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Playing with the Moon
by Eliza Graham | Literature & Fiction
Registered by chelseagirl of Faringdon, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Thursday, June 07, 2007
Average 8 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by KiwiinEngland): travelling


9 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by chelseagirl from Faringdon, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Thursday, June 07, 2007

This book has not been rated.

First novel from an Oxfordshire author. This book is being reviewed by BookCrossing members and the reviews will be published in the first issue of new local magazine Community Times In The Vale


Journal Entry 2 by cloggy from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Thursday, June 07, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Arrived safely. I'm looking forward to reading and reviewing it. 


Journal Entry 3 by cloggy from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Monday, June 11, 2007

7 out of 10

On a beach on the Dorset coast, Minna and her husband Tom, whose marriage is in trouble after the loss of their child, find skeletal remains which turn out to be of black American GI Lew Campbell. Minna starts to become intrigued by his death after she finds a picture of a cormorant, drawn by Lew, in the house they are renting for the summer. However, Graham’s first novel is more an exploration of the effect guilt has on people’s lives than a murder mystery.
Minna’s story is interwoven and intertwined with that of Felix. Felix, short for Felicity, was thirteen when she met Lew, and it is through her eyes that we find out what took place during that summer of ’43. Even though the voices of Minna and Felix could have been more contrasting, this way of writing works and Graham brings the past and the local area to life.
From the start, the emotional journey both women make feels realistic and Graham is sure-footed with this material. Minna’s depression is well described through her obsession with cooking food without eating it. Her quest to find out what happened to Lew Campbell forms an interesting metaphor for her need to find some reason in the death of her child. Similarly, Felix searches for Lew’s daughter as atonement for her treatment of Lew himself.
Towards the end of the novel, Graham ties certain strands up too neatly and unnecessarily explains what happened to some of the characters. However, that aside, this is a well written novel which gives insight in guilt and relationships and at the same time solves a mysterious death.
 


Journal Entry 4 by PurpleElephant from Glastonbury, Somerset United Kingdom on Thursday, June 14, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Book arrived this morning. Thanks very much Cloggy. Will get this read and reviewed over the weekend... 


Journal Entry 5 by PurpleElephant from Glastonbury, Somerset United Kingdom on Thursday, June 21, 2007

9 out of 10

Just finished this astounding book and have send my review to chelseagirl (let me know if it doesn't arrive)will post my thoughts here soon.. 


Journal Entry 6 by PurpleElephant from Glastonbury, Somerset United Kingdom on Sunday, July 01, 2007

9 out of 10

....'Shattered by a recent bereavement, Minna and husband Tom retreat to an isolated village on the Dorset coast, seeking the solitude that will allow them to cope with their loss and rebuild their foundering marriage. Walking on the beach one day, they unearth a human skeleton. It is a discovery which will plunge Minna into a mystery which will consume her for months to come. The remains are soon identified as those of Private Lew Campbell, a black American GI who, it seems, drowned during a wartime exercise in the area half a century before.Growing increasingly preoccupied with the dead soldier's fate, Minna befriends a melancholy elderly woman, Felix, who lived in the village during the war. As Minna coaxes Felix's story from her, it becomes clear that the old woman knows more about the dead GI than she initially let on. "Playing with the Moon" is an unforgettable novel about memory and loss, about the legacy of war, and the need to reconcile ourselves to our past in order to live with the present.’

This is one of the best books I’ve read so far this year. It twists and turns convincingly so that nothing is what it seems. The characters are compelling and the author makes you really care what happens to them. A fantastic book from a great new novelist. I will be keeping my eyes open for any more works that will be sure to come.

Chelseagirl has asked me to start a bookring for this book. It comes highly recommended from me. If you want to join then do not hesitate to pm me, stating mailing preferences..

