Three generations of Moon women living in a small North Carolina town are trying to do the best they can in life. Grandmother Marvelle is trying to hang around long enough to pass on what she's learned to the next generation. Her wisdom is hard-earned and she knows the youngsters need it. Her daughters Ruth Ann and Cassandra are trying to figure out if the lives they are living are the lives they want. Ruth Ann's daughter Ashley is young but she's already old in experience. As the book opens, Ruth Ann is driving to Asheville to pick Ashley up from the rehab center where she's been staying. Ashley will be living with her now that she's been discharged. When they get back to their little town, Ashley drops the news that she's pregnant and Marvelle announces that she's moving in as well. Life is about to get interesting.
I loved this book. I met author Pamela Duncan at a book festival a few years ago and just chattered away at her. I never do that. I'm usually all tongue-tied at author signings and rarely get out more than "Please" and "Thank you." But it just felt like she was one of my kind of people and so I rattled on while she graciously listened.
This family of women felt like my family. We have a lot of women too and we love each other, irritate each other, get in each other's business, and cheer each other on. That's how these Moon women were. The story rotates between the four characters (Cassandra's part is small but she has a voice) and there was never a time when I wished I could get back to another storyline; I enjoyed them all. Each character is facing challenges that we can all relate to. I will admit that I wanted to reach in the pages and shake Ashley. "Will *shake* you *shake* PLEASE *vigorous shake* just *shake* wake *shake* up *shake* and *shake* let *shake* that *shake* sweet *shake* boy *shake* love *shake* you?!?!?" *tooth-rattling shake* I feel better for having written it out. She was stubborn beyond all reason.
Poor Cassandra. I wasn't entirely happy with her story, but there's a glimmer of hope for her. I'll have to dive into The Big Beautiful soon to see how she ends up.
For a book about strong women and their ties to each other, pick this one up. Is there higher praise than "These characters felt like my family?" I don't think so.
Visit author Pamela Duncan on her website.
Read an excerpt.
My review of Pamela Duncan's novel, Plant Life
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