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The Search for Joyful (Mrs. Mike Series)

The Search for Joyful (Mrs. Mike Series)

4.5 7
by Benedict Freedman

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In this long-awaited sequel to the “unforgettable” (Boston Herald) bestseller Mrs. Mike, Benedict and Nancy Freedman paint a portrait of the World War II era—as seen through the eyes of a young Cree woman on her own for the very first time…


When her dear friend O Be Joyful died in a flu epidemic, Mrs. Mike Flanigan opened


In this long-awaited sequel to the “unforgettable” (Boston Herald) bestseller Mrs. Mike, Benedict and Nancy Freedman paint a portrait of the World War II era—as seen through the eyes of a young Cree woman on her own for the very first time…


When her dear friend O Be Joyful died in a flu epidemic, Mrs. Mike Flanigan opened her home—and heart—to her orphaned child, Kathy Forquet. Over the years, young Kathy delighted in the Flanigans’ love—and suffered the pain of her schoolmates’ prejudice. But as the terrors of World War II drew closer to home, Kathy decided to leave her familiar home and do her part by going to a nursing school in Montreal. There her life fills with drama and excitement as she meets two very different men—a Native American who helps her understand her lost heritage, and a wounded Austrian soldier who shares fascinating stories of his exotic, embattled homeland. And as she learns about herself and the world beyond her hometown, she tries to find the elusive prize she has sought for so long: the meaning of true joy…


Richly detailed and emotionally powerful, The Search for Joyful is the inspiring story of a young woman’s courageous search for fulfillment—and the long-awaited new novel by the authors of the beloved Mrs. Mike, praised by Library Journal as “a book the reader will be unable to put down until the last page is read.”



Editorial Reviews

I have to confess that one of the main reasons for my interest in YA literature probably arises from my love of the novel Mrs. Mike when I was an adolescent. Mrs. Mike is about a young Irish-American girl traveling alone from Boston to the Canadian prairies, marrying a Mountie and living in remote stations where she and her husband face diphtheria epidemics among the Native populations, forest fires, the deaths of their babies—I read and reread this book and longed for challenging experiences in a wider world than the one I knew. (This remains one of my criteria for good YA literature.) The Search for Joyful has as the main character Kathy Forquet, the daughter of Mrs. Mike's Cree friend, Oh-Be-Joyful, who gave the baby to Mrs. Mike to raise when she knew she was dying. Kathy grew up in a mostly white community in Alberta; her story begins with the coming of WW II and her decision to go to Montreal to study nursing for the war effort. So begins an adventure story of love, finding an identity among strangers, hardship, death and physical suffering. (Kathy travels to Italy with the troops to nurse in a M.A.S.H.-like station near the front line until an injury sends her back to Montreal.) The main love story concerns Kathy's meeting another Indian, Crazy Dancer, who is with the Canadian troops, who understands what it means to be an Indian far better than Kathy does. Kathy's father, a spiritual leader among Indians, had named her Oh-Be-Joyful's Daughter, and Crazy Dancer understands this to mean that Kathy needs to discover joy in her own life. Like Mrs. Mike, this book doesn't turn away from gritty details of suffering and death—and Kathy has plenty of these in her nursing experiencesduring wartime and in the loss of loved ones. She slowly does come to understand who she is as a member of the First Nation. I loved reading the story but perhaps I'm biased because I liked Mrs. Mike so much as a YA myself. (sequel to Mrs. Mike.). KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2002, Berkley, 309p.,
— Claire Rosser

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Mrs. Mike Series
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
File size:
347 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Benedict Freedman lives outside San Francisco, and isat work on more sequels that take the characters of Mrs. Mike into the present.
Nancy Freedman lives outside San Francisco, and is at work on more sequels that take the characters of Mrs. Mike into the present.

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Search for Joyful: A Mrs. Mike Novel 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for another book 'just like MRS. MIKE,' I'm afraid that THE SEARCH FOR JOYFUL will disappoint you. It's about a different young woman's journey out of girlhood, set in an entirely different era even though it begins just one generation after the classic tale of a Canadian Mountie's bride. While Katherine Mary Flannigan is among its characters, this is her adopted daughter's story. I'm glad I was able to put aside my preconceptions and let Kathy Forquet take me along on her own unique journey, because I found it a very rewarding trip. This Kathy, as readers of MRS. MIKE will remember, came into the lives of Mike and Kathy Flannigan after their one-time household helper - the Cree girl Oh-Be-Joyful, who ran away to marry a half-breed trapper named Jonathan Forquet - died and left a baby daughter behind. Jonathan brought the child to the woman his young wife had called her 'more than sister,' and the Flannigans added the little girl to their adopted twins. Who, with their French ancestry, fit in among the northern Alberta village's white youngsters; while small copper-skinned Kathy, a First Nation child growing up in a white family, fit in nowhere except at home. 'Kathy is to be included,' Mrs. Mike consistently told Connie and Georges. But as her story opens, Kathy Forquet is striking out on her own for the first time - to answer her country's World War II call for young women to study nursing - and merely being 'included' is no longer enough. In the cosmopolitan city of Montreal, she finds a profession to excel at and to love. She also finds prejudice among her fellow nursing students, and even - eventually - in the family of the young man she marries. But there is another young man, a fellow 'Indian' also serving in the Canadian Army; and there are friends like Kathy's roommate Mandy, her old schoolmate Elk Girl, and 'Sister Egg.' Through study and hard work, through coming under enemy fire in a front-line medical unit, through loving and losing and learning to love again, young Kathy journeys just as far in this book as her adoptive mother did in MRS. MIKE. It is written with more frankness because it was, after all, published 50 years later. If you're planning to hand it to your child, be warned about that! But I personally thought it well done, and well worth reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
How many thousands of girls were thrilled by the story of Mrs. Mike? For years we've wondered what happened after the book leaves off. The Search for Joyful will answer some (not many)of these questions. I really give the book 31/2 stars. It was not what I was hoping for, but a compelling story on its own nonetheless.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read the book Mrs. Mike and i would recommend it to anybody. I gave it to my english teacher and she loved it and when i heard of The Search for Joyful, i had to have it and even though its about the adopted daughter of Katherine, it is still an amazing book! I would recommend reading Mrs. Mike first to get the background of the story but you should be fine reading this book without reading Mrs. Mike first.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Its not everyday that you read a book that will take your breath away. The Search For Joyful will. I highly recommend this book to anyone and to Benedict and Nancy Freedman, Thank you, Please don't stop writing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hello, my teacher in Middle School had us read Mrs. Mike last year in literature. I was thinking it was going to be a sappy romance novel, but I was so wrong. Mrs. Mike turned out to be a thrilling novel that I would recommend to anyone. After finishing Mrs. Mike up last year my teacher informed me of the present sequel, The Search for Joyful. I have now read this book twice. It is a great book that I would recommend to anyone. There are again some unanswered questions in this book. So, I hope there is going to be a third sequel or the whole series is going to rubbish. Make sure to read Mrs. Mike and the Search for Joyful!