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Book Nook: Maggie Boylan by Michael Henson

Vick Mickunas' interview with Michael Henson

The opioid crisis is a national emergency. The scourge of opioid abuse and addiction has hit the Appalachian region especially hard. It has been documented that there's a town in West Virginia that was literally inundated with Oxycontin by the manufacturer. Southern Ohio has seen more than our share of overdoses and tragedy.

Michael Henson, a former drug and alcohol abuse counselor, has observed the ravages of the opioid crisis up close. He has set "Maggie Henson," his collection of interlinked short stories in an Appalachian community in southern Ohio. Maggie Henson, his title character, is a woman who is struggling with her addiction to Oxycontin. Drugs have cost her dearly. She already served time in the prison at Marysville after she was apprehended selling meth at a truck stop. She would have been sent back to prison for another drug offense but her partner took the rap for her and now he's locked up in the county jail.

Maggie has lost custody of her children. Once beautiful, the ravages of drugs have taken their toll on her appearance. But she remains resilient. These tales give readers the opportunity to witness the impact that this drug epidemic has had upon communities throughout our region. Maggie is a fighter and you'll feel inspired to fight for her.

Henson's prose is magnificent. There's plenty of pain in these pages but one never loses that lingering hope for Maggie's redemption.

The Book Nook on WYSO is presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public Library,  Clark County Public LibraryDayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.

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