The Middler

Our eldest, Jed, got born first out of all of us.

Our youngest, Trig, – he got born four years later.

And me, Maggie, I was in-between. The middler, worse luck.

Maggie is the middle child and as such is shown none of the praise, respect, aspirations and reward given to the eldest child of families in the small town of Fennis Wick, or any of the leeway and allowances allocated to the youngest child either.

Whilst at times Maggie is accepting of this – she knows that the eldests are held in such high regard because of the sacrifices they make heading to camp aged just 14, preparing to fight in the quiet war in order to keep the town safe, at other times she seems equally resentful of it too especially as she obides by the rules stating that you must not trespass beyond the town boundaries, something instilled into Fennis Wick dwellers from an early age, so she is doing her bit to stay safe too.

Additionally they are educated on the dirty, dangerous and deceitful wanderers, people from outside town that could potentially stray across the boundary line into town at any time and create trouble, something everyone is keen to avoid.

It is a chance meeting with a wanderer, a girl by the name of Una that starts Maggie’s secret adventure to earn her the notoriety she longs for, by capturing Una and turning her in, saving the town and being declared a hero. But not everything is as it seems and it isn’t long before Maggie struggles with the consequences of her actions, having to make decisions that will affect more then just herself, and whilst still wanting to do the right thing, she does so no longer seeking any acknowledgement, intent on uncovering the truth.

The intense and immersive storyline throughout this debut title, evolving from an interesting and relatable concept will leave you enjoying the journey alongside Maggie for the duration of The Middler. With a courageous and determined lead character in Maggie, facing frightening and confrontational situations you find yourself willing her to succeed in her mission.

This debut from Kirsty Applebaum has a timeless classic vibe that feels reminiscent of Little house on the Prarie, focusing on roles within families, the bonds between siblings and the power society holds over individuals. I loved the diary dated chapters, giving a clear indication as to just how quickly things escalated for Maggie and those around her and I am excited to see more from this author in the future.

Publication date – 04.04.19 £6.99

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