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The Moon Looked Down
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The Moon Looked Down

4.4 13
by Dorothy Garlock

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The new Americana romance from bestselling author Dorothy Garlock, this time set against the backdrop of WWII.

Sophie Heller's family immigrated from Germany to Victory, a small town in Illinois, before WWII began. Now that the war has affected the town, the townspeople discriminate against Sophie and her family. When a train derails, it is an


The new Americana romance from bestselling author Dorothy Garlock, this time set against the backdrop of WWII.

Sophie Heller's family immigrated from Germany to Victory, a small town in Illinois, before WWII began. Now that the war has affected the town, the townspeople discriminate against Sophie and her family. When a train derails, it is an accident but the Heller family is blamed. Coming to Sophie's rescue is a teacher from the high school, and despite their cultural differences, a romance starts to bloom.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

When WWII breaks out, many Americans find their lives turned upside down, few more so than the Heller family. Seeking refuge from Hitler-controlled Germany, the Hellers had moved to smalltown Victory, Ill., only to find themselves, 10 years later, suspected by their neighbors of being Nazis. Feeling the threat to her family grow, headstrong 20-year-old Sophie Heller also feels powerless to stop it; soon, however, she meets a handsome, similarly frustrated schoolteacher named Cole Ambrose, whose bad leg prevents him from enlisting. Their instant attraction is, naturally defied by racist townsfolk bent on keeping them apart by whatever means necessary. Garlock (Leaving Whiskey Bend) exhibits a too-comfortable mastery of the romance genre; Ambrose is a true gentleman and Sophie is a charming heroine, but both are painfully bland. The villainous characters prove more interesting, but stray often into caricature. The central conceit, racism against German immigrants during WWII, is compelling but not really explored except as a vehicle for star-crossed romance. (July)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Ten years after Sophie Heller and her family fled Germany because of the darkening political situation and built a new life as U.S. citizens and farmers in Victory, IL, their peace is shattered as they fall victim to a few German-hating bigots bent on running them out of town—or worse. Barn burnings and vicious taunts and slurs are only the beginning in a story that highlights fear, prejudice, and other less honorable aspects of life at home during World War II. Sophie and crippled teacher Cole Ambrose provide the light romance, plus some heroics, in this fairly predictable story. Garlock (Leaving Whiskey Bend) has written a number of novels set in the United States during the first half of the 20th century. VERDICT The true strength here lies in the author's choice of theme and setting and her exceptional ability to make that place spring vividly to life. Garlock lives in Clear Lake, IA.

—Kristin Ramsdell

Product Details

Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.40(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Dorothy Garlock is the author of over 50 novels that have sold over 15 million copies and are published in 15 languages. She lives in Iowa.

