The Magnificent Mary Ann

Be careful about the advice you give: someone just might take it.

On a two-hour flight, road warrior Hal Dormund, half-delirious from jet-lag and meetings in eight countries, gave a rambling monologue of advice to a teary-eyed teenager - she would turn out to be a runaway -- who had sat down beside him. "Find what you like best and work like hell at it," he said. It is now seven years later, and she has finally found him to thank him and say that she took his advice to heart. All of it: to Hal's amazement, Mary Ann recites whole passages of his monologue word for word. What Mary Ann liked best was dance, and from the moment she got off the airplane, that is all she has done: train and train and train. And it has paid off: she is now the star of a Broadway dance production. It debuts just weeks after her reunion with Hal, and love and success embrace her for the first time in her life.

romantic thriller

And what a strange life. Having dedicated herself to dance, she is utterly innocent, knows nothing of the world, can scarcely distinguish between an ocean and a lake. Until she joined the dance company, nobody has ever treated her as more than a hired hand. Her family of Arkansas farmers didn't even search for her when she ran away. Until now. Now she is an PR embarrassment to her father, a TV preacher whose ministry is about to go national. And she is the leverage that a vile CEO is using in order to get out of paying Hal's company for a completed contract. "You want to get cooperation?" he tells Hal. "Don't put your prisoner on the rack. Put his mother or his brother - or his girl." But the central figure, shining amidst the circling black clouds of ambition, greed and jealousy, is Mary Ann: beautiful, robust, joyful, loving -- in a word, magnificent. She is a jewel that the reader, like Hal, will never stop turning one way and another, delighting in every facet.




Philip Kraske

Philip Kraske was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1959 and grew up in Stillwater, Minnesota, just south of the villages that inspired Garrison Keillor's Lake Wobegon.


Kraske studied French, Spanish and Portuguese and received a degree in International Relations from the University of Minnesota. He has lived and worked in Quito, Ecuador, and travelled throughout South America and western Europe. He is currently at work on a novel set in Quito, untrod ground for English-language writers. He also teaches English and translates works by Spanish authors.

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