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27th February 2024

The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane, novel set in Upstate NEW YORK.


An engrossing novel of ordinary lives and a novel that will appeal to readers who are keen on Mary Lawson and Anne Tyler.

Malcolm is a bar tender at the Half Moon in fictional Gillam. He is married to Jess and they have been navigating their way through extensive – and costly – fertility treatment. They have racked up innumerable bills and once Malcolm is offered the chance to buy the bar, he enthusiastically enters into an agreement with the owner Hugh. His due diligence is negligible and he is not altogether honest with Jess about the detail. Although she is a lawyer, their incomes are overly stretched and his withholding of the contractual details motivates Jess to call it a day on their relationship. The stress of IVF treatment has already taken its toll on the couple and this is just the final straw.

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Malcolm is stretched to the limit. The bar is already floundering and multiple incoming snow storms threaten the business, as guests are staying put in their homes. Hugh adds to the pressure by sending menacing heavy men for payments due, and Malcolm really doesn’t know how to make ends meet. The backdrop of the ominous weather systems ratchet up the tension as the two central people struggle to find a way forward.

This novel is one of those books that dropped through the letterbox and I am delighted to present this novel to the TripFiction community. The setting is very much small town America that is beautifully brought to life through the storytelling of this gifted storyteller. The novel is well written with a light pen and nuanced description permeates the pages.

Tina for the TripFiction Team

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Cath the author on TwitterX @mary_beth_keane 

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