List so far (order may change);

millycat UK/?
KiwiinEngland UK/UK
doodleali - UK/Anywhere
Beqi UK/UK
Chelseagirl UK/?
herrgirl UK/?
daemonwolf - Uk/anywhere
Inver - UK/Anywhere
jjlanes - Austrailia / Austrailia
freelunch Australia/Anywhere
starbrightxx USA/USA
gecko4ever USA/Anywhere

 


Journal Entry 7 by millycat from Northampton, Northamptonshire United Kingdom on Monday, August 06, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Arrived in the post today, thanks purple elephant. I''ve just got one other book ring book to finish then I''ll be straight onto this one. 


Journal Entry 8 by millycat from Northampton, Northamptonshire United Kingdom on Sunday, August 19, 2007

9 out of 10

I really enjoyed this & echo the very positive comments of the readers above. Two women, bith trying to come to terms with trauma and all the complicated feelings that surround it, are drawn together by the discovery of a skeleton on the Dorset coast. As they begin to explore the story of what happens, each is able to confide in the other and ultimately come to terms with what happened to them. I do think there are a few details that don''t ring true - how does a dog tag stay with a decapitated body in the sea, for example? But the gradual unfolding of the mystery as the two women are slowly able to voice what they have been through is fascinating. As the stories unfolded, I found myself more and more intrigued by the story. The process of healing from trauma is often long and difficult: for me, the ending of the book should see them taking the first tentative steps towards a new life.
Thankyou very much for sharing this, Purpleelephant - I am pm-ing KiwiinEngland again for her address. 


Journal Entry 9 by millycat at -- controlled release in -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom on Monday, August 20, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Released 7 yrs ago (8/20/2007 UTC) at -- controlled release in -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

Sending on to KiwiinEngland. 


Journal Entry 10 by wingKiwiinEnglandwing from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Tuesday, August 28, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Received from Millycat. Thanks for the lovely book mark. 


Journal Entry 11 by wingKiwiinEnglandwing from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Monday, September 03, 2007

8 out of 10

I enjoyed this book, and the well drawn out female characters.

The grieving process Minna was going through was well written, although she seemed to 'bounce back' rather quickly at the end. I really enjoyed how Felix let her story out little by little, and imaging how life was in a small village.

Thanks for sharing this book, it was a lovely read.

Posted 14 Sept 2007 


Journal Entry 12 by doodleali from Arnold, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Monday, September 17, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Received in the post today,will start reading tonight. 


Journal Entry 13 by doodleali from Arnold, Nottinghamshire United Kingdom on Thursday, September 20, 2007

8 out of 10

This story caught my imagination from page 1. Minna and Tom are staying in a cottage in Fontwell to recover from the tragic death of their son. Walking on the beach they discover the skeleton of Lew an American GI .Minna meets Felix who knew Lew and the two women gradually reveal their stories to each other.

An enjoyable read, will post on to Beqi at the weekend.

 


Journal Entry 14 by Beqi from Daventry, Northamptonshire United Kingdom on Monday, September 24, 2007

This book has not been rated.

This arrived safely this morning. Many thanks for sending it so quickly doodleali! Thanks also for the lovely bookstring :-) I'll start reading this straight away. 


Journal Entry 15 by Beqi from Daventry, Northamptonshire United Kingdom on Sunday, October 07, 2007

10 out of 10

I really enjoyed this book, and found my imagination was working overtime, imagining how Fontwell looked, and what life was like for the villagers during WW2. I loved Felix's character, although I don't know how she managed to live with all the guilt she felt she was to blame for! I can't wait to read more from Eliza Graham now. I googled her name and saw a very interesting article about the backstory for the book, which I found fascinating:

"About ten years ago I visited a small village on the south coast of England--Tyneham. Tyneham had been evacuated in 1943 so that Allied troops could use it for D-Day practice. The inhabitants had never been allowed to return, although the village and the surrounding countryside and coast had been opened to the public at certain times of the year.

