Synopses & Reviews
“A delight….[A] funny and warmhearted exploration of the sacred and the profane.”
“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.”
New York Times bestseller Gregory Maguire—who re-imagined the land of Oz and all its fabled inhabitants in his monumental series, The Wicked Years—brings us The Next Queen of Heaven, a wildly farcical and gloriously imaginative tall tale of faith, Catholic dogma, lust, and questionable miracles on the eve of Y2K. The very bizarre and hilarious goings on in the eccentric town of Thebes make for a delightfully mad reading experience—as The Next Queen of Heaven shows off the acclaimed author of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and Mirror Mirror in a brilliant new heavenly light.
"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)
"A delight….[A] funny and warmhearted exploration of the sacred and the profane." Washington Post
"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." Ann Patchett
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.
About the Author
Gregory Maguire is the author of several best-selling adult novels, including Wicked, which was turned into a Broadway musical. His books for younger readers include the picture book Crabby Cratchitt, the novel The Good Liar, and the popular Hamlet Chronicles series. While writing Leaping Beauty, Mr. Maguire sadly became allergic to all creatures great and small. Now he lives in a house without pets, though he is the father of three happy, noisy small children to whom, at this writing, he has not yet developed allergies.