Author: Phillip Good
ISBN: 978-1-44040-245-6

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Author of I Love You Maggie, Phillip Good, previously taught at Tulane Medical School, penned hundreds of articles for a variety of newspapers and magazines, wrote seven text books, and twenty-one novels (back cover, 2009).  Mr. Good participated in some form or fashion in the civil rights movement in the 1960’s in Jackson, Mississippi.

Reading the synopsis of I Love You Maggie led me to believe that there would be more plot emphasis on the civil rights movement and fight for integration than there actually was. It became apparent in reading this novel and preparing for this review that the civil rights movement was more background or filler while campus life/young romance was more the major theme of this novel.

There are many leading characters in this book that range from deans of the university to student professors and students and their families and friends. Chapters are separated by and dedicated to one or two of those characters, who make up this book, and are largely focused around life on and around the Tulane campus or greater New Orleans area.

Mr. Good’s writing technique is quite skillful. He blends prose with poetry in the exploration of young unrequited love. The plot seems to lead one [the reader] into a romance and love affair gone awry.

These two temporarily star-crossed lovers are from different backgrounds and geographic locales. Their names are Peter and Maggie, who are both white. Peter is a hapless romantic who sees love and lasting relationship potential in nearly every woman he comes into contact with. Maggie is more pragmatic and far less romantic. Nonetheless, they meet somewhere in the middle for a short spell.

At times, Peter finds himself falling into a crowd of whites who either support or detest the civil rights movement and integration. In the supporting moments, he helps those friends to arrange sit-ins or other meetings that can attract attention to this important cause. It is in these rare moments that Peter comes into contact with black people who champion this cause because they deserve equality.

While Peter rests solidly on the periphery, there are others who have an inside track and end up time and again being arrested and jailed as this cause is moved forward.

There are snippets weaved in and around Peter deciding to be in school or to drop out, to fall in or out of love, and to marry or not. Peter appears to be trying to figure out what life is all about. Good’s descriptions of New Orleans are so real that the reader can see the sites and smell the smells. The grit, the danger, the excitement of the unknown invites us to read on.

To call this book a novel about the civil rights movement is to go overboard because in truth, I found little, until near the very end, that dealt with the civil rights movement or the plight of the blacks seeking equality and integration into a white society. As the title suggests [I Love You Maggie], this is a romantic novel about new love or first love: lost and found. It is a poignant reminder of the fragility of love and the responsibility that true love entails.

Click Here To Purchase I Love You Maggie