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An Original Novel of Hope that Transcends Genre and Language
on June 16, 2016
Born in 1892, Moojie is orphaned and abandoned as an infant into the care of the nuns of San Miguel de las Gaviotas. A childless couple, the Littlemans, adopt the crippled child, and all seems well in Moojie’s life as he finds himself loved by his new parents. His life changes drastically, however, when his mother is killed in an accident and his father is unable to cope with her loss. Moojie is sent to his maternal grandfather’s fainting goat dairy where he suffers under the opressive guardianship of the only relative willing to take care of him. While living and working on the farm, Moojie comes to meet the Light-Eaters, a mystical group of otherworldly beings living nearby whom his grandfather and the other villagers come to believe are native Hostiles. As Moojie slowly grows up, he continues to search for a family and a place to belong, and as he becomes close to the Light-Eaters he begins to see in them that potential. Only as tragedy strikes the village, and Moojie is given the choice of either following the desires of his own heart or sacrificing himself to save the innocent, he discovers that his first big step towards becoming a man includes accepting his own place within the mystical world he inhabits which results in his finding the family he has always sought.
Robin Gregory’s "The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman" stands as a potent reminder that literature has the capability of both telling a story and standing on its own two feet as a form of art. The book effectively transcends the usual limits of language as the wording of the narrative is vibrant, organic and alive. While many elements of the story and the protagonist are reminescent of classic orphan characters such as Dickens’ Pip and Oliver Twist or Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, the style in which the story is told, both the setting and structural prose, is more akin to the magical realism of García Márquez. Booksellers may try to categorize "The Improbable Wonders of Moojie Littleman" as Young Adult or Coming-of-Age, but this book should not be defined as a simple bildungsroman any more than it should be confined to being read only by the adolescent. Moojie inhabits a world not unlike our own, but Gregory writes with enough depth to properly draw readers of any age into another reality where improbable wonders and miracles of the soul truly do exist.