cover image Ghost Moth

Ghost Moth

Michele Forbes. Bellevue Literary, $14.95 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-1-934137-60-4

Personal and political turmoil erupt in the life of Irish housewife Katherine Bedford during the summer of 1969 in Forbes's powerful debut novel. When she nearly drowns on a family outing to the beach, Katherine is haunted by the memory of an old lover, which she has "blotted out throughout her married life but [has] never gone away." Memories of her lover, Tom, a tailor she met while performing amateur opera on the eve of her engagement to her husband, George, draw Katherine inward and she finds herself detaching from her family. Her inner conflicts unfold against the background of violent riots in Northern Ireland, where Catholics%E2%80%94including Katherine's young daughters%E2%80%94are victims of heinous crimes. Forbes elegantly weaves in narrative from 20 years prior when Katherine first meets Tom, who ignites an electrifying passion within her, a feeling she doesn't get from George who approaches life as "a series of tasks that had to be done" with his characteristic "sullen determination". Through her richly imagined characters, Forbes depicts a fully human and flawed relationship between two people with their own desires, memories, and secrets. (Apr.)