My Review of Man in the Blue Moon by Michael Morris #ManInTheBlueMoon

Loved it!

It had a great time period, great location, interesting story, and a little bit of fantasy thrown in. Man in the Blue Moon by Michael Morris was a book club selection for our meeting in January and I’m so glad it was suggested because I never would have picked it up on my own.moon

This book has some delicious components. Based prior to the end of World War 1, the story takes place in the Florida panhandle. My fellow book club members suggested that the author used a checklist as he put together his tale of the south, early nineteen hundreds:

  • Florida panhandle
  • Plenty of mention of the heat or sweating
  • World War 1
  • Small town
  • Rationing
  • Opium
  • Religion and tent revivals
  • Miracles
  • Mentally disabled girl
  • A heroine, on her own
  • Indian legends, Indians
  • Town drunk
  • Love triangle

Ella Wallace, on the brink of losing her home and family store to the bank due to foreclosure, makes a tough decision to pick up a package from Blue Moon Clock Company at the dock of the shipping company that received it rather than make a partial payment on the second mortgage. She was in this dilemma because her deadbeat, drug-addled husband disappeared without a word, leaving Ella and her sons close to being penniless and surrounded by bills.

Taking delivery of the clock she gets it home only to discover a surprise inside that changes her life. Ella, her three children, and Narsissa, a Creek Indian who adopted the family, fight to keep their home while struggling against poverty, short rations, heat, men seeking revenge, a conniving banker determined to take over Ella’s land and sell it for profit, and a deadly flu virus, all while batting aside gossip and rumors regarding her morals.

Written in a plain, no-nonsense manner, Michael Morris weaves a complex, imaginative tale of a strong woman trying to make her place in a small-minded town of Dead Lakes. It is not an easy path, with roadblocks at every turn, but it makes for an interesting and enjoyable read. I highly recommend this if you enjoy easy-to-read period books (although this could have easily been placed in a modern setting) and a strong woman in the lead role.

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