The Book Of Moons is a story about Irish travelers, their struggles, and a little bit of magic.
Sixteen-year-old Kathy is on the run from a convent orphanage. She must reach Dublin to find her best friend but she’s woken up in an Irish Traveller camp, miles from anywhere. Her only chance of getting to the city is with their help, but for that, she needs to become one of them.
Kathy has until the next full moon to find a talent and prove herself worthy. She enlists the help of a gifted young fiddler named Heath. But the others have become suspicious of Kathy, made worse by the disaster that follows in her wake. Only the matriarch of the clan seems to believe in Kathy’s potential.
Time is running out for Kathy as she races across Ireland, along the way encountering fairy forts, changelings and tinkers. And while she tries their gifts of fortune telling and palmistry, nothing seems to work for her – until she discovers the Book of Moons.
The best part of this novel is learning about Irish culture. I don’t know a lot about Irish tradition, even though my dads side of my family is Irish, so it was fun to learn something about myself along the way. I never knew that there were Irish travelers, and that they were so similar to Gypsies. This book also does a good job of mixing mythology and magic into the story. It’s subtle and the author leaves it up to you to determine if it’s real or not.
We’re introduced to a cast of characters that are very different than the main character. She is what’s considered a settler while they’re travelers. They know the way of the world while she is ignorant to anything outside her orphanage. It creates these point of contention for Kathy that are intense for someone so young. All of the characters have their own unique personalities and almost all of them are a new obstacle for Kathy to overcome. Using the characters themselves as the tension in the story was a great choice.
I loved the tone of this novel, it’s hauntingly beautiful. It creates a perfect balancing act between happy and sad. You can’t expect to feel one emotion for too long while reading this. The main character experiences a lot of tragedy but also great successes. The rollercoaster ride feels real.
I’d also like to talk about this quote that I love, it goes,
“You have to follow the words if you want to tell the story,”
I love that the author chose to include this, because it creates a self-awareness in the novel, but it also leaves an opening for the main characters future. To me it felt like very subtle foreshadowing. It was a good touch.
Something I hate is when a novel relies too much on the ‘race against time’ plot device to move a story along, but The Book Of Moons didn’t do that. It was a factor but it wasn’t the sole motivator, and I admired the authors ability to use multiple points of tension. The story doesn’t rely too heavily on any plot devices, and I think that’s awesome and difficult to achieve. This novel could also be classifies as a coming-of-age or the outsiders tale, but the book never becomes a stereotypical telling of these devices. It’s unique and displays a lot of different techniques.
I give The Book Of Moons 5/5 stars. Id like to thank the author for reaching out to me and giving me a copy of the book to review, I enjoyed it immensely.
If you’d like to buy your own copy of The Book Of Moons click on this link, I will get a portions of the profits at no extra cost to you.