The Moon, the Stars, and Madame Burova

Ruth Hogan. Morrow, $16.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-307543-6
In Hogan’s engrossing latest (after The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes), a middle-aged English woman searches for her biological parents. Forty-something Billie Marie, newly divorced, learns after her father dies that she was adopted. A letter he left behind instructs Billie to visit his old acquaintance Madame Burova, a tarot reader in the seaside city of Brighton, who happens to know all about Billie’s origins and hands over a trust fund left for Billie by her biological mother, without revealing the mother’s identity. Hogan then delves into Madame Burova’s experiences as a young woman in 1970s Brighton, where she encounters such characters as spoiled and obnoxious Vivienne, who will stop at nothing to get what she wants; Treasure, who is bullied as a child for being biracial; eccentric Clive, who never forgets a face; and Cillian Byrne, the handsome daredevil who may or may not be Billie’s biological father. As Hogan moves between past and present, Billie’s asking around about the past in Brighton has consequences not just for Billie, but for others too. The omniscient narration ping-pongs through many points of view—even a dog’s—which can become exhausting, but Hogan does a great job expanding on themes of friendship, racism, loyalty and love. With its trappings of a modern fairy tale, this one should have wide appeal. Agent: Laura Macdougall, United Agents. (Sept.)
Reviewed on : 06/28/2021
Release date: 09/01/2021
Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 304 pages - 978-0-06-307544-3
Hardcover - 304 pages - 978-0-06-311927-7
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