“Magpie” is a well-nurtured novel set in Oxford, Mississippi. Its flavor develops from its vibrant characters, as they are revealed through a garden of budding relationships and adventures. Experience a special project that just might have the potential to change the world. Join Lily as she answers an ad on the Student Union Bulletin Board, Wanted - Lab Assistant - Drug Test Mandatory! More
By Kyle V. Bennett
Ole Miss, an Icon of the South in Oxford Mississippi is home to a humid cultural history that not only includes blues legends and a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist, but also hosts the only federally licensed Marijuana growing facility in the country.
Patrick Sheridan, director of the USDA’s Marijuana Project, has the soul of a gardener. He is intentional about all he seeks to nurture, and it’s not just cannabis. Patrick’s green thumb is all over the people he encounters. It seems that everyone involved with Patrick has the opportunity for transformation in life and even death. Patrick’s control of his own patch of life comes under question with the arrival of Lily. But in the immortal words of Tina Turner, “what’s love got to do with it?”
Lily Harrison, still coping from the loss of her mother to cancer makes a life changing decision to forgo a vocation as a physician and pursue a more personal calling into the field of medical marijuana and compassionate care of pain management. As she rereads the want ad in the Student Union: Student Lab Assistant – lengthy hours and short rewards. Please apply in the Union – Friday 10 P.M. – Drug Test Mandatory; she is joined by a very intriguing man who introduces himself as Corey.
Corey Maples, Patrick’s long-time assistant at the lab provides the local color and comic relief in all the lives he touches. Whatever the situation, Corey is ready and willing to add fertilizer.
Medical marijuana has come under tense scrutiny by the present administration, especially because of the grim green reaper, Attorney General Jackson Ashe. His displeasure of the government funding marijuana motivates him only half has much as his utter distain for Patrick, his own wife’s ex.
With the impending closure of the Lab Patrick, Corey and Lily must decide on a course of action that may have the potential to profoundly change their lives and the world. From the North hills of Mississippi, to the Florida Keys, from Mt. Katahdin, Maine to the shores of Alabama, they only have a limited season to plant their dreams and an even shorter amount time to harvest the fruits of their labor.
Magpie is a Southern novel that invites its reader into a state of grace. Life is not simply about the growing of things in neat little rows, but the real blessings are found in the nurturing of relationships and the harvesting of compassion and dreams.