I was spellbound. The village, with its gently decaying houses, cottages, church and manor house, seemed to reach out and pull me to itself. I stood in the schoolroom looking at the essays and pictures the village children had produced, describing seaside walks and rambles through the fields and I wondered what had happened to those boys and girls. What a sacrifice--to give up your home for a future Allied victory. Of course, there are many deserted villages in Europe. Some, like Oradour in France, were abandoned because everyone was murdered. In comparison Tyneham's fate was less cruel. But that, and the knowledge that many of the village's picturesquely decaying cottages were probably damp and cold to live in, didn't lessen Tyneham's impact on me. It seemed to haunt me.

Then I read--or saw--something about African-American GIs in Britain during WW2 and how many young British women were attracted to them, finding them gentle, humorous and kind boyfriends. My brain started to make connections between this and the fictional coast village I'd started to create in my imagination. What if you had to leave an adored childhood home but your emotions were mixed because something dreadful had happened there? What if that bad thing were a murder? What if, quite unreasonably as you were only a child, you held yourself partly responsible for what had happened?

Bang! I had the central conflicts I needed to start writing a novel. Playing with the Moon was born."

I recommend this book to all. I loved it.

I have Chelseagirl's address so I'll post this off tomorrow, Monday 8th October.
 


Journal Entry 16 by chelseagirl from Faringdon, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Thursday, October 18, 2007

This book has not been rated.

This arrived yesterday and I'm really looking forward to reading it (at last!) though i have a couple of books to get through first. 


Journal Entry 17 by chelseagirl from Faringdon, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Friday, November 09, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Wow, what a fantastic first novel. Believable character and a plotline with a few surprises along the way that kept me guessing. The descriptions of Fontwell were beautiful and vividly brought the deserted village to life.

I thoroughly enjoyed this and hope Eliza Graham will have a long and illustrious career!

I'll pass this on to Herrgirl this evening. 


Journal Entry 18 by herrgirl from Somewhere in Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Friday, November 09, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Passed on as intended, thanks. I'll start it after my current read. 


Journal Entry 19 by herrgirl from Somewhere in Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, November 21, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Excellent first novel with very strong characterisations, especially Felix and Minna. Two women, both with fascinating and sometimes harrowing stories to tell, and I loved the way that the stories were revealed so gradually, with twists and surprises along the way.

I have pm'd daemonwolf for her address. 


Journal Entry 20 by herrgirl from Somewhere in Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, November 21, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Daemonwolf has asked to be skipped, so I've PM'd inver. 


Journal Entry 21 by Inver from Aberdeen, Scotland United Kingdom on Thursday, November 29, 2007

This book has not been rated.

Arrived this morning. I'm afraid it will be well into the New Year before I get to this as I have 3 bookrings before I get to this. Apologies in advance for the hold up with this.

Started 3/1/08.....got me hooked from the first page. Think I am going to enjoy this one.
11/1/08 Loving it. 


Journal Entry 22 by Inver from Aberdeen, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, January 14, 2008

8 out of 10

In a word.....wonderful. The first book I have read this year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Took the characters to my heart immediately and was page turning from the beginning. I loved the way the book unfolded without giving in to the obvious because it just didn't happen. A few surprises were in store and completely held the book together. Minna's grieving process was completely understandable, but I did feel sorry for Tom on occasions. Felix went through a lot too, keeping secrets for all those years. For a first novel it was very well written and will look out for more. Thank you for letting me read and enjoy this book. Would definitely recommend to others.

Winging its way to jjlanes in Australia today. Posted surface mail 14/1/08

4/2/09.....did this book never get there....hope it didn't get lost once it left me!!! 


Journal Entry 23 by Inver from Aberdeen, Scotland United Kingdom on Tuesday, April 13, 2010

This book has not been rated.

Was there never any news of this book? Shame if it got lost. 


Journal Entry 24 by wingKiwiinEnglandwing from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Wednesday, April 14, 2010

This book has not been rated.

jjlanes is a book hoarder, she managed to get a fair number of books before disappearing out of bookcrossing.

jjlanes is now on the list of bookcrossers to beware of, which is run as part of the book ring/ray website. 




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