Man in the Blue Moon

Michael Morris, Author
Michael Morris. Tyndale, $19.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-4143-6842-9
Reviewed on: 07/02/2012
Release date: 08/01/2012
Hardcover - 391 pages - 978-1-4143-7330-0
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Morris (Slow Way Home) has crafted a magical and mesmerizing page-turner rooted in hardscrabble Florida during WWI, based in part on a true family story. Ella Wallace is scrambling to keep her three sons and herself from the poorhouse after her opium-addicted husband vanishes. She owns a piece of land that reptilian banker Clive Gillespie, a spurned former suitor, would love to have, and he has leverage in the form of a mortgage on the property. But Ella finds an unexpected ally in her husband’s cousin Lanier Stillis, who arrives in unorthodox fashion and has some unusual talents, and the two collaborate until Lanier’s past catches up with him in a Shakespearean blaze of climactic action. Morris’s narrative is subtle and supple, with overtones of the wry Southernisms of Flannery O’Connor, the rural Florida backdrop of Their Eyes Were Watching God, and a good helping of powerful and mysterious faith. Book clubs should devour this rich, carefully observed mix of characters, time, and place; Morris deserves to break out of the regional-writer box. Agent: Laurie Liss, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Sept.)
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