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Reviewed by Bernadette Longu for Readers' Favorite
In The Discontent of Mary Wenger, Paper Dolls Book 1, by Robert Tucker, the author has taken a subject and an era that is very difficult to analyze and has written about it with compassion, understanding, humor, and unending love shown in different ways. The author has treated the subject with compassion and understanding as everyone who grew up between 1940 and 2020 sees the world differently, especially from that period when America joined World War II to what is happening now in the 21st century.
The main characters of this book are Mary Woijcek, her sisters Ruth and Nina Margaret who died at 8 months, and their brother John. Their parents were Eva and Michael. One of the problems this small immigrant family had was their choice of religion which caused no end of problems. But it also caused the children to grow up almost isolated from the rest of the world, especially regarding associating with other people. The author portrays the family’s life and closeness and closure to outsiders in the most sensitive way possible. It has the reader feeling for the family and their struggles and then getting angry at the narrow-mindedness of their thoughts and what they did with their lives, especially Mary.
I found that once you start reading the book, you cannot put it down as you need to find out if Mary ever found peace within herself and with those around her, especially Bob her husband, and her children Robbie, Pam, and Daniel. She was inclined to be very forceful with what was right and what was wrong and what was acceptable to her, never mind anyone else. Robert Tucker gives the reader a lot of food for thought, especially as more and more people now realize that they had also grown up in a very similar way, all over the world. The Discontent of Mary Wenger is well worth reading, not once but more than once as it will make the reader think and take them on a journey of self-discovery in the nicest way. Thank you, Robert, for a wonderful book.