"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.
Average Customer Rating:
(15 Reviews) 15
Rating Snapshot(15 reviews)
10 out of 1567%customers would recommend this product to a friend.
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.
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Review 2 for Man in the Blue Moon - eBook
Date:August 1, 2013
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?"
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.
"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.
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.
While this book was well written, I had a great deal of trouble "getting it". In fact, I kept waiting to "get into it", and well, then it ended. There was too much going on in the book! Lots of themes, but none were fully developed.
On the plus side, there was a good storyline and the characters were realistic.
Ella is fighting to protect the land she inherited from her father after her husband gambled, then mortgaged the land away. To do so, she begins a David and Goliath fight against small town prejudices, a corrupt bank owner, and a snake-oil religious only aided by her three sons, a mysterious relative-in-law, a close friend, and at the last minute, some neighbors.
I struggled to get into this story. While the characters are realistic and the imagery well drawn, I almost felt like there were too many themes to this story. The plot referenced spousal abuse, substance abuse, abuse of the disabled, abandonment, pandemic illness, gossip, child labor, racism, pedophilia, homosexuality (in a very subtle manner), false religion, WW1, prostitution, supernatural abilities, suicide, and murder (including infanticide). There are even two climaxes–one about saving the land, and the other about the 1918 flu. The majority of these themes are only in passing, aren't elaborated on, and left to dangle.
The very fact that this book manages to avoid feeling dark is a testament to the ability of the writer. The emphasis on hope, redemption, and honesty is necessary to make an otherwise bleak story of survival readable. But when I finished this story, I didn't feel enjoyment; I felt exhausted.
Three stars for being well written, and for having some creative plot twists. But I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under age 18, despite the extremely mild handling of most of the disturbing scenes. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone over 18 either, unless they have a particular affinity for Florida.
Ella is trying to keep her family's property after her husband disappears and the bank threatens to foreclose. With the help of a mysterious stranger, they work to raise the money needed.
I thought the book was good with a lot of interesting characters. There were so many characters that at times I couldn't keep them straight. I found the book rather sad with World War I, the influenza epidemic and a struggling family all taking place in the story.
I found this book to be well-written by a talented author. The story takes place in Florida and is about Ella and her three sons, who were deserted by their husband/father and left with huge debts. Because of the debts Ella's gambling husband left her to deal with, she is on the verge of losing everything: her home, the store, and her inheritance she received from her father due to a greedy banker who wants to turn the inheritance into a retreat center. When Ella is at her lowest and seemly hopeless place, in walks Lanier to the rescue. Lanier is Ella's husband's cousin and he is running from his past. When Lanier enters Ella's life, he not only causes family rifts to take place, but he also becomes the talk of the town because of his special healing gifts. With Lanier's help and Ella's determination to save the store, the family is able to work together that results in the ability to pay off the debt that Ella's husband left to the bank. This is a good book for those who like to read something that is more than just another romance story.
When I received the book in the mail, I was pleased at two things right off the bat. One, the book was a nice thick book…more pages to read ! 377 to be exact! The second was the cover was beautiful which always makes a difference in just the excitement of reading a new book. As I started reading , I was drawn in to the story from the beginning. Michael Morris, the author, is a Southern Book Critics Circle Award finalist and is a true Southern writer. This story kept me tuned in by the many twists and drama happening in this small Southern town. The characters are very believable and you feel a connection with them. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and can’t wait to read more by this author. The book starts off with a woman and her sons, trying to survive since her husband left her due to drugs. She has to decide whether to take what money she has and pay it towards the mortgage, which she is already behind on, or take the money and pay shipping on an item her husband had ordered from the Blue Moon Clock Company before he left them. She decides to take a chance that the item, which she has no idea as to the identity of, will be of sufficient value to sell in her store and make more money to try to pay the mortgage. When the package arrives, she and her boys go to pick up the crate at the railroad station and bring it back to open at their home. What a surprise awaits them when they open the crate! This book also has a great story in the prologue about how the author came up with this idea for a story. There are also questions to be used for discussion in a book club or if you are a homeschooling mom like me…you can assign these to be answered. This is a book that I want to read again. I think it is one of those that you can reread over and over and it will speak to your soul in different ways.
“Wouldn’t it be great,” I said to my children one morning after reading them a Bible story in which Christ healed a man who couldn’t walk, “if we read in the newspaper that Jesus was coming to Bath and we could bring Ruth to Him?”
How many times had I prayed for her healing? Sometimes laying hands on her and shouting out loud. Sometimes quietly pleading as she lay crumpled in her crib. Yet, God didn’t heal Ruth—not here. Cerebral palsy confined my youngest daughter to a wheelchair and robbed her of the ability to speak.
It would’ve been so much easier, I often thought, if we could have carried her to Christ. One touch. One word. And I knew He could have made her well. So, it was with genuine interest that I opened Michael Morris’ newly released novel, “Man in the Blue Moon” (Tyndale House), in which Lanier, a drifter with healing powers, appears in a Florida town during World War I just before the deadly flu pandemic.
