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Most Helpful Favorable Review
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
Powerful story of 1900s Florida. Years before Ella put aside all
One review I read compared author Michael Morris’s story to Mark Twain’s stories of the south. There are some similarities. First, when Ella and family open the box to find not a clock, but a dirty, silent man, it seemed just the kind of surprise that Twain would subject his readers and Huck to. After Ella learns the man’s story and allows Lanier to stay, we really remain uneasy about the stranger throughout most of the book. Morris, like Twain, will let Lanier’s actions speak for him. He appears to have the gift of healing, but a murder and a dark past follow him into the Apalachicola, Florida town. The town will be split as to where his gift comes from.
The supporting characters in this book are a sign of quality writing. From his first appearance, you will mistrust and dislike the banker. Little by little, the author reveals the man’s devious hold on the city and many of its residents. When the “famous” preacher Brother Mabry and his wife hit town ready to proclaim the Apalachicola River as the original Garden of Eden and the little springs on Ella’s land (soon to be the banker’s land), I couldn’t help but think of the characters Huck met on the Mississippi River. Despite some surface comparisons to Twain, Morris’s story is a much different one. Yes, there is apparent hypocrisy and it is evident that the poorest and weakest in this story are also the noblest and most loyal. But The Man in the Blue Moon is frankly told and with the greed and hatred comes violence.
In the end, I liked this book. It is definitely a book that could be read by both men and women. It was published by Tyndale, but it does not fit an easy categorization. You really have to stop and think to recognize the Christian themes of weak being mighty and the mighty being weak. For a while I was unsure what Morris was trying to show with Lanier’s healing powers, but I was satisfied with how the story unfolded. I especially liked the backdrop setting of World War I America and the American South. To anyone who does read this book, make sure you read the comment by the author at the end when he talks about the “old story” in his family about a man in a box being shipped to distant family – it makes the book even better.
Sometimes when I read books for review purposes I begin to think I am reading “formula” stories. This title surely will never be described as that! I received an ecopy of this book for review purposes from NetGalley and Tyndale Publishers. All opinions are my own.
posted by millstreetreader on September 10, 2012Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Most Helpful Critical Review
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.
A Florida set Novel with adult themes. Ella is fighting to prot
I struggled to get into this story. While the characters are realistic and the imagery well drawn, I almost felt like there were too many themes to this story. The plot referenced spousal abuse, substance abuse, abuse of the disabled, abandonment, pandemic illness, gossip, child labor, racism, pedophilia, homosexuality (in a very subtle manner), false religion, WW1, prostitution, supernatural abilities, suicide, and murder (including infanticide). There are even two climaxes–one about saving the land, and the other about the 1918 flu. The majority of these themes are only in passing, aren't elaborated on, and left to dangle.
The very fact that this book manages to avoid feeling dark is a testament to the ability of the writer. The emphasis on hope, redemption, and honesty is necessary to make an otherwise bleak story of survival readable. But when I finished this story, I didn't feel enjoyment; I felt exhausted.
Three stars for being well written, and for having some creative plot twists. But I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under age 18, despite the extremely mild handling of most of the disturbing scenes. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone over 18 either, unless they have a particular affinity for Florida.
posted by Thursday4 on June 25, 2013Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 29, 2013
This book just did not connect with me with all the mystical ele
This book just did not connect with me with all the mystical elements it had within. Man in the Blue Moon takes place in Florida during World War I in a small southern town filled with all the small town busy bodies you can imagine. Unfortunately, many of them get names and you have to keep track of who is who, not an easy task. The storyline of this book weaves around with murder and mayhem and maladies but I found it difficult and not really enjoyable.
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.