BOOK REVIEW: MOON OVER EDISTO – BETH WEBB HART

Moon over Edisto 

by

Beth Webb Hart

  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595542027
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595542021

About the book . . . 

Edisto Island was where it all came apart. Can the Bennett girls ever be whole again?
Once, they were the happiest family under the sun, crabbing and fishing and painting on beautiful Edisto Island in South Carolina’s lowcountry.
Then everything went wrong, and twenty years later the Bennett family is still in pieces. Mary Ellen still struggles to understand why her picture-perfect marriage came apart. Daughter Meg keeps a death grip on her own family, controlling her relationships at a distance. And eldest daughter, Julia, left it all behind years ago, forging a whole new life as an artist and academic in Manhattan. She’s engaged to an art dealer and has no intentions of returning to Edisto. Ever.
Then an emergency forces Julia back to Edisto to care for her three young half-siblings. She grudgingly agrees to stay a week. But there’s something about Edisto that changes people. Can Julia and her fractured family somehow manage to come together again under that low-hanging Edisto moon?
About the author . . .          
Beth Webb Hart, a South Carolina native, is the best-selling author of Grace at Low Tide and The Wedding Machine.   Her first novel, Grace at Low Tide, was one of three finalists for the 2006 Christy Awards in the general/contemporary fiction category.  She holds a B.A. in English Literature from Hollins College and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.  She serves as a speaker and creative writing instructor at schools, libraries, and churches throughout the region, and she has received two national teaching awards from Scholastic, Inc. Hart lives with her husband and their family in Charleston.   

  
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Reader review . . . 

Julia Bennett’s family fell apart twenty years ago when she brought her friend home from college.  Julia left it all behind her and forged a new life as a Manhattan artist.  Her sister Meg lives in deep denial, raising the perfect family and posting it on Facebook; and her mother, Mary Ellen, is still trying to understand what went wrong.  But a family emergency has brought about the unthinkable:  Julia is going back to Edisto Island to look after her father’s second family.  Her feelings for three innocent children are stronger than she expected, and a reunion with her first kiss leaves her wondering if it is possible to go home again, after all.
Moon over Edisto is a beautiful story of a fractured family that is trying to recover from the ultimate betrayal.  Each character has been wounded and suffers in her own way.  The novel carries the feel and atmosphere of the South:  slow, laid-back, and welcoming.  It was a difficult book to put down, as each time I tried, I found myself homesick for Edisto Island and wanting to know what happened next.  
Overall, the plot and storyline flow beautifully.  A couple of scenes with Simon, Julia’s fiancé, seemed like unnecessary filler, but otherwise, it was perfect.  The point-of-view shifts between characters, but as it changes with each chapter, and the chapter heading gives the reader advance warning, it is a comfortable shift.
Although Julia is the main character, they are all equally interesting.  I could imagine Mary Ellen, growing older in her small town, still trying to piece together the fragments of her life after being discarded by her husband, and wondering why she was not enough.  Meg, at first, irritated me with her self-righteous little perfect world.  But as the story progressed and I saw how damaged Meg was by her father’s actions, I could not help but feel sorry for her.  I also enjoyed a little chuckle when she was updating her Facebook status; this is exactly what so many people seem to do there:  they project the life they wish they had and hope everyone believes.  And then there is silent little Etta, the secret keeper.  It seems that the second family are in need of healing, as well.
Although this novel is classified as Christian fiction, it is not the typical Scripture-heavy story where everyone skips into the sunset.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but everyone does not care for the style.  This is a clean story, but with realistic, modern situations with which the average reader can identify.  The Scripture-based themes of forgiveness, healing, and redemption are presented in such a way that represent the Biblical teachings without alienating the non-churchgoing reader.
Recommended for teens and older.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com <http://BookSneeze®.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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2013 A-Z Reading Challenge


Do you love to read? You know I do! Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book is hosting a reading challenge for 2013.This challenge will run from January 1st, 2012 until December 31st, 2013.

You can join anytime. It’s an alphabet challenge!!! The challenge is to read one book starting with every letter of the alphabet.


So there are two different ways you can set up your own A-Z Reading Challenge.

A – Make a list on your blog from A-Z. Throughout the year, as you go along, add the books you are reading to the list. Towards the end of the year, you can check and see which letters you are missing and find books to fit.

OR

B – Make a list now of 26 books, picking one for each letter of the alphabet. For example: A – The Azalea Assault B- Blue Monday C – Crops and Robbers D – A Deadly Grind etc.

Books can be read in any order and all formats – print – e-book – audio – are acceptable for this challenge!

Ready to join??
Sign up at Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book and grab the button.

Non-bloggers you can join too! Just keep track any way you wish and enter a link below if available or sign up in the comment section. You can even set up a special shelf on Goodreads to help you keep track!

Need some help finding titles to match the alphabet – Jandy’s Reading Room has a wonderful list to get you started.

Here is my list:
A AN ANGEL BY HER SIDE – RUTH REID – 4 stars
B
C CHRISTMAS WITH THE FIRST LADIES – COLLEEN CHRISTIAN BURKE
D THE DILEMMA OF CHARLOTTE FARROW- OLIVIA NEWPORT
E
F
G
H
I ICONIC SPIRITS: AN INTOXICATING HISTORY – MARK SPIVAK
J
K KILLER RATINGS – LISA SEIDMAN
L TO LOVE A WOLF – BK WALKER
M MY NAME IS MARY SUTTER – ROBIN OLIVEIRA
N NEVER LET YOU GO – ERIN HEALY
O O! JACKIE – MERCEDES KING
P PERIL: FROM JACKBOOTS TO JACK BENNY – PEARL GOODMAN – 4 STARS
Q QUEEN OF THE AIR: A TRUE STORY OF LOVE AND TRAGEDY AT THE CIRCUS – DEAN JENSEN
R RAISING CUBBY-JOHN ELDER ROBISON
S SECRETLY SMITTEN – COLLEEN COBLE, DENISE HUNTER, KRISTEN BILLERBECK, & DIANN HUNT
T THE POSTMISTRESS-SARAH BLAKE
U UNCONQUERED: THE SAGA OF COUSINS JERRY LEE LEWIS, JIMMY SWAGGART, AND MICKY GILLEY – J.D. DAVIS
V VANISHED-IRENE HANNON – 5 STARS
W
X
Y
Z

I will be updating my list and will keep it posted on here. Check back to see what I’ve read, and comment and let me know when you join the challenge. Here’s to a year of good reading!
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There are people who reshape the world by force or argument, but the cat just lies there, dozing, and the world quietly reshapes itself to suit his comfort and convenience. — Alan and Ivy Dodd