#Review: Following Disasters – Nancy McCabe
Maggie Owens spent most of her younger years living with her terminally ill aunt. For a time, she was content with the way things were going between them. Until her mother decided enough was enough and yanked her away from the calm, though sometimes chaotic, life she’s led. Upon reaching her twenty-first birthday, she inherits her aunt’s home after she dies. In her mind, she’s not sure what to make of things. Nevertheless, she’s determined in making sense of her aunt’s world and their own chaotic pasts. Only then can she lay her ghosts to rest.
When I first dove into Following Disasters, I confess I thought the story was some sort of romance. Mind you, the story does contain a little romance, but that’s not its focal. I’m honestly glad the book has surpassed my expectations, however. Nancy McCabe delivers a bittersweet and quite heart-wrenching story that sticks with you long after you’ve read it.
The reader finds him/herself immersed in Maggie’s plight as she tries to makes sense of what her aunt has left behind after unexpectedly dying. In Maggie’s mind, she relives parts of her past, remembering the love and care her aunt showed her throughout her childhood. She also remembers the pain and heartache that came with loving those around her.
Maggie’s life has never been easy. She’s had to contend with her ailing aunt, her angry mother, as well as the loss of her father, to name a few. Nevertheless, she’s done her best to live life as she sees fit. Deep inside, she often wishes she could change her circumstances, but she soon learns that she doesn’t have to. It’s best to learn from our mistakes, for you never know what’s waiting for you at the end of that glowing bright rainbow.
A truly melancholic story, Following Disasters is one anyone can relate to. Taking place during a time where life was much simpler than it is now, it’s a story that shows us that anything is possible, even throughout the most darkest moments in our lives. We just have to believe in the world around us and trust our instincts when it comes to those we come across.
On her twenty-first birthday, Maggie Owen receives an unusual birthday gift: a house. That same day, her aunt, the house’s owner, dies. For three years, Maggie has been fleeing her childhood demons: the deaths of her parents, estrangement from her terminally-ill aunt, and a betrayal by her best friend. But now her career following natural disasters in temporary insurance claims offices ends abruptly, as Maggie returns home to face her past.
But why does the house hold a mysterious spell over her? Why does she have the persistent feeling that her aunt is haunting her? Why did her aunt lie to her about the circumstances of her parents’ deaths? Who is the ghost child that may be hanging around the house? And what’s with the guy next door who seems so hostile toward her? FOLLOWING DISASTERS is a tightly-woven ghost story that raises questions about legacies and their influence on our choices.
About The Author:
Following Disasters is Nancy McCabe’s first novel. She has also published four books of creative nonfiction, including Meeting Sophie: A Memoir or Adoption; Crossing the Blue Willow Bridge: A Journey to My Daughter’s Birthplace in China; and From Little Houses to Little Women: Revisiting a Literary Childhood.
She is a regular blogger for Ploughshares and has published work in Newsweek, Writers’ Digest, Prairie Schooner, Gulf Coast, Fourth Genre, and other magazines and anthologies. Her work has received a Pushcart and six times made notable lists in Houghton Mifflin Best American anthologies.
Following Disasters Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29209394-following-disasters