The New Moon's Arms
ISBN: 9780446576918 Global Overview for this book
2 journalers for this copy...
I would say it is a coming-of-age story except that the person who is coming into her own is a 50ish woman going through menopause. However, now that I think about it, we don't necessarily become "adults" at a certain age and, for that matter, some of us never do.
As the story opens Calamity Lambkin is attending the funeral of her father. But rather than sobbing into a tissue, Calamity is hiding behind her father's casket, suffering what she'll eventually, though reluctantly, have to acknowledge is a menopausal "hot flash" while at the same time trying to keep from busting a gut laughing and have everyone notice such inappropriate behaviour. It seems that one of the mourners has her panties around her ankles and is trying surreptitiously, but unfortunately unsuccessfully, to escape from the tangle. I can't remember a funnier beginning to a novel.
When Calamity was a child, and when her name was actually Chastity, she had this magical ability to find lost things. That power left her though as she entered puberty and her mother disappeared. Now, as the aforementioned mourner trips and sprains her ankle, Calamity finds a lost gold pin that had been a gift to her from her mother. Seems the pin had been holding up the lady's ample frillies.
And so it is that her magical power returns to her. When Calamity has a "power surge" and her two webbed fingers start to tingle something lost turns up. A plate. A tree. A whole orchard and, amazingly, a child. This child, whom she found washed up on the shore, close to death, speaks a language she cannot understand and has some physical abnormalities including scaly patches on the inside of his legs and webbed fingers. He belongs to a race of sea-people - the existence of which may be myth, although there seems to be plenty of people who believe they are real. Believing that the boy's parents have died, Calamity decides she wants to foster the child.
Being a woman of a certain age myself, I was quick to like Calamity - I empathized with her chagrin in having a group of teen girls look through her as if she did not exist, I chuckled at her desire to be seen as having it together only to be dismayed when her car breaks down, the heel falls off her shoe, and ends up having to borrow money from a presumably together former classmate because she forgot she spent the last few cents she had in her wallet and got on the bus without any money. At first I rather admired her feisty pride. But as I got to know Calamity I liked her less. This pride of hers was quite hurtful to other people including, ultimately, herself. She managed to alienate virtually everyone important in some way or another - notably her own daughter, as well as her daughter's father (her childhood best friend) because he was gay and found happiness with someone other than her.
Perhaps because I was first drawn to Calamity, I really wanted her to do right as a woman, to grow up, to fix things for herself. I was not disappointed. All in all this was a delightful, funny and quite magical book.
This is my 21st book by a female Canadian author read for The 2nd Canadian Book Challenge, Eh?
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
You'll find this book by a Canadian author in the safekeeping of Aurora Bear Ealis, "Shimmering Lights" Bear at the corner of Assiniboine and Kennedy.
It was released for the Canada Day release challenge running this year from June 20 to July 1 in celebration of Canadian Books and authors.
And as the cover art features the shimmering waters of the Caribbean, it was also released for week #25 of the Never Judge a Book by its Cover release challenge. This week's theme is water in the cover art.
I hope the finder enjoys this book as much as I did. Happy Canada Day!