"For Maggie Rayburn--wife, mother, and secretary at a munitions plant--life is pleasant, predictable, and, she assumes, secure. Read more...
"For Maggie Rayburn--wife, mother, and secretary at a munitions plant--life is pleasant, predictable, and, she assumes, secure. When she finds proof of a high-level cover-up on her boss's desk, she impulsively takes it, an act that turns her world, and her worldview, upside down. Propelled by a desire to do good--and also by a newfound taste for excitement--Maggie starts to see injustice everywhere. Soon her bottom drawer is filled with what she calls "evidence," her small town has turned against her, and she must decide how far she will go for the truth.
For Penn Sinclair--Army Captain, Ivy League graduate, and reluctant heir to his family's fortune--a hasty decision has disastrous results. Home from Iraq and eager to atone, he reunites with three survivors to expose the truth about the war. They launch a website that soon has people talking, but the more they expose, the cloudier their mission becomes.
"Now and Again" is a blazingly original novel about the interconnectedness of lives, the limits of knowledge, and the consequences of doing the right thing.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-02-29
- Reviewer: Staff
Rogan’s second novel (after The Lifeboat) begins with a middle-aged woman’s moral awakening, when she discovers that the radioactive weaponry her employer produces can injure soldiers using it and damage unborn children. While working as an administrative assistant at a munitions plant in Red Bud, Okla., Maggie Rayburn reads a top-secret report (left unattended on her boss’s desk) detailing how to discredit evidence that the weapons are poisonous and unreliable. Maggie quits her job and goes to work for Red Bud’s only other employer: the prison. After learning about the incarceration of innocent men and the economics of prison labor, she leaves that job, as well as her husband and high school–age son, to assist a civil rights attorney in Phoenix. Meanwhile, back in Red Bud, her family needs her and authorities pursue her. Paralleling Maggie’s story is that of a group of soldiers serving in Iraq before returning home and unable to resume their former lives. They too undertake a project fueled by good intentions, fraught with unintended consequences. Linking Maggie and the veterans is a midwife— a soldier’s girlfriend—who notices an increase in birth defects. Rogan delineates the journey from outrage to action to doubt, contrasting mundane routines with the philosophical dilemmas of ordinary people. Vested interests, including those of threatening policemen and a consoling pastor, make it difficult to do the right thing, as do complications resulting from every choice. (Apr.)