There’s something captivating about the South. Southern small towns, to be precise. There’s something to the heavy, molasses-sweet mystery of the attitude there. It’s in the hospitable apartness that comprises it’s people all the way from The Blue Ridges to the grassy bayous of the southern coast, as if the ground is different, seeps right up into them through the bottom of southerner’s feet like some warm, hearty seasoning exclusive to their geography.
It’s a gritty, welcoming feeling to read a tale that captures the essence of the southern world. Even more so, when you’ve grown up there and have the vetted wherewithal to know the authors who write with informed experience from those who know us true belles and boys only by reputation. You can’t fake a southern voice, not even in writing. There’s more to it than the drawl, as any true southerner will tell you.
Michael Morris’ Man in the Blue Moon captures the grit and then some.
“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.
Man in the Blue Moon will invite you in with vivid imagery that hooks you into the character’s deepest thoughts, fears and desires, insists you stay and ride out the secret-soaked pages with them.
But I’m not the only one impressed with Morris’ soulful rendition of the southern charm, sweat and intrigue during World War I. Morris has received acclaim from readers and fellow authors alike. But what better review than for you to decide? Make room on your nightstand for Man in the Blue Moon and get ready to sink into the south.
Michael Morris is a Southern Book Circle Award finalist and the author of the acclaimed novels A Place Called Wiregrass (a Christy Award winner) and Slow Way Home, named one of the best novels of the year by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. A Florida native, he now lives with his wife in Alabama.