quietfire, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by quietfire)
I loved the writing in this book from start to finish. I laughed out loud frequently. Eloquent choices of words. Multiple story lines woven together provide a rich setting and made me feel like I knew the town and the family. I will recommend this to my friends.
Brixpop, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Brixpop)
This story starts out seeming like it's a satire and an absurd story about religion and living in a small town much like Maguire's fairy tale books are. The main characters attend Cliffs of Zion Radiant Radical Pentecostal Fellowship which just sounds ridiculous. Many events in the book seem very random. But the way that the story is told and put together makes it actually seem like it could be a realistic slice of small town life. There are parts that are laugh out loud funny and other parts that disgust you. Overall it is just an enjoyable read that is hard to put down and one of the most unique stories I have read in a long time.
"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"Maguire, who made a name for himself with bestselling fantasy books like Wicked, delivers a sharp, funny, and provocative dual coming-of-age story set in 1999 upstate New York, focusing on obnoxious 17-year-old Tabitha Scales, and Jeremy Carr, a musician and director of the local Catholic church choir. Tabitha becomes the caretaker of her devoutly Protestant mother, Leontina, after she takes a nasty bump on the head and transforms into a foul-mouthed, helpless stranger. Jeremy, meanwhile, hopes an upcoming music gig in New York City will give him what it takes to leave Thebes--and former flame Willem Handelaers, now happily married with children--in the past. Jeremy's longing for Willem is heartbreakingly conveyed, as is Tabitha's rushed maturity and yearning for a man she later learns is engaged to a woman in Jeremy's choir. In conversations and their inner lives, Maguire's characters philosophize about faith, religion, acceptance, and desire in a way that never feels forced or preachy, and though cutesy at times, Maguire's humor buoys the darker story lines and keeps this winning story on track. (Oct.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWyxz LLC)
by Washington Post,
"A delight….[A] funny and warmhearted exploration of the sacred and the profane."
by Ann Patchett,
"Reading The Next Queen of Heaven is like hanging on to the back of an out-of-control carnival ride—terrifying, thrilling, a once-in-a-lifetime adventure."
by Harper Collins,
With the new millennium approaching, the eccentric town of Thebes grows even stranger. Mrs. Leontina Scales begins speaking in tongues after being clocked by a Catholic statuette. Her daughter, Tabitha, and her sons scheme to save their mother or surrender her to Jesus—whatever comes first. Meanwhile, choir director Jeremy Carr, caught between lust and ambition, fumbles his way toward Y2K. The ancient Sisters of the Sorrowful Mysteries join with a gay singing group. The Radical Radiants battle the Catholics. A Christmas pageant goes horribly awry. And a child is born.
Only a modern master like Gregory Maguire could spin a tale as frantic, funny, and farcical as The Next Queen of Heaven.
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