A Cozy Bar, A Big Storm, A Broken Marriage and Lost Dreams in The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane

The Half Moon

My Review:

I love the setting of The Half Moon, a story that takes place mostly in a small town bar over the course of a week. Malcolm has been a bartender for more than two decades and finally has the opportunity to buy the beloved but financially struggling bar. He and his lawyer wife, Jess have spent their savings and dedicated many years to unsuccessful fertility treatments and among other things, they disagree on the investment opportunity. Emotionally spent and weighed down by unfulfilled dreams they split up and become estranged. Filled with disappointment and regrets, we follow Malcolm and Jess on their respective journeys as they contemplate their life goals, grapple with compromise and forgiveness and work through their broken marriage.

This book is well written and relevant, especially for those who have endured challenges in a marriage and have suffered disappointments along the way. To add to the marital drama a bar patron goes missing during a snowstorm, adding a welcome complexity and a bit of mystery to this character driven melancholy story. The Half Moon is thought provoking and allows for self reflection and I highly recommend it.

Mary Beth Keane

About the Author

Mary Beth Keane attended Barnard College and the University of Virginia, where she received an MFA. She was awarded a John S. Guggenheim fellowship for fiction writing, and has received citations from the National Book Foundation, PEN America, and the Hemingway Society. She is the author of The Walking People, Fever, and Ask Again, Yes, which was a New York Times Best Seller and was translated into twenty-two languages. Her new novel, The Half Moon, was published May 2, 2023.

Book Nation by Jen

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