Man in the Blue Moon  -     By: Michael Morris
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Man in the Blue Moon

Tyndale House / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Description

"He's a gambler at best. A con artist at worst," her aunt had said of the handlebar-mustached man who snatched Ella Wallace away from her dreams of studying art in France. Eighteen years later, that man has disappeared, leaving Ella alone and struggling to support her three sons. While the world is embroiled in World War I, Ella fights her own personal battle to keep the mystical Florida land that has been in her family for generations from the hands of an unscrupulous banker.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 400
Vendor: Tyndale House
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1414368429
ISBN-13: 9781414368429
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

“He’s a gambler at best. A con artist at worst,” her aunt had said of the handlebar-mustached man who snatched Ella Wallace away from her dreams of studying art in France. Eighteen years later, that man has disappeared, leaving Ella alone and struggling to support her three sons. While the world is embroiled in World War I, Ella fights her own personal battle to keep the mystical Florida land that has been in her family for generations from the hands of an unscrupulous banker. When a mysterious man arrives at Ella’s door in an unconventional way, he convinces her he can help her avoid foreclosure, and a tenuous trust begins. But as the fight for Ella’s land intensifies, it becomes evident that things are not as they appear. Hypocrisy and murder soon shake the coastal town of Apalachicola and jeopardize Ella’s family.

ChristianBookPreviews.com

Man in the Blue Moon by Michael Morris is a story of the perseverance of a young woman to save her family's farm in the 1940's. The main character, Ella, is a struggling, newly-abandoned mother of three. Her husband was a drunk who left her feeling betrayed and lonely. One day she is sent a crate inside of which is Lanier. He is a fugitive being sought for the murder of his wife, but he promises he was sent to help Ella. With no other man available to help her, Ella agrees to let him stay and a friendship develops. As the novel goes on, it is found out that Lanier can perform miracles, including saving the life of Ella's son, who is sick with sores in his throat. Ella goes through hardships trying to save her father's land, a land she promised never to sell trying to keep it out of the hands of the banker, Clive.


In the story, Lanier says a prayer before healing the wounded or sick. God uses His power to work through Lanier to heal a wounded livestock's bleeding leg and also various people who are infirmed or wounded. As when the people found out that Jesus could perform miracles, the community flocks to Lanier to be healed even though he makes great efforts to keep his gift secret and private.

Morris does a good job of sustaining suspense, but he overlaps too many coexisting plots, making the main story hard to stay focused upon. Lanier is a mysterious character whose internal motivations stay secret and suppressed as the story unfolds. With the biblical references related to gifts that often lie dormant in all Christians, plus the determination that Ella provides as an inspiration to all women who wish not to be treated as second class citizens, this book does have merit. However, its lack of specific direction and its complicated structuring made it too challenging for this reviewer to find enjoyable. - Amelia DeSteno, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com

Publisher's Weekly

Morris (Slow Way Home) has crafted a magical and mesmerizing page-turner rooted in hardscrabble Florida during WWI, based in part on a true family story. Ella Wallace is scrambling to keep her three sons and herself from the poorhouse after her opium-addicted husband vanishes. She owns a piece of land that reptilian banker Clive Gillespie, a spurned former suitor, would love to have, and he has leverage in the form of a mortgage on the property. But Ella finds an unexpected ally in her husband’s cousin Lanier Stillis, who arrives in unorthodox fashion and has some unusual talents, and the two collaborate until Lanier’s past catches up with him in a Shakespearean blaze of climactic action. Morris’s narrative is subtle and supple, with overtones of the wry Southernisms of Flannery O’Connor, the rural Florida backdrop of Their Eyes Were Watching God, and a good helping of powerful and mysterious faith. Book clubs should devour this rich, carefully observed mix of characters, time, and place; Morris deserves to break out of the regional-writer box. Agent: Laurie Liss, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Sept.) 2012 Reed Business Information

Editorial Reviews

Morris (Slow Way Home) has crafted a magical and mesmerizing page-turner rooted in hardscrabble Florida during WWI, based in part on a true family story. Ella Wallace is scrambling to keep her three sons and herself from the poorhouse after her opium-addicted husband vanishes. She owns a piece of land that reptilian banker Clive Gillespie, a spurned former suitor, would love to have, and he has leverage in the form of a mortgage on the property. But Ella finds an unexpected ally in her husband’s cousin Lanier Stillis, who arrives in unorthodox fashion and has some unusual talents, and the two collaborate until Lanier’s past catches up with him in a Shakespearean blaze of climactic action. Morris’s narrative is subtle and supple, with overtones of the wry Southernisms of Flannery O’Connor, the rural Florida backdrop of Their Eyes Were Watching God, and a good helping of powerful and mysterious faith. Book clubs should devour this rich, carefully observed mix of characters, time, and place; Morris deserves to break out of the regional-writer box.
The reader may hear echoes of Harper Lee . . . or of Flannery O’Connor’s Southern grotesques . . . or even of Huck Finn. . . . But Morris has his own voice and his own story, and he tells it with uncommon skill and compassion.

