birth that put Maggie into the coma. Dylan finds it hard to talk about the things he went through when Maggie was in the coma so she asks him to write it down instead of talking. But Dylan feels he can't share the deep, heart breaking things where he came to the end of himself with Maggie, feeling she is on the edge of emotional breakdown herself. So he writes two stories, one that only shares some of the things which he gives to Maggie, and one that tells the gut wrenching truth, the one he hides in the floor boards. As they try to put their lives back together and deal with their grief, Maggie once again finds herself pregnant. Though it brings joy, it also brings fear. Fear that the unspeakable could happen once again.
Charles Martin writes a heart rending, beautiful story of a woman whose identity is wrapped up in being a mother. When circumstances seem to all work against that identity she is totally lost The heartache and loss she experiences takes her down a hard road, one that her husband is sometimes at a loss as how to handle. Throw in some other suspenseful side stories that also directly affect the lives of these two and a quirky character first introduced in the Dead Don't Dance (I know, I neglected to do a review of that one!) and now further developed and this was a story that was hard to put down. I don't quite know what it is about Charles Martin's writing but it just draws me in. His descriptions and use of words are amazing at times and beautiful and I find myself nodding my head and saying to myself, "Yes, yes, that is exactly what it is and what it feels like!" Case in point, Dylan the main character, after Maggie tells him she is again pregnant, in narrative starts to speak of hope (keeping in mind they lost their first child and Maggie almost died and went into a 4 month coma that was starting look pretty hopeless for her recovery all resulting from the previous delivery). From chapter 7, page 57 and 58:
"I've never been a fearful man. That does not mean I've never known fear; God knows I have. There's no S pinned on my chest. I just mean it's not something that stays with me all day perched atop my shoulder and whispering in my ear. In the months after Maggie woke up, I wrestled - even battled- with a long litany of what ifs that scared me . But her waking every morning had put that whisper to rest.
But the moment I leaned in and listened, tasting the trickle of hope and wondering at the unfathomable enormity once again, the whisper echoed. It smelled like the air behind the trash truck, the soil in Pinky's stall, or the floor of the delivery room. It's breath alone could gag a maggot.
Whereas hope had returned only after I'd cornered him in the barn and extended an invitation, what if reached up out of the floorboards, threw his bags on the couch, and made himself at home without so much as a peep. And unlike hope, who was tidy and neat, what if was a slob, seldom cleaning up after himself, and made it his point to throw remnants of his life in every nook and cranny of the house. Polar opposites, hope never raised his voice, while what if never lowered his. Not compatible roommates, they charged the air with a tension that even Blue (the dog) picked up on."
"Maggie- the sequel to the Dead Don't Dance" by Charles Martin
pg. 57, 58
Copy write 2006, Charles Martin
Published by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
Loved this story of redemption, hope, love and commitment.