The Half Moon
Momma Leighellen's Book Review
“Are you happy? Do you ever want something else?”
“Something else? What are my choices?”
Mary Beth Keane has done it again!
The author of Ask Again, Yes is back with another poignant look at marriage. This time around we follow a man named Malcolm, owner of a local pub named The Half Moon, and his wife Jess, a successful lawyer struggling with infertility issues.
These two come from different backgrounds and had very different dreams early on, but when she winds up pregnant they marry and hope to make it work. Hope is never a good strategy and as the years go on, they both harbor hurts towards the other about where they have ended up. Each wonders what would have been different had they made different choices.
This is a slow, thoughtful look at the small paper cuts that begin the shredding of a marriage. There is no big “aha moment’ of drama, but more of a realistic daily breakdown. As the story goes back and forth between their present day problems and their early issues and milestones, we learn how her choice to endure years of infertility drained their savings and patience, and how his insistence on doing whatever it takes to keep the struggling bar afloat slowing pulls them apart. Keane nails the marital tensions, grievances, and ways we bend for those we love.
“‘Almost too late’ is another way to say ‘just in the knick of time’.”
At under 300 pages, it’s a short but powerful book that breaks your heart but leaves you hopeful. Thanks to Simon Audio #partner and Libro FM #partner, I listened to the audiobook and the two narrators were perfect. The voice of Malcolm had a gravely tone, perfect for the local bartender and Jess was sharp and tight, like I imagine a strategic lawyer would sound.
CW: Infertility, miscarriage
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