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Moon Looked Down 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Diana-nim More than 1 year ago
This book starts off strong and ends strong! It begins with the main character Sophie Heller and her family awakening to an attack from masked men. They moved to Victory, Illinois to escape Nazi Germany and start a new life. You don't actually find out who the masked men are until approximately 1/3 of the book, which leaves it as quite an enigma making you wonder and worry for Sophie and her family if or when the culprits will strike again. After this incident, they try to live their lives as they normally would, but it's quite difficult for the family when they have to keep worrying if they'll be attacked again. Could it be someone they've known ever since they moved to Victory??? The book does start off a bit boring, but as you progress through the book it gets really interesting. Garlock does change perspectives between Sophie and Cole (another important character you'll be introduced to a few chapters into the book), which makes it quite interesting. I would definitely recommend this book to someone that likes historical fiction and anticipation because Dorothy Garlock ends each chapter as somewhat of a cliffhanger, making you want to read more and find out what happens next.
Grannie5 More than 1 year ago
There isn't one of Ms. Garlock's books that I haven't loved reading! I have all of her books with the exception of the ones written by psuedo-names! They are out of print and very hard to find. Ms. Garlock's writing just pulls you into the story and seems as though you are a fly on the wall watching everything that happens. I am always so pulled into the story that become unaware of what is happening around me. This book is wonderful! I just loved the story! I agree with some of the others writing reviews about not getting into telling what the book is about! Just know that anything written by Ms. Garlock is wonderfully written, definately worth getting the book and will leave you wanting to read something else written my her!
evague83 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. Never miss a chance to read a new book by D. Garlock and this one didn't disappoint. It's nice to see a story where the brothers are close and help each other out. Not much of a writer myself so not sure what else to say, definitely don't want to spoil the book for anyone but I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves Dorothy Garlock.
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Tribute_Books_Reviews More than 1 year ago
Nothing stirs a female heart more than a handsome man with a handicap. The inherent mothering instinct is intertwined with a mixture of physical desire and deep-seated admiration. In Dorothy Garlock's "The Moon Looked Down," Sophie Heller is entranced by the club-footed Cole Ambrose. Her focus is more on the muscles under his shirt than the hitch in his gait. Cole has zero experience with women, but his confidence is buoyed by the determination to protect Sophie from the dangerous intentions of a local group of thugs. The time is summer 1942. The place is aptly-named Victory, Illinois. The rural community is composed of homes adorned with flags and businesses displaying anti-German propaganda. Ellis Watts and his cronies view German immigrants, like Sophie's family, as Nazi spies. In a planned attack, they set fire to the Heller barn leaving Sophie and her father brutally beaten. With fear of reprisal, they do not report the true nature of events to the police. Tensions are high when Sophie enters Marge's Diner only to be taunted with the slur, "Kraut." Feeling invincible, her tormentors issue their accusation in a public place. Sophie confronts them only to be viciously grabbed. Like a scene out of "Back to the Future," Cole comes to her defense. Mocked by the men, his bravery nevertheless makes an impression on Sophie. With her trust in tatters, she is still able to appreciate the fact that Cole is an honorable man. "I'm not going to hurt you, Sophie," he said, his voice determined and firm. "After everything that happened at the diner, I think you have plenty of reasons to trust me." The sincerity in his voice gave Sophie pause. Though she had met Cole Ambrose only an hour earlier, she could feel that there was a depth to him, a strength in the way he carried himself that put her at ease. She found herself believing what Cole told her. "I don't think you'll hurt me," she heard herself answer. "I'm not like the men at the diner," he added. "No, you're not." The spark is lit. The memory of him was a powerful thing, coming unbidden yet not unwanted. With the idea of a gimpy man as her protector, Sophie's heart melts. Like Jenny in "Forrest Gump," Sophie knows she can depend on Cole regardless of his infirmity. She tells Cole what really happened the night of the fire, and he vows to keep her safe. Taking matters into his own hands, Cole confronts an inebriated Ellis in Victory's lone tavern. However, Cole's insecurities lie less with his malformed leg than with his fractured relationship with his father. Like the broken father/son dynamic in Garden State, the father blames the son for the accidental death of the mother. To make matters worse, further violence descends upon Cole in the form of Graham Grier, a childhood friend of Sophie, who instigates a bloody fist fight with his new rival. Afterward during a dance to celebrate the community re-building of the Heller barn, Graham makes a drunken scene. From that moment on, things come to a head. Over the course of the evening, the score is finally settled in Victory, Illinois.
Jennmarie68 More than 1 year ago
Wow, I think for the first time in a while I'm done with a book that has just left me in awe. I loved this one. I almost immediately was connected with Sophie, through the entire book I could feel her emotions. Fear, love, disgust, happiness, longing this book has it all. And it's not just Sophie that I connected with. I loved Cole and was almost as attached to him as I was Sophie. The other main characters (the bad guys) were also just as well written, and although I didn't want to connect to the bad guys I think I did anyway. The story takes off with a bang (almost literally) and while there was a short lull in the action it really keeps you going. I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next, and I didn't have to wait long to find out. The ending to the story was a bit predictable, but the path taken to get there was anything but. I couldn't have imagined some of the twists until the happened. This was such an easy book for me to get lost in. I was so connected with what was going on I could see it as if I were right there in the story. I'm surprised I've never heard of Dorothy Garlock, as she's written many titles, but I'm glad I've found her. I will be picking up more from her in the future. I have a lot of catching up to do with her...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always another wonderful story from Dorothy garlock.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
The Heller family fled Germany for America. They settled in Victory, Illinois where they were welcomed by their new American neighbors. A decade later, the neighbors some of whom befriended the family a decade ago when they moved here and remained friends throughout suddenly think they are German sympathizers. Angry over the growing threat to her family, twenty years old Sophie Heller wants it to end, but cannot figure out how to do so as vigilantes harass her and her loved ones because of their German heritage. A train wreck occurs nearby leading to many neighbors suspecting the Heller brood as Nazi saboteurs. When Sophie meets schoolteacher Cole Ambrose they are attracted to one another. He understands hatred as he has received his share for not serving though his leg kept him out of the military. Now the locals have a new cause, keeping the couple apart. This is a warm WWII on the home-front romance starring two likable lead characters. The support cast especially the anti-German antagonists are super with what today would be hate crimes; they make the tale fun to read. Although the psychological impact on the Heller family and the mob mentality of much of the townsfolk towards German immigrants they have known for years is shallowly explored leaving THE MOON LOOKED DOWN as a gripping historical worth reading that could have been a classic. Harriet Klausner
ReviewYourBook.com More than 1 year ago
Victory, Illinois- 1942 The Heller family, threatened and hounded, came to America 10 years earlier from Germany to be free and start over as farmers. With America in the midst of war, trouble seems to be brewing in the form of 3 vigilantes who are going to make sure the Heller family is ran out of town. Cole Ambrose returns to Victory from Chicago to become a school teacher. He meets Sophie Heller in the local diner. Sophie encounters the three vigilantes there. How could she forget what they said that night? Cole comes to her rescue. Now, he can also be in danger. As time goes on and things happen in the town of Victory, the townspeople start to lay the blame on the Heller family. Will the Heller family stay in Victory or will they be forced to escape again? How will this affect Cole and Sophie? Can they withstand the danger that seems to follow them every step of the way? Dorothy Garlock is one of the top authors today. This book will be out on the shelves in July, 2009. If you are a fan of her writing, you will not want to miss it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read about a novel a or two a week. I would say this is rock bottom.