“I’m not an ex-patriot, I’m an explorer,” Maggie declares as she reconstructs her renegade life, piecing together the jigsaw puzzle and making it clear how she arrived from Elkins Park, Pennsylvania to a mountaintop in Spain. Her impulsive, pioneer spirit and misfit independence, "I have always felt like a foreigner no matter where I have lived,” give Maggie the courage she needs to seek her destiny far from home.
Maggie’s witty, meat-and-potatoes bi-sexual best friend, knits hats and socks and gives Maggie not only chocolate cake recipes, but ironical foods for thought like: “Your imagination is warped and it isn’t warped.”
Harrison Garrison Blumberg is Maggie’s first boyfriend. Cool, calm, collected and compared to George Harrison, H.G. has sex on the brain. He accuses Maggie, when still a virgin and resisting the act of sexual intercourse, of giving him “blue balls."
The “blonde surfer type” who turns out to be a Native American from the Hoopa tribe in Humboldt County, California, is the ex-Peace Corps volunteer Maggie meets on a nude beach in Greece and ends up marrying years later. She learns from him the real meaning of Unconditional Love and simple survival techniques like this one about meat. “Whenever possible,” he teaches Maggie, “eat the organs.”
Isadore Lawless Jr.
When she separates from P.P., Maggie travels to Mexico and meets Izzy, the comical self-effacing, “vasectomized” painter, tormented by his profession and questioning not only himself, but art and other artists. He records his frustrations in a humorous heart-felt list of “61 Reasons Not To Be A Painter.”
One of Maggie’s boyfriends who inadvertently provides the link in her destiny when she discovers his journal and the unquestionable sentence that exposes his infidelity: “I have no more impotency fears. Rhoda and I screwed the entire weekend.”
The orphaned and mysterious college roommate who hypnotizes Maggie with her charisma and challenges her to a duel in more ways than one. From the first time they meet, fire-fingered Claudia dares Maggie to move out of the college dorm and rent an apartment with her. “You’re not going to stay in this zoo, are you?”
A shoot-from-the-hip, let’s-call-a-spade-a-spade Jewish mother is exactly the prototype her daughter is trying to avoid. A constant dieter, Sylvia is always on hand with ideas like the “eye fund”, her answer for the itinerant bags under her daughter’s eyes. “Switzerland,” she tells Maggie. “Nothing to it.”
The adored father Maggie misses and at times dismisses but always sees in a beatific light. The apple of his daughter’s eye, he tells her things she doesn’t like to hear. “If you’re not happy with Izzy, then why don’t you get the hell out?”
Juan the elf
The shortest man Maggie has ever seen becomes another link in her destiny --- she hopes. The last words he ever says to Maggie are perhaps what any man would have said under the circumstances. “We better go.”