Review: Man in the Blue Moon by Michael Morris

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Books (August 15, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 1414368429
  • Source: Publisher

Eighteen years ago, Ella Wallace married a man whom her aunt warned her about, a man who would prevent her from fulfilling her dreams of art in France. Little known to Ella, she was correct. Now she’s forced to struggle to get by with her three children, at risk for losing the land that has been in her family for generations.  She receives notification of a parcel, a large clock, that has arrived for her, presumably ordered by her husband.  She decides to accept the item in the hopes it can be sold for considerable profit. Instead, when she opens the large crate she finds a man,  Lanier Stillis, who claims to be her husband’s kin.

Lanier has left his home town after being accused of a crime he did not commit. His arrival at first is shocking but is ultimately a God-send, for he is able to assist Ella and her children in saving their home. Lanier is a mysterious man who has an unusual gift: he can heal the sick and wounded. This gift allows Lanier to quickly earn the trust of Ella and the townspeople but raises awareness of his existence and the judgmental eyes of those set out to tarnish Ella’s reputation.

Set in the  Florida panhandle during World War I, Man in the Blue Moon expertly captures small town, Southern life as the country around it is struggling with the war. Enriching the lush setting are incredibly developed and rich characters, Ella standing out as strongest character. Readers cannot help but sympathize but also look up to her character, struggling to face the life she’s been dealt.  The secondary characters add a great deal of depth and dimension to the story as well, in some cases behaving as central characters themselves. Each character has a purpose, be it big or small. Going in, the reader is unaware of the impact of each of the characters.

A truly talented writer, Morris grants readers with a tremendously atmospheric novel, the setting leaping from the pages as if it is a character in and of itself. Familiar with the setting of Apalachicola myself, it was incredibly rewarding to see the setting develop before my eyes.  Although this novel is categorized as a Christian fiction and does encompass topics such as faith and religion, the religious overtones are not excessive. Mixing mystery with humor and folklore, Man in the Blue Moon is destined to be discussed by book clubs, rich with a subject matter meant to be discussed.

Man in the Blue Moon is the November selection for the She Reads Book Club. Visit the website to join in on the discussion as well as read the reviews of other bloggers in the network.

 

One Response to Review: Man in the Blue Moon by Michael Morris

  1. Great review, Jenn! I love how you describe it as an atmospheric story. And I wholeheartedly agree that book clubs will love it.