American Book Incorporated
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Combatting wars on two fronts – one of fame and the other love – Maggie Hogan never wavers as a rare woman reporter on the battlefields of World War II, the Nuremburg Trials and the beginnings of the cold war. But she makes the mistake of falling for an officer, complicating her ambitions.
Learn of what one woman feels she must do in order to make it in a man’s world, no matter what.
Maggie’s Wars is a story about the ultimate battle between love and prestige, and how you can’t win them both.
So What Did I Think About The Story?:
Oh Maggie, Maggie, Maggie...what am I to do with you?! Right from the start I wasn't much of a fan of Maggie Hogan, the determined young woman with a dream of making a name for herself in the fast and incredibly chauvinistic world of journalism in the closing years of WWII. While she's spunky, intelligent and determined she is also selfish and conniving, using her womanly good looks and charms that she seemingly hates the male journalists to focus on to actually seduce her way into a better career. Her ambitions know no bounds and she doesn't blink an eye at using other people to get what she wants. Being this ruthless makes it hard to like Maggie or feel much for her fleeting and ever-changing feelings for the various men she finds in her bed. But one of those men, the young officer mentioned in the synopsis, fully steals the spotlight from Maggie.
While the title and synopsis led me to believe this is exclusively Maggie's story the novel is actually told in two alternating viewpoints: Maggie and Johnny Pero, the hit man turned secret military agent that Maggie has an on again off again love affair with. And thank God Johnny got to tell his story because he saved this book for me! An Italian-American born into a rough neighborhood, he's working for the mob when his special skills at killing lead him to be enlisted into the military for select dangerous operations in Europe at the end of WWII. Having fallen head over heals for Maggie, he jumps at the chance to go over seas in the hopes of getting closer to her once she goes to Europe to write about what she sees at the frontlines. Through Johnny's eyes the reader gets the chance to see some of the devastation and viciousness that only someone in his unique situation could see: bombed, shot and/or stabbed bodies, destroyed towns, piles of tortured and starved bodies on the death trains...my only complaint with the portions of the novel detailing Johnny's time during the war is that they were too short. These portions were descriptive and compelling and I felt like I could have read pages and pages more.
To be honest the great majority of the story felt rushed to me and, at only 229 pages, I think some more development of the situations discussed would have really elevated the whole story. For examples, both the liberation of Dachau and the Nuremberg trials were introduced as important turning points in the story and could have really brought the reader front and center for these spellbinding times in history but, instead, were only given a few pages each and then moved away from. I found this disappointing because I really wanted more!
In the end Maggie's Wars was a bit of a mixed bag for me. The parts I enjoyed, which were pretty much any part from Johnny's perspective, needed more development and more time to bring me into the story instead of just telling me something and moving on. The ending left a lot to be desired as well and left me wondering why the author chose to wrap it up the way he did. With all this being said there is a lot of potential here. It's a quick read that gives a unique perspective on WWII I haven't seen addressed before. If the author were to write another book set during this same time with a bit more attention given to development I would be very excited to see where it went.
So What Did I Think About the Cover?:
Meh. While the close-up of a typewriter perfectly fits into the story no part of it - the colors, the composition, the typeface - draws me in or makes me want to read the book.
Thank you to Amy at Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours for sending me a free copy of Maggie's Wars in exchange for an honest review! Make sure to continue below for more information about the author, the chance to win a copy of Maggie's Wars of your very own and information about the rest of the tour schedule!
About the Author
Phil Pisani grew up on the north side of the railroad tracks in an upstate New York blue-collar industrial town in a rough neighborhood filled with the most colorful characters in the world. Factory and tannery workers mingled with bar and restaurant owners, gamblers and gangsters, good people and bad people, brash rogues and weak loudmouths, all spawned by the early immigrant movement to America. Italians, Russians, Slovacks, Irish, and Germans formed a rough and tough section of town where few from the south side dared to venture. He learned to fight at a very young age, both in the ring and on the streets. Fights became badges of honor. He also was a voracious reader. His mother worked in the village’s library. After school, or fights or sandlot football games he would curl away into the adult reading section. Enjoying the polished blonde oak bookshelves, tables and chairs, he would choose a book from the stacks and delve into its smells and contents. Reading soothed him.
He studied history and humanities in Pisa, Italy, and Oswego State in New York and later earned a MA in Political Science from Binghamton University.
He worked as a labor investigator for NY and rose in the ranks through the years but never stopped writing or reading. He currently lives in Albany NY, with his wife Joanne.
For more information please visit Phil Pisani’s website. You can also connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.
Maggie’s Wars Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, August 18
Review at JulzReads
Tuesday, August 19
Review & Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book
Interview at The Maiden’s Court
Wednesday, August 20
Review at Book Nerd
Review at Layered Pages
Spotlight at Flashlight Commentary
Thursday, August 21
Review at Man of la Book
Spotlight at So Many Precious Books, So Little Time
Friday, August 22
Review at Jorie Loves a Story
Review and Giveaway at Historical Tapestry
Interview at Closed the Cover
Want a chance to win a copy of Maggie's Wars of your very own? Just leave a comment below telling me your all time favorite book set during WWII (I'm always looking for recommendations!). Be sure to leave your email address in your comment (no email, no entry!). For extra entries just share this giveaway and leave a separate comment with a link to where you shared. That's it!
I'll pick a winner on August 29th and the winner will have 2 days to answer my email notification with their mailing address before I have to pick another winner. Good luck everyone!
If you'd like to buy the book you can do so at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.