Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:
A provocative novel about the fallout from a search for truth by the author of the national bestseller The Lifeboat.
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.
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... about the interconnectedness of lives, the limits of knowledge, and the consequences of doing the right thing.
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Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
Maggie Rayburn works in a munitions plant. After she snags a confidential report from her boss's desk and learns that the munitions she is helping to produce are likely causing cancer in those who have close contact with them, she changes jobs to work in a high-security prison, only to find that some of the prisoners there have been wrongly convicted. She collects evidence at this job as well. She escapes arrest only by leaving town. Meanwhile, a group of Iraq War vets set up a website on which they disclose information about the war and other issues, including the classified documents that Maggie collected, and are pressured by the government to take down the site. Rogan (The Lifeboat) captures the difficulty of choosing one cause among many and sticking with that cause for long enough to make a difference. This work is well read by Christine Lakin, Ade M'Cormack, Aaron Landon, Kiff VandenHeuvel, John Glouchevitch, and Kathleen McInerney. VERDICT Readers of general fiction, especially those with an interest in social justice, will enjoy this book. ["Seemingly unrelated story threads are ingeniously woven into an explosive whole": LJ 5/15/16 starred review of the Little, Brown hc.]-Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Libs., Providence © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
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.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Maggie Rayburn, an administrative assistant at a munitions plant in Red Bud, Oklahoma, just wants to do what's right. So she takes a top-secret report about a cover-up of the plant's chemicals' effects on its workers and community from her boss' desk, then quits her job, but continues to buck the system. Her story is interspersed with that of an army forward-support battalion in Iraq, whose members (including the boyfriend of a Red Bud midwife who is delivering babies with birth defects) just had their tours extended by a stop loss order. When a supply convoy is ambushed with five men killed, Captain Penn Sinclair is ordered to destroy his report and do a whitewash, an action that continues to weigh on him. The two story lines coalesce with the start of a truth-telling website by Sinclair and former members of his unit that soon captures public interest. Finding mendacity in both public and private sectors, Rogan (The Lifeboat, 2012), whose army-based sections are the strongest in the book, offers a heartfelt exploration of doing right and its consequences.--Leber, Michele Copyright 2016 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
After The Lifeboat (2012), a tightly focused first novel with a morally ambiguous narrator, Rogan takes an opposite approach in this outraged tale of a number of characters impacted by America's military-industrial juggernaut. In Oklahoma, 39-year-old Maggie Rayburn quits her secretarial job at a munitions plant after swiping a disturbing document she found on her boss's desk, which said, "Discredit the doctors. Flood the system with contradictory reports." She hides the folder in her house alongside a letter she'd received from local midwife Dolly Jackson that implied the factory is causing health problems in the community. Maggie takes up more causes at her next job, at the local prison: an inmate railroaded by the legal system and the prison's conspiracy to provide slave labor to the munitions factory. Maggie finds herself at cloak-and-dagger cross-purposes with a cartoonishly evil triumvirate of local power brokersher former boss at the factory, the head of the prison, and her own minister. More believably, her new sense of purpose endangers her marriage to likable husband Lyle and sets their teenage son, Will, on an unexpected course of self-discovery. Meanwhile, in Iraq, a convoy of soldiers is attacked the same day their tours have been automatically extended for the "surge." The surviving soldiers return home emotionally wounded. A head injury leaves angry Le Roy Jones able to see life only in binary terms; doctors change the diagnosis of Dolly's boyfriend, bookish Danny Joiner, from post-traumatic stress disorder to personality disordera pre-existing conditionto save the Army money. Capt. Penn Sinclair, feeling guilty that he led them into danger, brings the men back together to create an anti-war website that becomes a magnet for righteous anger. Soon the site broadens its targets to include munitions factories and prisons, and thus is manufactured a tangential connection between the soldiers and Maggie. A complex bundle of motives, Maggie raises provocative questions about the value and cost of moral empathy, but the soldiers' stories remain schematic at best. Rogan ends up trumpeting her politics so loudly that she drowns out the emotional response from readers, even those sharing her views. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.