“The Margo Chronicles” by CJ MacKinnon

The Margo Chronicles

CJ MacKinnon
Sparrow House Collective (2022)
ISBN: 9780973061697
Reviewed by Jen Oliver-Rigsby for Reader Views (12/2022)

“The Margo Chronicles” by CJ MacKinnon introduces readers to Margo and Michael, a married couple who have just retired and moved from the city to Wannatoka Springs, a fictitious, tiny, rural community in British Columbia. Margo and Michael try to figure out who they are while navigating how to fit in within a small community where most people travel via ATV or golf cart. They need to figure out who they are outside of having a job and how to live in the country. It is a collection of short stories instead of a narrative fictional novel.

Margo and Michael are amusing characters, or at least they are when they are placed in the country instead of the city where they have lived all of their lives. They do city folk things which most readers will get a chuckle out of, like when they are chopping down their own Christmas tree or setting up their holiday lights. They are memorable characters that most readers will be able to relate to in some fashion, even if they are not near retirement age. The setting of the small rural town is extremely important in order to show their personalities and how they need to adjust to their new lives.

Even though this is a collection of short stories, some stories seem to tie in with other stories and some just seem to be randomly placed in the collection. This collection could be told in a narrative fictional novel with some expansion and timeline perimeters placed in between the plots of the short stories. The author made a note that there are several other stories that they wrote about Margo and Michael that could probably be tied into these short stories and turned into a novel if MacKinnon wanted to do that.

Overall, “The Margo Chronicles” is a fun collection of short stories that will leave readers chuckling to themselves and leave them wondering if Margo and Michael ever truly adapted to the country lifestyle. The stories will make readers wonder if they would do the same thing if they were placed in a similar situation or just have someone else worry about the situation.

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