A Kiss for Maggie Moore
by Micki R. Pettit
Black Rose Writing

"Melinda wanted a family, and Bucky, hero-bound, would be by her side. Where did that leave me? My future was as undeveloped as my body."

Growing up in a small town in Wyoming, Maggie and Bucky are the best of friends. When they allow the new girl, Melinda, to join the group, they become a trio. The three get along marvelously as they move into their teen years, but Melinda begins to spiral into drugs and promiscuity when her father brings home a new wife. This puts a strain on a relationship already under pressure due to both girls having feelings for Bucky. The last year of high school sees Melinda going off in her own troubled direction, which leaves Bucky and Maggie a chance at being a couple. However, a car wreck will bring them all back together, and it is clear that someone is going to have a broken heart.

Pettit delivers a well-written coming-of-age novel. Her description of small-town life will be immediately recognized by those who have lived it, and her characters have depth and personality. The layers of the shared friendship are clearly defined, and Pettit shows a particular grace in developing both the strong bonds between the three characters and the jealousy that resides among the girls. Also, the protagonist’s growth is mirrored a bit by the growth of the country during the ’60s and ’70s and creates an interesting backdrop for the story. In some ways, the novel is reminiscent of Bobbie Ann Mason’s In Country. Pettit’s story should appeal to both high school students and adults who enjoy this genre and are interested in how friendship and romance can cause problems in small towns in America.

A 2023 Eric Hoffer Book Award Grand Prize Short List book

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