Welcome to the Moonlit Road is a joyously far-fetched fantasy novel with a queer family focus.
Ngaire and Katy settle in a small town, and set baby plans underway. The baby daddy is Ngaire’s cousin, Nigel, a dairy-farming wizard, and when it turns out that the baby has Down Syndrome, Ngaire asks Nigel to help. He finds an old spell and consecrates an owl to the Welsh Goddess Blodeuwedd, assigning it to watch over the pregnancy and later, the child as she grows up.
Fourteen years later, we find Eerin’s birthday celebrations are marred by a visit from the police who are concerned about her wandering around at night, and her party is crashed by a rough family, the Colliers, who live down the road. Their two-year-old toddler, Jordan, is one of Eerin’s buddies, and Katy is constantly at a loss about how to get him away from his abusive family. There’s something about the small New Zealand town of Tauaroha where the welfare mechanisms haven’t been able to stand up to criminal pressure.
Not long after all this, Eerin finally gets her first period and is suddenly able to see ghosts. Her first ghost is the nosy old lady who had dobbed her in to the police. Someone (and it wasn’t Eerin) brutally murdered her in her bed as she slept.
Eerin is persuaded to report the crime, and even then, the ghost of Mrs. Grey continues to pester her as she tries to find out who the killer is.
On the family front, things could be better. It’s been about eighteen months since Katy split from Ngaire on the grounds that Katy isn’t a lesbian any more. Not only has she got religion, but she no longer believes it was Nige’s magic that protected Eerin’s health. In fact, she thinks it was occultic and she isn’t happy to find her daughter talking to ghosts.
As Eerin and her family are thrown into the complications that arise from a murder and a child abuse case, we are inducted into a future where Down Syndrome is increasingly rare due to screening, and gently asked to grapple with issues such as fate, organised religion, individual differences, sibling abuse, revenge, and family configurations.