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Forgive the Moon Paperback – June 1, 2002

18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Every year, Amanda Kincaid vacations on Long Island with her extended family. She's there again this year at the start of Maryanne Stahl's thoughtful if belabored novel Forgive the Moon, but things are different: her mother is dead, her husband has stayed at home in Atlanta and her college-age daughter is living with her boyfriend in Boston. Only her 10-year-old son, Damien, is still by her side as she mulls over her rocky relationship with her husband and her memories of her schizophrenic mother. A romance with a local doctor provides a bit of relief, but Stahl doesn't let her protagonist slip into an easy happy ending.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


"Forgive The Moon" ...left me staring into space, thinking deeply of my own family, my relationships, my wounds and forgiveness. -- Beverly Jackson, Literary Potpourri

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: NAL Trade (June 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451206339
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451206336
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,740,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Susan O'Neill on June 29, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved this book. Maryanne Stahl has a style and expertise that raise this story of a woman trying to find her place in the world well above the simple romance it could have been. The protagonist's personal struggles--with her flagging marriage, a lover, her role as mother (and potential mother, because she might be pregnant), and the realization of her talents as a musician--are skillfully intercut with scenes from a childhood tempered by the mental illness of her mother. There is much going on here, and yet the book is a quick read. Almost too quick; I was sorry to put it down when I'd finished it.
Sue O'Neill
Author: Don't Mean Nothing: Stories of Viet Nam
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By newenglandreader on June 12, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Maryanne Stahl tells a story the way we live it, in calm moments, quiet whispers, slices of memories. She presents a complicated life without relying on melodrama or a loud writing voice. Her voice is understated; it has no ego. She removes herself so we can see a family, one not too different from any family. In this way (at least for me) the book becomes a generic journey for all of us, particularly women who are pulled by maternal strings, creative urges and sexual longings.
Amanda, the protagonist, struggles with neglect. It has haunted her all of her life. Her recently deceased mother was a schizophrenic, and her presence throughout Amanda's life was diaphanous. Her husband has grown distant and may be having an affair. Her cherished daughter has left the nest. And on top of all of this, Amanda thinks she may be pregnant.
The setting is the Long Island beach where Amanda's family gathers for their annual family vacation. The story flows seamlessly, moving in and out of time gradually so that we gather the complicated pieces of history as we watch the family interact in the present. The mood is sensual, earthy, and peaceful, like Amanda who finds her comfort in the natural order of life-- the ocean, the fertile soil, the innocent animals.
Ms Stahl plants the reader like a seed, with fine detail, allowing imagery to help her speak to us, and it does. By the end we understand more than Amanda and her family. We learn about how one evolves, rejuvenates and finds answers in a life that is like that ocean--complex, teaming with hidden, interconnecting lives, fluid and forgiving, yet tumultuous and unforgiving at times. But always, always demanding respect.
A great read. Thoughtful. It will fly by, but take time to read it and think.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Annie on January 30, 2006
Format: Paperback
Every summer Amandas extended family spends a week at the beach together. This year, things are a bit different though. Her mother died one week after last years vacation, she is on a trial separation from her husband, her daughter did not come because she just moved in with her boyfriend, and Amanda thinks she may be pregnant.

While in Mantauk, Amanda begins to rethink her life and where its been and is going. She also meet a man that instantly takes her breath away and makes her feel like a woman again.

Forgive the Moon is a beatifully written story about love, family, and dealing with your past.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
The publisher insults the reader on the front page with the slogan "Fiction For The Way We Live." (Who's we?) But if you're willing to ignore the publisher's silly marketing, this book is worth the purchase price, and then some. The prose is clear, polished, and unpretentious, and the characters are richly drawn and compelling. Unfortunately, the narrator tends to whine now and then, and I did wish she'd get off her duff and DO something, rather than just reflect on her circumstances and let fate have its way. Also, part of the plot turns on the actions of a mysterious woman who is characterized as an aging hippie-feminist a la Pinkola-Estes, all crystals and myths, which is an unfortunate stereotype indeed. Nonetheless, it's a good read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Richard Lewis on October 2, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fairness disclosure: I am an internet acquaintance of Maryanne Stahl's and value our cyber relationship. I would not be posting this if I had a poor opinion of FORGIVE THE MOON. But on the other hand, I have nothing to gain by falsely puffing her novel.
I live in Indonesia and ordered FORGIVE THE MOON from Amazon. If I'd been an anonymous bookshop browser (which is, alas, a delight mostly unavailable here), I doubt I would have taken the novel to the cashier. Where's the dead body? The buried treasure? The sweep of history and the imagination of fantasy? In other words, a quick scan would have told me that this was not the sort of novel that I normally enjoy reading (ahem -- that doesn't mean I'm a literary philistine, either). But circumstances (friendship, I bought it anyway, I was on a extended boat trip with only a few books, etc. ) forced me to read it. And I realized when I finished that those precious few times I have been in bookstores, browsing, I have passed up some excellent, excellent novels simply because of snap judgments.
FORGIVE THE MOON quickly drew me into its web of troubled family relationships by its superb writing, its acute observations, and its layering of everyday details that by themselves would be mostly mundane if not outright boring. But the way the author handles them, a world became alive to me that was, in its way, as vividly rendered as, say, Frodo's in the LORD OF THE RINGS. In the end, I was so caught up in Amanda's life that I was quite upset by the ultimate choices she made. But that's good -- that's a sign of living literature.
If you think that "Fiction For The Way We Live" (the publisher's blurb on the cover) is not for you, then live adventurously and give FORGIVE THE MOON a lunar shot.
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