Product Reviews

3.5 Stars Out Of 5
3.5 out of 5
(5)
(1)
(6)
(3)
(0)
Quality:
4.2 out Of 5
(4.2 out of 5)
Value:
4.1 out Of 5
(4.1 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
3.8 out Of 5
(3.8 out of 5)
67%
of customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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  1. Virginia Beach, VA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Strange story of a mom's struggle to help family
    August 26, 2013
    luvs to cook
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Age: Over 65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 3
    Since her deadbeat husband forged her name on a mortgage of her home and land to get money for alcohol and opium before disappearing, Ella Wallace did her best to gain extra time to pay the bank. However Clive Gillespie, the banker, wanted the property too much for his own ideas of making money to be willing to help a young mother of 3 children whose husband had disappeared. Her last hope was to sell the clock she was expecting that had been shipped free to her by the Blue Moon Clock Company. When she finally received the large wooden box and opened it, she found a live man, not a clock. The man had needed to get out of town quickly and had been helped by friends to be shipped directly to his cousin Harlan, Ella's missing husband. With Lanier's help Ella would try a series of tasks to raise money in time to pay the mortgage. Why did these attempts fail? What unusual ability did Lanier have that helped people? What took place in the town that caused many deaths? Why did Lanier leave? Why did Keaton leave? Why did Lanier return? What news did Lanier give Ella? What almost happened to Ella? I found this book interesting but not exciting. It definitely is a slow Southern love story about a woman driven to survive and care for her children.
  2. Anchorage, AK
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    Partially "based on a true story" period novel
    August 6, 2013
    aklinslow
    Anchorage, AK
    Age: 18-24
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 3
    "What did you think of this book?" Honestly? I didn't really like it, but that's not necessarily an accurate reflection of the book or the author. The truth is, "Man in the Blue Moon" takes place in what I believe to be a very depressing and hard to read about time and place in American history: the South in the late 1910's (leading up to the Roaring Twenties, a time period I can barely bring myself to read about). Its a time and place of prejudice, superstition, and rampant, albeit hidden, immorality. The author, Michael Morris, doesn't hesitate to address all these issues, which made the book very hard to read at times.

    My only complaints of the book, other than my personal tastes, are the following: the story jumped around quite a bit from the viewpoints of different characters, and I sometimes found it hard to follow, but that might be more the fault of the editor/publisher, because there weren't appropriate spaces between paragraphs that were unrelated. Secondly, the explanation of the "healer" never became evident to me and I didn't understand his internal torment, but maybe I'm just dense.

    On the positive side, I loved the fact that Michael Morris wrote this story from so much personal experience and wove in stories from his family's history. (Make sure you read the author interview at the end of the book, but wait til you're done or it'll spoil some surprises for you.) Being a native of the area in which the book takes place, Mr. Morris writes knowledgeably and does make the story come alive with his vivid wording and imagery. For these reasons I am giving the book 3 stars, because although I did not enjoy the book personally, I know there are those who will love it and I don't want anyone to think its a bad, poorly written book.
  3. High Desert West
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Impressive, Touching, Dramatic.
    August 5, 2013
    eb7bibliophile
    High Desert West
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    This review was written for Man in the Blue Moon - eBook.
    An emotional story with a hopeful ending. I was unsure whether I could enjoy this book after seeing the reviews on the book cover about a Southern drama, because I was not sure what a Southern writing style was. The writing was hard to follow at times, when he made a statement out of nowhere and then proceeded to explain it. The story surprised me, though, by starting to grow on me. There were amazing events, especially the way the man from Blue Moon Clock Co. was introduced. The writing is brilliant. There was so much going on, and so many emotional scenes, I read straight through, because I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. It featured people of strength in different forms, and some humor. This is definitely worth reading.
  4. 2 Stars Out Of 5
    Disappointed...
    August 1, 2013
    jpmusicgirl
    This review was written for Man in the Blue Moon - eBook.
    I wanted to really enjoy this book but didn't. I liked the setting and the time period but the story just didn't take hold of me. I kept reading as there were some aspects I liked but I kept asking myself, "Where is this going?"
  5. Fairfax, VA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    2 Stars Out Of 5
    Too much mysticism
    July 29, 2013
    Kris
    Fairfax, VA
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 2
    Value: 2
    Meets Expectations: 1
    Man in the Blue Moon takes place in Florida during World War I in a small southern town filled with all the small town busy bodies you can imagine. Unfortunately many of them get names and you have to keep track of who is who, not an easy task. The storyline of this book weaves around with murder and mayhem and maladies but this book just did not connect with me with all the mystical elements it had.
Displaying items 1-5 of 15
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