cover image Pack Up the Moon

Pack Up the Moon

Anna McPartlin, . . Pocket/Downtown, $14 (374pp) ISBN 978-1-4165-5309-0

Twenty-six-year-old Dubliner Emma has it all: a teaching job, good friends and childhood sweetheart John by her side. When John dies in an accident, she must face life alone. Haunted by what could have been and blaming herself, Emma retreats into a grief from which only her friends—successful ad-woman Clodagh, gadabout editor Seán, newlyweds Anne and Richard and her priest brother, Noel—can rouse her. A cat arrives unbidden on her windowsill, harbinger of the unbelievable string of events (pregnancy scares, a tryst with a Parisian rapper and saving a woman from a rape in a dark alley) that restores Emma’s will to live. The mix of light farce and heavy drama knocks the book off balance, though, leaving readers unsure whether they should pity or envy Emma as she traipses her way to a neat, happy ending. (Apr.)