Maybe Once, Maybe Twice

  • Review
By – October 25, 2023

This is the sto­ry of Mag­gie Vine, a woman who wants it all: a chance at love, a thriv­ing career, and a child. In her sec­ond nov­el, Ali­son Rose Green­berg cap­tures Maggie’s jour­ney as she tries to achieve every­thing she has longed for as an adult.

In Maybe Once, Maybe Twice, Green­berg flash­es back to Maggie’s younger days, depict­ing her strug­gles as a musi­cal artist and her push-pull love sto­ry with Gar­rett Scholl. Gar­rett is the musi­cian of Maggie’s dreams, but he’s caught between the life he wants and the life his fam­i­ly expects from him. On Maggie’s thir­ti­eth birth­day, they make a mar­riage pact for when they’re both thir­ty-five. How­ev­er, Mag­gie already made the same deal with her first boyfriend, the now-famous Hol­ly­wood star Ash­er Reyes. When both men pop back up around her thir­ty-fifth birth­day, she is pro­pelled into not one, but two sec­ond-chance love stories.

Green­berg does well to draw us into the lives of her char­ac­ters. Mag­gie has so much intrigue and depth, yet she is also wild­ly com­i­cal. And she is filled with hope, even when life knocks her down. The novel’s sup­port­ing char­ac­ters offer Maggie’s sto­ry the per­fect amount of bal­ance. Addi­tion­al­ly, music plays an impor­tant role in the book — and not just because Mag­gie is a musi­cian. Green­berg ties many scenes to the songs of Tay­lor Swift, Dave Matthews Band, and Foo Fighters.

Maybe Once, Maybe Twice is chock-full of char­ac­ters who are nev­er guar­an­teed a per­fect end­ing but whom we want to root for nonethe­less. Grip­ping from start to fin­ish, the book takes us on a won­der­ful emo­tion­al roller coaster.

Eliz­a­beth Slot­nick works in the tech­nol­o­gy space but has a grow­ing pres­ence on book­sta­gram, where she reviews books span­ning across all gen­res. She grad­u­at­ed from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Vir­ginia and lives in Seat­tle, WA.

Discussion Questions