When I started doing reviews, I only wanted to get the word out about the quality indie books I found. It was a natural that I would read our fellow Boomers and Books stories, but I did not intend to review every one of them. What a delight then, when I opened a book by the last of our author members I had not read and knew from the first paragraph I would enjoy it.
In Perigee Moon, our hero, Luke, is just the sort of decent, likeable guy who should end up married to a nice girl and they have a nice family and live happily ever after. He should do that, but he doesn’t. Instead a girl who is not very nice gets her hooks into him and won’t let go. She uses her feminine wiles to catch him up in her dream, tricking him into marriage. Her dream becomes his nightmare and he finds himself at middle age wondering how it is he has allowed himself to come so far away from who he is.
Having not led a conventional life with just one job or one career for thirty or so years, I have often admired those who can do that. This book makes me glad of my choices, well chronicling a nice guy plodding along and doing the jobs expected of him, producing three kids and a dog, a job in IT he no longer cares for, and a dead marriage.
Luke begins escaping by taking up astronomy. He buys a telescope, walking late at night, gazing at the moon and stars and somehow finding meaning in them. One night he decides to stay up and watch a Perigee moon. A Perigee full moon appears much bigger than a normal full moon and this is a Supermoon, an irregular phenomenon with occasionally over a decade between occurrences. He asks his wife to join him, knowing she would not but hoping for it anyway.
That night something changes in Luke and he resolves it is time to end the marriage. But as much as the reader is cheering him on and would like to see him take immediate action, indeed sometimes shouts at him to grow a pair already, he determines he will wait until his youngest daughter leaves home. He begins studying the deep philosophical questions and that gets him through the remaining years.
When the break does finally come, Luke goes on for a while in his dead-end job until one day he finally snaps and just packs up and leaves. He falls into a new job which keeps him outside and working with his hands and slowly he begins to pick up the pieces of his life.
Throughout the book, Luke has been thinking back to a girl from school named Abby he once had a crush on; star-crossed lovers who seem always destined to be apart. He finally meets up with her at a school reunion and discovers the spark is still there. But his ex has broken up with her latest fling, and his precious youngest daughter has always harbored thoughts of her parents reuniting. She encourages the ex to reunite with Luke. Luke is conflicted.
You will have to read the book (and I highly recommend you do), to discover if Luke finally ‘grows a pair’, or will he drift back into old habits because he wants to please his daughter and it would be the easy thing to do…
The author has a unique writing style all her own which I rather enjoyed. The first half of the book plods along, paralleling the pace of the first half of Luke’s life, and is written in third person, past tense. The last half flows smoothly into third person, present tense. This artifice worked very well for the story.
This is the second book in a row I read which was written by a woman with a male lead, not an easy feat but well done in both cases. Kudos to the author.
All in all a satisfying coming-of-middle-age Boomer book which would be enjoyed by all ages.