2 out of 4 stars
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Raised in Georgia in a poor family of 13, Margaret Ann has high aspirations for her future. She decides to go to college, which was unheard of in her community, and become a nurse. Our protagonist is a naive but ambitious young woman. She meets a man, Jerry, who she thinks might be a good matrimonial match. Unfortunately, he is semi-psychotic, unemotional and an extremely mysterious ne'er-do-well. They marry and have two wonderful children. While Margaret Ann consistently achieves in her life, Jerry continually drags himself down. As he is fighting various job lay-offs, IRS audits and problems dealing with his criminal past, their relationship remains tenuous at best.
Time progresses and Jerry gets even stranger. Margaret Ann inadvertently learns of his criminal past and the reoccurring conversations that he has 'hidden money'. Where is this money, if in fact it even exists, and what exactly happened to Jerry before he met Margaret Ann? When Jerry mysteriously dies, the answers to these questions die with him. It is up to Margaret Ann to figure out the mystery all by herself.
I rate Missing the Mark by Dr. John Ridley 2 out of 4 stars for a variety of reasons. The novel was riddled with grammatical errors that made it hard to read. Not only was the content depressing, but it was a bit incredulous that Margaret Ann would go blindly through a relationship for over 20 years, not questioning but going along with the uncertainty of their lives. The novel just had a very heavy feel to it.
One thing I enjoyed about the book was the intense sense of mystery and danger that occurred about half way through the reading. I also liked the character of Margaret Ann. She was a very strong 'go-getter'. Her naivety, motivation and caring added a lot of depth to the novel. This excerpt shows a bit of the strength that Ann Margaret possessed. "She had little time for studies. With singleness of purpose she advanced more quickly than her peers through hard work and diligence. Fighting against the sin of pride, she justified in feeling a measure of pride in her accomplishments against the odds of her heritage." Jerry was the typical bum that we all love to hate. Their two children seemed interesting and, with a bit more character development, would be wonderful co-characters.
I would strongly recommend this novel to people that live, or were raised around Georgia because they could relate not only to the terrain but also to the societal upbringing of that culture.
Missing the Mark
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