Another placid, simple-hearted tale of Staggerford (1981), featuring the Irish odyssey of a stereotypical spinster-teacher....



Another placid, simple-hearted tale of Staggerford (1981), featuring the Irish odyssey of a stereotypical spinster-teacher. Agatha McGee--feared, respected, and loved in the community served by St. Isidore's Elementary--is a stalwart opponent of post-Vatican II changes, the ransacking of cherished ritual and liturgy. And now 60-ish Agatha continues her good works as she takes in pregnant, unwed Janet Raft-of the hardscrabble Rafts--at Christmastide: thus, Janet can be near a hospital in case of a Minnesota blizzard. (When baby Stephen is born, the first delivery of the new year, Agatha twists some local arms so that Stephen gets the mercantile goodies about to be passed on to a legitimate infant.) Meanwhile, too, Agatha does some daring battling--when, to her dismay, a new ""whiz kid"" Bishop takes the diocesan reins: Bishop Baker (call him ""Dick"") is for individual Confirmation as the spirit moves; Agatha, drilling her class in a decidedly outmoded catechism, disturbs the Bishop at cards, carrying the day with her phalanx of candidates. Soon, in fact, Bishop Dick grows to like and respect tough Agatha, who's going along on his tour group to Ireland. Her secret reason for the journey? To visit her pen-pal--a quite handsome elderly bachelor (they've exchanged photographs) whose warmth and outlook on life and religion have touched Agatha's heart. Also along on the tour, to visit a cousin, is young Janet, now married to hapless, handsome, and endearing Randy Meet, son of the town's most successful realtor couple. So, en route, both Agatha and Janet will have revelations about love. . .while the Bishop battles indigestion in the wake of visits to Irish seminaries. Sentimental, mildly humorous, full of Catholic-issue discussions: talky but pleasant and undemanding fare for Hassler's regular readership.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 1984

ISBN: 1602856672

Page Count: -

Publisher: Morrow

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1984