Under the guise of mentor and muse, a frustrated writer and her ambitious teenage protégé take an illicit summer road trip fraught with racial and sexual tension.
This is a compelling psychological novel about social norms, artistic ambition, and obsession.
Maggie Barnett works in the media center of a school in Flint, Michigan where she meets Taezha Riverton, an aspiring teenage writer. After discovering that Maggie is also a writer, Taezha turns to her as both mentor and friend.
Alone and childless, it’s not enough for Maggie to take Tae to restaurants and poetry slams. Although Tae’s mother has nothing against Maggie, she is less than thrilled when Maggie proposes to take her daughter on a summer road trip. Permission is never explicitly granted, but shortly after school is out for the summer, Maggie and Tae head for the Southeast.
I really enjoyed this book. The relationship between the two women doesn’t exactly grow, it evolves. The ending is quite realistic, and satisfying. A lot of SE Michigan references throughout, which was a nice touch. Good read, hard to put down. – Kevin McLogan
This book is a real page turner with a unique and unexpected plot and authentic characters. Sage kept the emotional exchange between the mentor and her muse hovering right below a potentially explosive surface…you’ll have to read it to the end to see how things shake out! – Allison Lee Palmer
Since I’m a teacher myself, I was curious to read a book from the mentoring perspective. Maggie and Tae are two characters who captured my attention from the start. The present tense voice kept an immediacy to the writing and gave the feeling of traveling along with them on their journey. Maggie is complex and just when I thought I had her figured out, she’d surprise me! Tae’s character is full of energy and the passions of youth. When the generations collide, sparks fly! – Night in Tunisia
A great book! I found the characters believable, and they developed throughout the book; kept me guessing how they would each end up. Good descriptions; it was easy to picture in my mind’s eye. As opposed to some novels I’ve read where the middle third gets slow, “A Mentor and Her Muse” was evenly paced throughout and held my interest. Not a picture-perfect ending either; like I said, realistic character portrayals with all their messiness and foibles. I’ll be looking forward to more from Ms. Sage! – T.P.
I liked the psychological portrait of middle-aged Maggie whose struggles I could really relate to. The contrast of the youthful, rebellious Tae as Maggie’s counterpoint heightened the tension. Their dance of power struggles, seduction, friendship and mothering filled the pages. The incisive dialogue flowed and captured each character’s personality. Sage’s creation of journal entries nicely advanced the story and fleshed out both women. The finishing touch was the addition of poems well-placed deliciously throughout. Sage is, indeed, a novelist and poet! – Ginger C.
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