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Reviewed by Anne Boling for Readers' Favorite
"The Magnificent Mary Ann” by Philip Kraske is a fascinating look at how one event that may seem minor to one person changes the course of events for another. Rarely do we know the effect our words or actions have on others. Sitting next to a young girl on a flight to Chicago Hal offered up words of wisdom. Never had anyone taken the time or energy to talk to Mary Ann. Hal had no means of knowing her circumstance or the result of his advice. Mary Ann was only eleven years old. She was a run away, escaping an abusive father and brothers. She listens intently to every word Hal utters, absorbing it all. She follows his advice and is successful. “Do what you like most. What you need isn't a lot of money or background, what you need is a dream. If you have a dream, everything else will take care of itself. Sure, there are people who dance for a living. It’s extremely difficult to get into, of course — you have to be the best. But if you train hard, and you come to rehearsal ready to work every day, you’ll make it. The pay isn't all that great, but you’ll get along.” Now at twenty it is her desire to locate the man with curly blonde hair named Hal. By coincidence, Ruth, a flight attendant, finds Hal and urges him to call Mary Ann.
I really enjoyed this tale. Philip Kraske is a talented author having created two diverse but fascinating characters. It was interesting to watch Hal and Mary Ann as they matured and changed. As soon as the author introduced Mary Ann’s family into the plot it was easy to see why she ran away from home. Ruth was a secondary character but as I read her dialog, which I thought was humorous, I was reminded of a few scatter brained people that I know. The plot moved along at a smooth pace and is not high action but tends to be more introspective. "The Magnificent Mary Ann” will encourage readers that they can succeed no matter what circumstances they have to overcome.