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(Review) Man in the Blue Moon by Michael Morris

Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, August 17, 2012.
Genre: Christian fiction, World War I, the South.
Format: Paperback.
Pages: 400.
Rating: 4 Stars for very good.
Source: Self-purchase.

Link for the book at Amazon,
Christian Book. 

The time period is the last half of 1918. World War I is in the final stages, the flu epidemic has begun.
Ella Wallace manages a store. It's a store and job she didn't want. It is a means of support for herself and three sons.
Her husband Harlan Wallace disappeared. It is not believed he died, he ran-off.
Land was given to Ella from her father. It is in a coastal area of Florida. The land is wanted by unsavory men. Men who will not tire of depraved antics to soften Ella's resolve in not selling her legacy.
Ella is a haggard woman. She reminds me of the woman photographed in the 1930s by the female photographer Dorothea Lange.

My Thoughts:
An additional character is in the story, which is an anomaly in Christian fiction, a Native American. She is a Creek. Her name is Narissa. Narissa adds both a depth to Man in the Blue Moon, and also a yearning to know more about her history/life.
Man in the Blue Moon is a departure from the normal Christian fiction story of girl meets boy, or a tidy ending. It is a sad story. A story where people are not seen as either good or bad, people are not placed in a small box. They are shown in all the gray areas. Further, coloring outside the defined lines are noted.

There are aspects of the story I really liked.

  • The southern setting, culture, and language. I love southern expressions. "I declare." "Mercy." "Plumb pitiful." 
  • The whistle of the steamboat on the water, pine trees, a southern breeze, humidity and heat. Michael Morris drew me into the story with vivid narration. 
  • A unique story in Christian fiction. 
I feel a little break of sunshine would have helped. Most of the story is depressing. One sad scene after another. Heartache followed by a let-down. It's true, life can be this way, but a respite helps.