Reviews
 

Home Up

 

Home
Excerpts
Reviews
Comments

This page was last updated on 20 January 2016.

Here are some reviews about Memories of Maggie from military and Veteran's publications:

Military Writers Society of America--review by Bill McDonald, Elk Grove, CA:
Truly an Angel – Great Bio on Martha Raye
    Noonie Fortin is more than just an author—she is a gifted writer. She has captured the very essence of one of America’s great unknown icons. When I say “unknown” I mean only to the non-military world; because those of us veterans who served in WW II, Korea or Vietnam knew her from her personal trips to battle fields around the globe. In Noonie’s book, Memories of Maggie—Martha Raye: A Legend Spanning Three Wars, she writes a moving tribute bio on someone I was once on stage with in Phu Loi, South Vietnam (in the spring of 1967). I know from my personal experience the warmth and care she gave and showed was genuine and not for any publicity photos or media attention.
    Much of Fortin’s book was used for a TV movie [A&E Biography--Martha Raye: In Love and War] about Raye’s life. It is a book that inspires and captures moments from a distant past when entertainers didn’t protest wars and policy publicly but gave their time and energies to supporting the troops.
    This was such a wonderful book to read that I have been asked to share my personal copy with several dozen nurses and friends. (I would advice you to buy your own copy and help the author!)
    A book for all ages to read; it is entertaining and informative. When you put it down you will understand much more about why so many of us veterans loved this woman. The author does her memory proud as she presents a good view on the life and times of Maggie.
    A must read. Given the MWSA highest rating!

The Stars and Stripes, Washington, DC--review by William West, Fort Myers, FL:
This volume records, in chronologically-ordered anecdotes, how Raye accomplished this unique and monumental mission and left her distinctive sensitivity with three "generations" of Veterans.
    As a poem is supposed to do, this book begins in delight as we follow Maggie's development as an entertainer and ends in wonder, as we marvel at her self-sacrifice and commitment. It is worth reading.

Army-Air Force-Navy Times, Springfield, VA:
Her gravestone reads "civilian," but with the nickname "Colonel Maggie," one would think Martha Raye was a soldier. She dedicated her life to serving her country and the needs of her fellow man.

VIETNAM magazine, Leesburg, VA--review by Al Hemingway, Waterbury, CT:
In Memories of Maggie, retired Army Reservist Noonie Fortin has captured the essence of Martha Raye.

Saber, First Cavalry Division, Copperas Cove, TX--review by Art Junot:
Noonie Fortin...has completed a labor of love in this book. It makes interesting reading as it also traces the trials of the author and her friends in the pursuit of appropriate recognition on a national scale for a real Trooper, Colonel Maggie.

The VVA Veteran Washington, DC--review by Mark Leepson:
Noonie Fortin offers a heartfelt tribute to Martha Raye...as well known for her unwavering loyalty to America's fighting men and women as she was for her work on stage and screen.

Veterans' Voice, Lombard, IL--review by Meribeth Jones:
The description of how much warmth and caring could come from this woman offers readers a book that begs to be held in your lap and read, like a puppy who wants a few moments of your love....This is not a definitive buffet of all she did. It is one big chunk of story and you have the time and the fork. Go for it!

The NCO Journal, Fort Bliss, TX--review by Jim Collins:
This is an inspiring book about a remarkable woman whose heart was bigger than her nickname of "Big Mouth."

The book has also received reviews from civilian publications. Here are some of their comments:

The Silver Valley Voice, Silverton, ID--review by Belvina W Bertino:
This remarkable book by Noonie Fortin details the incredible legend of actress-comedienne-humanist Martha Raye.
   
Once the Medals for Maggie project, including the highest US honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, had been accomplished, Martha's daughter Melodye felt that all the letters from the Veterans who voiced their staunch love and admiration for Colonel Maggie should be published in book form. This became another task for Noonie Fortin, and one she graciously accepted. The result is this book. It is a book that needs to be read. The letters, and Author Fortin's masterful inclusion of bits of Martha's life, will give the reader an appreciation of the tremendous importance of Martha's life's work which cannot be forgotten.
   
Needless to say, Noonie Fortin has done an outstanding job of amassing and arranging the seven years of research and information contained in this book.
   
Fortin's articles have been published in numerous newspapers, journals, and magazines. Memories of Maggie, rated fourth among the ten best sellers about military affairs, is classed as a collector's edition along with such books as Colin Powell's My American Journey, Scott O'Grady's Return With Honor, Gen Perry Smith's Assignment: Pentagon.

Spring Lake News, Spring Lake, NC--review by Tom Squire:
Martha Raye is chiseled in marble on a Veteran's headstone at Fort Bragg's military cemetery and burned into the hearts of untold legions of Veterans and other admirers. Her stories and theirs are entwined here with plenty of photographs, making this a must have book.

The Post, Fayetteville, NC--review by Faye McLemore:
This book is a biographical tribute to a woman whose life, when examined, makes her seem almost incredible....This is a great reading experience. It moves along easily...The outcome is a beautiful portrait of the kind of person we all need in our lives. The lives she touched will never be the same. She was a friend to the frightened and lonely, a mentor to the young, a nurse to the infirm, but most of all, she was, and is, "Colonel Maggie."

Copperas Cove Leader-Press, Copperas Cove, TX--review by Sharlene Bell:
Fortin has done a credible job in telling Raye's story from the perspective of the soldiers and civilians who knew and loved her.

Amazon Books, Internet--review by Leon Fletcher: Rating 9 [out of 10 high]:
Fortin's book is written in a clear style, moves rapidly, is packed with facts and fascinating stories about Martha Raye...A book you will long remember.

Letter to the Editor, TN--Ronald Winkles, Major, USA Retired:
I highly recommend this book....The author did a wonderful job at capturing Ms Raye's front-line dedication to entertaining our military men and women as well as providing them with nursing care.

Word Wrap, Wordweaving.com--C. Hope Clark, military brat:
Noonie Fortin pours her heart and soul into this compilation of the memories of Martha Raye, the Veteran's heroine through three wars. Martha Raye, nicknamed Big Mouth for her physical trait always upturned in a smile, is noted by civilians for her theater, films, and commercials. However, Noonie shows us Martha (Maggie) through the eyes, ears, and hearts of our servicemen and women. Memories of Maggie replays her life chronologically from childhood to death in a 322-page volume of touching recollections, reflections, and love for Colonel Maggie.
    Maggie herself said "To be a clown is a gift," and she used the gift God gave her to its max. She firmly believed in exercising her talents to their breaking points, but rather than enjoy the glitter, glamour and fame she easily obtained, she diverted to serving her country through casting her flair and forte over the men and women doing duty in battlefields, bases and barracks around the world. Being a Veteran, Noonie appreciated the energy this woman used to uplift our dedicated military, but begrudged the lack of acknowledgement by our government.
    So Noonie began a two-fold effort - one being Memories of Maggie and the other being an effort to acquire the Presidential Medal of Freedom for Martha Raye. She accomplished them both. This book covers it all.
    Noonie Fortin continues an effort to spread the word about Martha Raye and distribute Memories of Maggie across the country. Intent on improving the continued lack of recognition for the female Veteran as well as the impact of Maggie, Noonie speaks to groups wherever they will listen, most of the time paying the bill out of her own pocket. the admiration the author has for our military and its human donations is heartfelt and deep, and the intensity can be sensed on every page.

Copyright 1995-2016 by Tales and Whales Publishing. All rights reserved.