What I discovered was an honest, thought provoking look at what might happen if someone not seeking money or fame showed up with an authentic gift of healing. How far would you drive to see such a man? Or would you, like many of the townspeople in Morris’ book, drive him away?
Single mother Ella Wallace wrestles with these questions and more as she struggles to hold her family together and protect her land from a ruthless banker, Clive. Even after Lanier heals Ella’s son, she wonders whether to trust him. One thing is certain, however, this mysterious stranger gives Ella the determination to win.
“Listen, Neva,” Ella confides to a friend after townspeople begin questioning Lanier’s motives. “I can’t explain all this… can’t begin to. But that man showed up here when I was on this side of a nervous breakdown… about to lose my son, my home. When everybody else offered pity, he pushed me. Because of him I still have a home. I might be fighting a never-ending battle with Clive, but because of that man, I’m fighting just the same.”
Morris gives women a reason to cheer. His hero doesn’t show up with biceps blazing to save the damsel in distress. He comes alongside the damsel, pays attention to her needs, and humbly offers to help. The result is a superbly written, thought provoking tale that takes readers on a journey back to the days of steamships and healing waters, celebrity preachers and charlatans, small town gossips and heart-felt faith.
My only disappointment was not having the leisure to sneak off and enjoy reading it in bed with a box of chocolate-covered caramels from the Bath Sweet Shoppe. Even without chocolate, Morris’ finely crafted text weaves a story sure to interest both male and female readers. If you’re not a follower, “Man in the Blue Moon” is a great reason to start reading Christian fiction.
Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a free copy of this book to review.
I now have a new favorite author and his name is Michael Morris. The reason is the book Man in the Blue Moon. In the story we meet Ella Wallace. She was young when she met a wonderful charming man (Harlan) that her Aunt did not like. So what did she do ,she threw away an education and married this man after all she was in love, fast forward he leaves her with three children one that is sick and a load of debt on her family property. She is forced to work in a time when most women did not. She was left with a clock bought by her scoundrel of a husband that she is hoping will save her the loss of her family home and business. Now this clock bought by Harlan Wallace is not just any clock but you will have to read to find out more. We also meet Lanier Stillis he is a man on a mission, he is leaving his home town because he is being accused of something he did not do. The two cross paths and make this story fun. The author starts this book as a sad drama but he makes you laugh throughout the book and it changes. I loved this book. It is set in the panhandle of Florida and the way the author writes, he truly takes you there to the town of Dead Lakes and it is like you know these characters. His writing style makes you picture the story so well that you just can’t put his book down. This book has a little of this and a little of that for those who like a little who done it with a southern flare, a lot of drama, a little comedy and a lot of fun in reading a book. I just could not put this one down. I wanted to see what was happening and I wanted to be there. I will be getting Michael Morris’s other novels to read. I did receive a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers for my honest review. If you want to read more on this author Michael Morris you find it at http://www.michaelmorrisbooks.com/
Harlan Wallace has disappeared; first into an opium-induced haze, and now he has disappeared completely. His wife Ella has been left on her own to finish raising their three sons in the Florida Panhandle town of Dead Lakes, just outside of Apalachicola. The banker, Clive Gillespie, can't wait to get his hands on Ella's property, and when it seems that Ella won't be able to meet the mortgage, a mysterious man appears and begins to help. Soon, everyone is talking about the new man in town and his healing gift. When his past catches up with him, the town of Dead Lakes is changed forever.
If Mark Twain and Flannery O'Connor had a son who was taught by Harper Lee and he sneaked a few Stephen King novels when they weren't looking, you would have Michael Morris. Since I assume this didn't happen, I was left speechless. First , it was set in my favorite Florida town, Apalachicola, and even mentioned my favorite island, St. George Island. The Florida Panhandle has a feel and a flavor to it that you will never find in The Land of the Mouse or farther south in Miami. Michael Morris has captured that feeling and flavor in one fantastic novel. I could see the swampy areas, the cypress, the Spanish moss hanging from the trees in the town, and the bay emptying into the Gulf of Mexico. His characters are so well-drawn that I could see them. And he has developed some really quirky, interesting characters. Characters like this only come along once...well, once in a blue moon!
This was a something-else-fun-read! Michael Morris had me snickering about how he described his characters. He uses great detail to make them come alive.
Ella's husband has left her with 3 sons and a lot of debt. One day a mysterious man shows up on their doorstep. He's going to help her with the work on the farm and trying to pay their debts.
Lanier is fleeing his hometown because of accusations of something he didn't do. When he meets Ella and her sons he's determined to help them. Lanier has a special gift, but he's not sure if it's a gift or a curse. When things about his gift come out not eveyone in the small town is pleased with it.
There are many secondary characters in this book. They're all unique, even the animals have their own personality. If you haven't read a Michael Morris book I dare you to give him a try. I bet you'll be surprised!