Peggy has had more than enough. Her daughter, Sally Ann, is floundering in pubescent no-man's-land and making life hell; Patrick has gone to seed, more belly over than under his belt, and Nora, her social-climbing mother-in-law, has given her a bit too much lip. Leaving the exploded bags of groceries scattered on the kitchen floor where she dropped them, Peggy walks out.
Blindly looking for freedom, her naive spontaneity leads her straight into a trap. After a few short days of exciting recklessness, suddenly no-one is laughing any more.
Wings ePress, Incorporated
9781597059473, $16.95, Paperback, 324 pages
Trish Fitzgerald Petri's Making Tracks, first pubbed as Peggy Does a Runner, presents Peggy Fitzpatrick along with several friends as they set out from Dublin to end up in the North Clare village of Ballydereen where Peggy first notices the man she will marry.
Patrick Cunningham is a handsome man who happened to be in Mullen's pub when Peggy and her friends drifted in.
Almost before she knows it; Peggy finds herself ensconced in a small housing tract overlooking Galway Bay.
Today at forty Peggy is pretty well fed up.
Patrick with his paunch hiding his belt; is not as attractive or attentive as he once was. Adolescent daughter Sally Ann struggling in the throes of teen-age angst is driving her mother up the wall with the talking back, agony and histrionics. The mother in law from hell, social climber Nora, is a real pain in the neck.
Peggy walks into her kitchen with an armful of groceries, drops the lot and considers her options.
She sets out in her auto, thoughtlessly seeking independence, drives into a hedgerow along the Clare-Galway roadways. Soon she takes up with a group of trekkers traveling in their horse drawn caravans. For a time Peggy enjoys the bohemian life with a long haired German, Rudi. After a short period of time filled with stimulating rashness, all of a sudden the situation is no long enjoyable or fun.
Her inexpert impetuosity had brought Peggy right into a snare.
It does not take long before Peggy realizes Rudi fierce fascination cloaks a dangerous callous streak.
In Peggy's absence, Patrick's mom has been ineffective in coaxing Pat to take up with another woman. At last Patrick has finally become aware of the fact that his mam has been less than forthright... after deciding the old bat is really a downright liar; he and sets out with Bosco, the family pup, in an effort to locate Peggy.
Peggy undertakes a frenetic effort to flee the crazed Rudi, and is hurt in the process. He moves his caravan into seclusion where Peggy begins to lose hope and fears the harshest outcome; when suddenly Bosco's feverish barking restores her hope for a reprieve from the situation.
Beginning on the first page Writer FitzGerald Petri's Making Tracks is an action packed, entertaining at time a hilarious read, with some real occasions of drama.
Fitzgerald Petri's talent for setting the scene is dandy. Her main character Peggy comes to life and all but leaves the page while moving the reader along on a at times hysterical, albeit, dynamic journey.
I found her characters to be nicely fleshed from the, at times, dim Patrick who ultimately does get his act together to the pain in the neck teen and especially the snob, mother in law Nora.
Droll, realistic discourse packed with whimsical description is credible, draws the reader right into the tale where the reader is filled with all the impatience, uncertainty and worry as experienced by Peggy. I have never seen Ireland, Trish Fitzgerald Petri's description convinces me I would like to.
How we parents can identify with Peggy's dissatisfactions with that youngster of hers, the meddling mother-in-law is a real non-charmer. I found myself pleased to read of her comeuppance.
Rudi is out-and-out scary. Peggy is a little silly, however most of us who have been married a long time may also wonder if we might have made another wiser choice and can definitely understand her motivations.
FitzGerald Petri has crafted a cleverly wrought tale filled with just the right balance of shock, wit and trickery. Readers may guffaw with overexcited laughter as the ongoing drama continues to the end of the tale.
The scene when Mama is found out and cannot talk her way out is a real chuckle. Rudi and his mad meanness are set down in tense, believable manner. This is not a book to be read after dark when you are home alone.
Dialog is credible, nicely set down, presented in gritty style certain to keep the reader entranced.
From the outset the reader is carried along on a wild ride filled with excitement and masque. The truth of the old saw, the grass is always greener on the other side, is presented with skill.
Watch for red herrings.
Enjoyed the initial read as an eBook, I like it even more on paper. Happy to recommend
“Peggy Does A Runner” EPPIE Finalist 2003
—for Best Single Title/Mainstream Novel
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“Ms FitzGerald-Petri is definitely a talent in the humor department, and her skill in the use of dialect and description gives one a keen sense of living in a seaside village and traveling the rural byways of Ireland. For as much as Anne Tyler’s Ladder of Years is a serious portrayal of a woman who bolts from her husband and family, Making Tracks (Peggy Does a Runner) is guaranteed to have you in stitches. That is not to say this story is not without serious issues that arise while the main characters discover what is most important in life and that things aren’t always as they seem.
Ms. FitzGerald-Petri’s characters leap from the written page...
For anyone who's ever wanted to "do a runner" herself and experience numerous laughs to boot, I can't recommend Peggy Does a Runner highly enough! I rate it: ROFLMAO!! (In other words, absolutely hilarious!)”
“This well-written novel is a delightful mix of true-life, fanciful imagination, realism, laughter, tears, and suspense—yes, plenty of suspense. Without ever being preachy and didactic, this novel holds the mirror to the lives lived by many, if not most, women. And that mirror shows the good as well as the less-than-lovable side of womens’ lives. I’ll go so far as to predict that no woman with a loving, but less than charismatic husband, with at-times bratty teen(s), and a life that seems all too cut and dried, will fail to find a smile and perhaps even a teardrop in these pages. There’s a little Peggy in all of us—thank goodness!”
“...most of us who have been married a long time, and wonder if we might have made another, wiser choice, can certainly understand her (Peggy’s) motivation. FitzGerald-Petri has ingeniously wrought a tale filled with just the right balance of fright, humor and intrigue.
Not to be read after dark when you are home alone. Dialog is plausible, nicely set down, presented in gritty style sure to keep the reader captivated. From the outset the reader is carried along on a wild ride filled with excitement and masque.” Four Stars
“This gem of a story slowly reels a reader in and captures the heart... Reading Peggy Does A Runner (Making Tracks) is like spending a weekend in the Irish countryside… and it’s a whole lot cheaper.”
Book Review Café rating: Four Cups—a must read!