Margaret's War uses 15-year-old narrator Billy to juggle the broken heart, the trampled soul, and the fragile sanity of a beautiful young woman when male egos grab and grope at her with the absurd hands of war. The isolated small town where Billy and Margaret live is suddenly thrust into the brutal reality of World War II when German POWs are brought in to help with crop harvesting. The face-to-face contact with the killers of their sons is not only beyond the capacities of Gold Star mothers, but twists the thinking of everyone, including Margaret, who is determined to challenge fate. That challenge gets Margaret, Billy, and his outrageous older friend and mentor Cy immersed in a women-empowering scheme to turn war on its historical head. The forces of Nature and the contrariness of human nature conspire to bury their efforts in a merciless avalanche of such depravity that their very survival is threatened. The issues of war veterans as stooges, the fall of racist innocence, and God's role in war are among the things that Margaret, Billy, and Cy must step around as they go for broke with a plan that tries to enlist the help of Eleanor Roosevelt. What finally happens is as unpredictable as to where Billy's beloved dog Toby will next mark his territory.
This event is sponsored by Beyond the Page, Madison Community Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, Black Earth Public Library and the Black Earth Historical Society.