Friday, February 10, 2017

Maggie Elizabeth Harrington


Where I received this book and what my interest in it is:
The title of the book is Maggie Elizabeth Harrington (I Live In Two Worlds, Vol. 1) written by D.J. Swykert. Recently I have started reviewing books. It began when I read a book I so enjoyed, that I decided to write about it on my blog. Since then, I have had several authors request that I review their books too. D.J. Swykert contacted me through the contact form on my blog, asking if I would be interested in writing an honest review for his book. I agreed to do this once I had learned more about the book. I don't get paid to write these. I write them because I want to, and I love to read. It's a great opportunity for me. Thank you D.J. Swykert for giving me the honor of reading your book!

Type of book:
Literary/Historical Fiction.

Ideas expressed, message, and/or plot:
The book is about 13-year old Maggie Elizabeth Harrington, set in a mining town in Michigan in the late 1800's. Maggie's mother is not in the story, but died in childbirth. She lives with her father and her grandmother. Every summer, Maggie's father drowns her kittens. It causes Maggie to feel useless and helpless as she watches him, unable to stop him. She wonders about and questions nearly everything thrown into her path, from death to the teachings of Reverend White. When a hunter kills a she-wolf, Maggie is determined to find her pups and rescue them. With the help of her friends, Annie and her older brother Tommie, they set out to find the pups.
Maggie Elizabeth Harrington is told in the first person, revealing each of her thoughts as they find the pups and take care of them in secret. Maggie and Tommie always shared a special connection, but soon Maggie falls in love with him, part of the time sure that he loves her too, part of the time wondering how much he loves her. When someone finds the wolves and threatens to kill them, Maggie and Tommie leave town and will stop at nothing to keep the wolves safe. They undertake an adventure of sorts and find themselves caught up in a twist of events, for better or for worse, that will test Maggie's love for Tommie, force her to grow up, move on with life, and to take it upon herself to make the changes that she so desperately wanted.

Favorite scenes/quotes/lines:
My favorite characters include the title character, Maggie Elizabeth Harrington, Tommie Stetter, and George Bailey (no, not the George Bailey from It's A Wonderful Life). Maggie seems to be a quiet timid sort of person. She often has an almost bleak outlook on events and the life around her, yet as the story goes on, we see her blossom and mature quite a bit, becoming more hopeful and stepping up to make a change. Her thoughts are deep and beyond her years, but she always manages to think something which reminds you that she is still a teenager and still thinks childish thoughts sometimes. Tommie seems like a good kid, sweet, caring, smart. He's also aggressive and knows how to get a job done as a young man should. It's easy to see what Maggie likes in him, yet he's also a little bit hard to read because all we know about Tommie is what Maggie sees in him. George Bailey did not have a huge part in the story, but I found his endless "rambling" as Maggie called it to be quite amusing. Unlike most of the people Maggie grows up with, Mr. Bailey actually likes to talk - more so than he likes to listen perhaps.
I rather liked several lines throughout the story, but my favorite lines are: "...a lot of things that are important to people, don't seem right to me." (Chapter 6). That's one of the things I like about Maggie. She doesn't accept everything just because someone else said it was right. Also, in chapter 7, I like this: "She is more concerned about how she will feel when she grows up than what she feels right now." I believe that quote speaks for itself. Lastly, I really liked this simple quote that rings with so much truth: " is God's gift to us." (Chapter 18.) No major spoilers here, but I do want to add that I think my favorite scene took place in Chapter 14.

Maggie Elizabeth Harrington
Other books to read by D.J. Swykert:
The sequel to Maggie Elizabeth Harrington is titled Alpha Wolves. Other books he has written are Children of the Enemy, The Pool Boy's Beatitude, and The Death of Anyone. You can check out his website for more titles and his Facebook profile.
Additional notes:
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The characters were interesting. Maggie Elizabeth Harrington was a real person. That in itself was one of the things that made the book so enjoyable, as we look into what her life could have actually been like. The setting and themes worked extremely well together. The style in which the book was written is what gets to me the most I think. It is written in a simplified manner meant for a younger audience. With that said, a teen audience or an older audience I feel would also enjoy the story equally as much. Also, the story is written in the first person. However, it reads extremely different than I think any other book I have encountered. While most first person stories are written in a slightly past tense, Maggie Elizabeth Harrington felt more present than anything I have ever read and thus more intimate as we get to know Maggie on such as personal level. I would like to say that the book felt like reading her diary perhaps, but it didn't. It's just that present in her mind.
The book began a little bit slow to me, but got more interesting as it progressed. By Chapter 14, things really started to get exciting and kept me hooked until the end. I'm excited to read the second book!
(Click here to purchase Maggie Elizabeth Harrington).

Yours truly,


  1. I'm not usually big on historical fiction, but you make this sound very interesting. I may just add this to my TBR list! Thanks!