It’s World War I, America is at war, and in deep south community of Apalachicola, Florida suspicion, hypocrisy, and desperation rule.
Life for Ella Wallace takes a turn for the worse when her drug-addicted husband abandons her and their three sons, leaving the family them to fend for themselves. Ella tries desperately to keep a store she can hardly manage and more importantly her precious land, filled with valuable cypress and pine in the rural area of Dead Lakes. When a local politician sets his mind to deceptively steal away Ella’s land in a scheme with a traveling tent evangelist, all hell breaks loose for Ella and her small town.
A silver lining seems to come in a most unconventional manner, when a man called Lanier arrives quite unexpectedly at their doorstep unannounced. As the supposed cousin of her missing husband, will his sudden and mysterious appearance be more helpful or harmful, in a hot, sticky, southern town where gossip prevails and an innocent reputation can be ruined in the blink of an eye? And will his strange gift of healing bring restoration to Ella and her sons, or will the truth behind this man tear them apart forever?
Michael Morris new novel, Man in the Blue Moon has been likened to echoes of Harper Lee or Flannery O’Conner by the Washington Post. As I read this story, I could almost hear the cicadas along the shores of Ellas spring, or feel the mosquitoes bite as I chopped pine alongside the family. I felt the heat and humidity as they struggled to stack lumber, only to have my heart break with them as flames threatened to destroy their hard labor.
This novel is based loosely on a story told to Morris by his grandfather about a man in 1920 who traveled much the same as our character Lanier did. I say that after personally growing up in Florida, seeing firsthand the towering and oddly shapped cypress growing in the wetlands, and often wondering what old secrets they hold, I have to say I just might be willing to believe his grandfathers tale.
Overall, I enjoyed this story. It will appeal to a particular audience, I think perhaps along the lines of a John Grisham reader. I wouldn’t say I consider it in the typical Christian fiction genre, although it’s published by Tyndale. Ella does attend church a few times, and reverends play significant roles in the story. This novel definitely has spiritual aspect about it, ranging from Native American folklore, mystical old backwoods tales, to the more traditional Christian theme of healing and forgiveness.
More information about Man in the Blue Moon and the author can be found at michaelmorrisbooks.com
has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book,
required to write a positive review. All of my opinions stated here are
always 100% my own.
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