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|Format: DRM Free ePub|
Vendor: B & H Publishing Group
Publication Date: 2008
Availability: In Stock
The Moon in the Mango Tree is based on a true story. Set in the early 1920s, it is a richly detailed chronicle of the life of a young woman torn between her desire to study to become an operatic performer and her love for a man. Set in exotic Siam and pre-war Europe, this young woman seeks her own sense of self and struggles for faith, meaning and purpose in her life.
Holding a four year contract in her hand to study in Chicago under a celebrity opera singer, 18-year-old Barbara is thrilled beyond all imagination. When Barbara chooses to marry Harvey, however, she travels to glamorous Siam where her new husband will serve as a missionary surgeon. She struggles with being a missionarys wife, facing the disappointment of not living in Bangkok or Chiang Mai, where all the sophisticated international people congregate. She sees her dreams of singing for this international set smashed, but attempts valiantly to adjust to the backwoods culture of her husbands assignment.
Resented immediately by the wives of the strict missionaries, most of Barbaras attempts to become part of them are rejected. She is not qualified to assist as a nurse or a teacher. Her stubbornness and persistence against most odds cause her to start a choir for the native children, which, unfortunately, the harsh pastor does not accept. She becomes enchanted with the local people and their culture, but her four years are difficult because of the poverty, disease, and lack of appropriate supplies for the small hospital. Her husband is called away to the inner jungle to combat fever, malaria and spirit witch doctors.
Giving birth only reinforces to how much she will never belong. After a trip to the big city for the birth of the first child, Barbara realizes how much she has given up for her husbands success at the cost of her dreams. When she gets a second opportunity to study under a brilliant teacher in Italy, she convinces her husband, who has now become physician to the King of Siam, to allow her and their two daughters to go while she studies in Rome. In effect, it is a separation. Her husband is devastated, but patient.
The international set Barbara meets and the temptations they offer constantly challenge her. Her maestro offers her the opportunity to sing key roles in operas. Again she has a difficult decision to make. Barbara finds herself growing as a person, but she is torn between desire and duty to her marriage. The decision she ultimately makes and her reasons for doing so are what makes the story so rich and glorious. Celebrity Café
Not long after WWI ended, Barbara is forced to forget her dreams of being an opera diva when she marries Dr. Harvey Perkins, who informs his new bride that he is giving up his practice to serve as a medical missionary in Siam. He offers her a platitude that she will be able to sing once they settle in Siam. Frightened as she is a comfortable Christian and not a missionary, Babs objects to their relocation as she prefers they move to Chicago where the local opera has offered her a performing role. However, he rules as the husband and they head to Siam.
However, not long after arrival in rural Nan, Babs is unable to adjust to the abject poverty she witnesses or the conditions of their lifestyle. Harvey is appalled with his spouses failure and irate with her weakness when she suffers a nervous breakdown. Still they return to the States for her to heal, but fanatical Harvey forces them to return to his Siam practice soonest.
THE MOON IN THE MANGO TREE is a terrific historical tale that allows the audience too look deeply at the role of women in society. Fascinatingly Harvey cares and loves his spouse, but is disappointed in her failure to adjust; her ambition and goals are irrelevant. Babs wants to adapt as she accepts that is her position in life, but resents giving up her goals and cannot cope with what she has seen in Siam. Although the description of time and place is extremely vivid enabling the reader to feel they are in America and Siam circa 1920s; that also slows down the pace of an otherwise strong early twentieth century relationship drama. - Harriet Klausner
I know, I know...TWO historical novels in TWO days...that's totally amazing for me!! But what can I say? They called to me and I had to answer:-)"The Moon In The Mango Tree" is Pamela's third novel, and it is a huge, juicy reading experience. Set in the 1920's, Pamela's story takes us from the suffragette movement in the United States to the wilds of Siam. With gorgeous descriptive prose, she paints a vivid portrait of the country as well as the people and the times.
Barbara Bond is set to become a grand opera singer when she meets and falls in love with budding doctor Harvey Perkins. He admires her determination and free spirit, and she loves his generous nature and kind and gentle manner, and the two soon marry.
After Harvey returns from the war, he's a changed man. Now seeing the lack in other parts of the world, Harvey's dreams of mission work take precedence over Barbara's dreams of singing. But never in her wildest dreams would she ever imagine having to sacrifice as much as she does.
What follows is an amazing journey of expectations, finding yourself amidst the struggles of life, and learning to love people of other cultures. It's an illustration of the old saying, "Show God your plans, and then watch His plans unfold for you."
Pamela's story reads like a cross between "The King and I" and an old Judy Garland film. The dialogue is crisp and exact, with the description full and rich. You can't help but feel Barbara's growing frustration and resentment, and then change as she herself changes.What adds even more depth to this story is knowing it is based on a true account.
I have to confess, I'm only a little over a third of the way through this nearly 500 page novel...but I'm captivated, as I know you will be as well. I'm giving "The Moon in the Mango Tree" four out of five bookmarks, with apiece of sheet music as a charm. - Happy Reading! Deena, http://deenasbooks.blogspot.com
The Compulsive Reader
The Romance Reader's Connection
THE MOON IN THE MANGO TREE is a sweet love story that will stay with you long after you place the book down. Young Barbara struggles with her desire to pursue a career and the desires of the heart with her husband. When she chooses to follow love, and ends up in the wild jungles of Siam, the toll that daily life takes on her heart emulates through the pages. You feel the oppressive heat of the jungle, the furious love between a man and a woman, and the feelings of loneliness from living with a man who is bound by duty to give his all to his patients while having little left to give at home. Placed in a time of fun, loud parties, and impressive party guests, THE MOON IN THE MANGO tree makes you feel like you have stepped back in time, and right into the action. This book will leave an impression on your mind and an imprint in your heart. Pamela Binnings Ewen did an amazing job. Her Grandmother would be proud!