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Man in the Blue Moon Hardcover – August 17, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Michael Morris is one of my favorite Southern writers..Man in the Blue Moon is a beautifully wrought portrayal of small town Southern life where poverty, tragedy, and human love engage in a ritualistic dance...one of the best portraits of a small Southern town I've ever encountered.." -    Pat Conroy

"A Place Called Wiregrass and Slow Way Home were both showered with critical acclaim. His 2004 novella Live Like You Were Dying was a finalist for the Southern Book Critics Circle Award...Look for Man in the Blue Moon to eclipse them all." (Florida Times Union)

Morris (Slow Way Home) has crafted a magical and mesmerizing page-turner rooted in hardscrabble Florida during WWI, based in part on a true family story. Ella Wallace is scrambling to keep her three sons and herself from the poorhouse after her opium-addicted husband vanishes. She owns a piece of land that reptilian banker Clive Gillespie, a spurned former suitor, would love to have, and he has leverage in the form of a mortgage on the property. But Ella finds an unexpected ally in her husband’s cousin Lanier Stillis, who arrives in unorthodox fashion and has some unusual talents, and the two collaborate until Lanier’s past catches up with him in a Shakespearean blaze of climactic action. Morris’s narrative is subtle and supple, with overtones of the wry Southernisms of Flannery O’Connor, the rural Florida backdrop of Their Eyes Were Watching God, and a good helping of powerful and mysterious faith. Book clubs should devour this rich, carefully observed mix of characters, time, and place; Morris deserves to break out of the regional-writer box. - Publishers Weekly

The reader may hear echoes of Harper Lee . . . or of Flannery O’Connor’s Southern grotesques . . . or even of Huck Finn. . . . But Morris has his own voice and his own story, and he tells it with uncommon skill and compassion. -Washington Post


Michael Morris is a wonderful writer with a unique gift—he can break your heart and mend it, all in the same sentence. (Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author)

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; First Edition edition (August 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414373309
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414373300
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,603,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Man in the Blue Moon is Michael Morris' fourth novel and it was named a Best Book of 2012 by Publishers Weekly. He is also the author of the award winning novel, A Place Called Wiregrass, and Slow Way Home, named one of the best novels of the year by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the St. Louis Dispatch. His novella, Live Like You Were Dying, was a finalist for the Southern Book Critics Circle Award. A fifth-generation native of rural Florida, he currently resides in Alabama.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I now have a new favorite author and his name is Michael Morris. The reason is the book Man in the Blue Moon. In the story we meet Ella Wallace. She was young when she met a wonderful charming man (Harlan) that her Aunt did not like. So what did she do ,she threw away an education and married this man after all she was in love, fast forward he leaves her with three children one that is sick and a load of debt on her family property. She is forced to work in a time when most women did not. She was left with a clock bought by her scoundrel of a husband that she is hoping will save her the loss of her family home and business. Now this clock bought by Harlan Wallace is not just any clock but you will have to read to find out more.
We also meet Lanier Stillis he is a man on a mission, he is leaving his home town because he is being accused of something he did not do. The two cross paths and make this story fun. The author starts this book as a sad drama but he makes you laugh throughout the book and it changes. I loved this book. It is set in the panhandle of Florida and the way the author writes, he truly takes you there to the town of Dead Lakes and it is like you know these characters. His writing style makes you picture the story so well that you just can't put his book down. This book has a little of this and a little of that for those who like a little who done it with a southern flare, a lot of drama, a little comedy and a lot of fun in reading a book.
I just could not put this one down. I wanted to see what was happening and I wanted to be there. I will be getting Michael Morris's other novels to read. I did receive a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers for my honest review. If you want to read more on this author Michael Morris you find it at
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Format: Paperback
"Man in the Blue Moon" captivated the soul of this 'Southern belle' from the first page. Morris was successful in focusing on the theme of tolereance throughtout the story.

Whether it was the author's gifted talent of weaving southern realism among his characters, or his craft of giving such vivid descriptions of the north Florida settings; I got lost in this tale and couldn't put it down. The strength and hidden humor described in the female characters was personally inspiring for me... hinting at the spirits of my own ancestors. The intrigue over the 'unknown' journey is powerful and begs the reader to seek out the answers.

This is a book for everyone, as it reminds us that during our (present) challenging economic times, those before us persevered under much more devastating circumstances. Michael Morris is a writer that never lets us down with his stories. He delivers 'southern grit' along with our beloved back porch humour.

Order it, but please be warned... clear your calendar in advance, because once you pour your sweet tea, open the first chapter and start reading.. the spell of "Man in the Blue Moon" will take you over too!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Ella Wallace's opium addicted husband Harlan has left her to raise their three children on her own in the small Florida Panhandle town of Dead Lakes, outside of Apalachicola. Harlan has also left Ella deep in debt, and she struggles to run a country store and pay the mortgage before the bank forecloses on the family's property. The property has a valuable spring filled with cypress and pine, and local banker Clive Gillespie, a greedy and unscrupulous man, teams up with a shady evangelist to hatch a deceptive scheme to take the property away from Ella. Just when it looks like Ella is about to lose her family's property, a mysterious man named Lanier Stillis, who has a gift of healing powers, shows up and offers to help Ella save her property. When the townsfolk learn of Lanier's special healing powers and his living with Ella, his past catches up with him, and sends the town into an uproar with events that will change their lives forever.

Man in the Blue Moon is an intriguing Southern Fiction story that has a mystical quality that is guaranteed to hold you captive. Written in the third person narrative, the author masterfully weaves a tale of a family's struggle to survive heartbreak, betrayal, and deception while finding redemption. Set in the 1918 Florida Panhandle, this riveting story has enough drama, suspense, betrayal and mystical ingredients to keep you guessing as you turn the pages. Rich in details and vivid descriptions, the author easily transports the reader to the turn of the century Florida, engaging the reader to experience the mystical springs, the pull of the cypress trees growing in the swamps, and the sway of the Spanish moss that hangs from the trees.

The author has created a cast of quirky characters that leap off the pages.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Just a couple of years ago, I was browsing in a bookstore and found a Michael Morris book titled "A Place Called Wiregrass". Well written books about Alabama and the South are my favorite reads, so the book came home with me. I finished it and loved it so much that I searched out and read everything Mr. Morris had published. They were all good. Very good.
A new book by Michael Morris, "Man in the Blue Moon", was released recently. I ordered it from Amazon as soon as it was offered for sale, and tried not to be impatient until it came. It was so worth the wait.
I have never been to Apalachicola, Florida, but after reading this book, I feel like I know the people and area so well that I could be at home there. Set in late World War I, the book leads us through hard-time struggles intensified by the ignorance and harshness that was a part of everyday living in that time and place. It demonstrates the power of family and friends who bond together to do what has to be done.
This book will make you laugh, cry, get extremely angry, and be awed by the strength of the characters. There's some folklore, some magic, and some unforgettable people. I hope you will read it, experience it, and appreciate it as much as I did.
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