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Review: Man in the Blue Moon

November 30, 2012

When Ella’s husband disappears, she struggles to take care of her children and hold onto her land and home.  Since it’s the Depression, her store isn’t making enough to pay the bills.  The local banker is hounding her and threatening foreclosure.  When she receives a notice from the Blue Moon Clock Company notifying her that a prepaid shipment is due to arrive by steamboat, she figures her prayers have been answered.  All she has to do is pay the freight and she’ll have a beautiful clock to sell.  Surely it will bring in enough to pay some of the mortgage.

Ella and her children pick up the shipment and discover not a clock but a man nailed into the wooden crate.  Lanier claims to be her husband’s cousin but there’s something about him that leaves Ella unsettled at first.  He comes up with a plan to help her save her land but it might be too late.

I had mixed feelings as I started Man in the Blue Moon, by Michael Morris.  On one hand, I was a little nervous since I rarely read Christian fiction and, on the other, I was excited about the setting – the book takes place in Florida’s panhandle, an area I’m very familiar with.  I was also excited because the author is a graduate of Auburn.  I really wanted to love this book but, in the end, I didn’t.  Morris has a way with words but, for me, the book was overly descriptive and the prose was too flowery.  Here’s an example, chosen at random:

Fog canopied the road in front of the store, and dew sprinkled like diamonds across the grass on Ella’s yard.  Clouds hung so low that the earth and sky became one.  Ella stood at her bedroom window and could only make out the azalea bush at the edge of her porch.  A spider’s web, dotted with drops of water from the mist, hung from the corner of the porch banister.  Ella studied the intricate design that looked like lace and wondered how long it had been there without her ever noticing.

I needed less description and more plot and felt the book could have been shorter.  Those who enjoy descriptive writing will enjoy this more than I did, I’m sure.  The Christian elements of the story were subtle and not preachy so that aspect of the book didn’t bother me at all.

I did think Ella was a fabulous character.  She was loyal and loving as well as fierce and determined and wasn’t going to let anything stop her from achieving her goal.  She didn’t worry about what other people thought – she just went about her business and did what had to be done.

I also enjoyed the setting.  We lived in lower Alabama for 12 years, so I was familiar with all of the places mentioned in the book and could picture them in my mind.

In the end, I thought this book was just okay, but I’m definitely in the minority.  If Man in the Blue Moon sounds remotely interesting to you, be sure to check out some other reviews.

Review copy provided by Tyndale House for She Reads.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
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18 Comments leave one →
  1. bookingmama permalink
    November 30, 2012 7:16 am

    I have to say that I’m one of the minority who agrees with you. I am not a fan of descriptive prose and I didn’t really connect to the characters either.

  2. November 30, 2012 7:17 am

    I hadn’t heard of this one previously. Sorry it wasn’t a stellar choice.

  3. November 30, 2012 8:00 am

    Sounds like a good plot idea. Too bad it didn’t work out!

  4. November 30, 2012 11:49 am

    The good news is that every time we read, we get better at figuring out “What makes a really good book?” To paraphrase Tennyson, “T’is better to have read and yawned that never to have read at all!” Have a great weekend.

  5. November 30, 2012 12:23 pm

    I know what you mean about reading books you have mixed feelings about because they take places in a setting you’ve been to or familiar with. I also love to read books about places I’ve traveled to and even forgive weak plots sometimes (but I’m aware of it, LOL).

    http://www.ManOfLaBook.com

  6. November 30, 2012 12:39 pm

    I am sorry this book didn’t work for you but I agree, sometimes I just want a book to get on with it already!

  7. November 30, 2012 1:40 pm

    That kind of descriptive writing drives me crazy. Occasionally authors can write that way with such skill as to keep me reading despite the overabundance of similes, metaphors and adjectives, but they are few and far between.

  8. November 30, 2012 2:44 pm

    I couldn’t take much of that prose no matter how much I liked the plot!

  9. November 30, 2012 2:51 pm

    I like the idea of this book, though not sure its for me.

  10. November 30, 2012 5:48 pm

    Too much description can get tedious. Thanks for your honest review.

  11. November 30, 2012 5:55 pm

    Too bad it didn’t work for you! I’m not familiar with the book, but it sounds like it’s not for me.

  12. November 30, 2012 8:24 pm

    I’m intrigued by the premise and setting, but I’m not a fan of overly descriptive writing. It just slows down the story.

  13. November 30, 2012 8:40 pm

    Not for me, I’m afraid. I don’t even have the place familiarity to make this attractive to me.

  14. softdrink permalink
    November 30, 2012 11:39 pm

    I didn’t make it past the first sentence of the paragraph you excerpted. Too flowery is right!

  15. December 1, 2012 10:54 am

    I don’t like overly descriptive writing either, it will quickly bore me. The setting and storyline do sound good though.

  16. December 1, 2012 5:33 pm

    The flowery prose didn’t bother me but I totally get how you had trouble with it. I actually really liked this one and I’m sorry it didn’t work for you!

  17. Beth F permalink
    December 2, 2012 7:21 am

    I liked this one because I like character studies. But I totally understand why others would have more trouble.

  18. December 5, 2012 3:00 pm

    Excess description can be distracting. Other than that, the book sounds pretty interesting to me.

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