Crying for the Moon

Crying for the Moon

A Novel

Book - 2017
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"A page-turner with an indelible heroine." --Ann-Marie MacDonald

Canadian actor, comedian and social activist Mary Walsh explodes onto the literary scene with this unforgettable story of a young woman coming of age in late 1960s Newfoundland

Raised on tough love in St. John's, Maureen is the second-youngest daughter of a bitter and angry mother and a beaten-down father who tells the best stories (but only when he's drunk). If life at home is difficult, then school is torture, with the nuns watching every move she makes. But Maureen wants a bigger life. She wants to go to sexy, exciting Montreal and be part of Expo 67, even if it means faking her way into the school choir.

Finally achieving her goal of reaching Montreal, Maureen escapes the vigilant eye of Sister Imobilis and sneaks away, and over the course of a few hours, one humiliating encounter with a young Leonard Cohen and a series of breathtakingly bad decisions change the course of her life forever.

A riotous and heart-rending journey from St. John's to Montreal and back, Mary Walsh's dazzling debut novel is darkly hilarious but also paints a very real portrait of the challenges of being young and female and poor in 1960s Newfoundland. Crying for the Moon explores the many ways in which one day can reverberate through a lifetime.

Publisher: Toronto, Ontario :, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781443410366
1443410365
Branch Call Number: F WL NVD
Characteristics: 327 pages ; 24 cm

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v
vancouverville
Jul 03, 2018

I suppose readers wanting a laugh may be disappointed with this book, though it certainly has some amusing moments and dialogue. I was totally captured by it. I think the story could have been reality for some women at the time during which it's set. I know women who gave up their babies at this time were shamed and not given the choice to raise their own child. And the self-loathing following that is understandable. I really liked the main character Maureen. She's disadvantaged, deeply flawed, but spirited and smart and I was rooting for her.

d
DruC
Jun 21, 2018

This novel is sometimes described as a comedy. In my opinion it is written with a wryness typical of Mary Walsh's comedic performances, but it is not a comedy. The thing is, this is close to real life for some people. The dialogue with the Maureen the main character is insightful and as 'navel gazing' literature goes, this is definitely one of the better offerings. Walsh is not the most accomplished novelist, but the book is very readable and insightful. Worth a read.

m
marypoelstra
Apr 04, 2018

I don't consider myself to have had a very difficult life, but I found myself nodding, laughing and crying along with Crying For the Moon. Honestly, the murder mystery stuff was the least interesting part of the story. Maureen's inner dialogue is the self-conscious, self-destructive, irrational, immature stream of consciousness of an abused teenaged alcoholic -- obviously, exactly what Walsh was going for. The story is rough and hard to read in places but not hopelessly dark. In fact (and no spoilers here), I thought parts of the story, particularly the ending, were happier than they would be in a true story.

The fact is, whether we've experienced all the sorrow Maureen has, the experiences Walsh describes touch the lives of all women, either directly or in stories from women we love. Dating violence, unwanted sex, pregnancy and the agony of forced adoption, as well as substance abuse and general teenage insecurities are things women rarely speak about in public, but shape our lives over generations. When we break our silence, we ease the pain by sharing the burden.

Crying For the Moon is a gem I'll be happy to share with my friends and read again myself. I'm glad I am no longer in the emotional place Maureen spends the novel in, but it's not unfamiliar and I hope this novel can give women in Canada and wherever else it is read the comfort of not being alone and the hope for change.

s
scloutier
Oct 28, 2017

Contrary to those who prefer to read with rose coloured glasses, I read this book to the end.Although I must admit, at one point, I too was getting a little tired of the rough talk, I felt it was realistic for far too many young girls to this day and a story that needs to be told for a whole variety of reasons. I would definitely recommend reading this book all the way to the surprise ending. I give it 4 stars.

s
slkirk
Oct 11, 2017

After hearing Mary Walsh on CBC talking about this book, I was really looking forward to reading it. Major disappointment! As another reviewer commented, I could not finish this and was wondering what other possible traumas and indignities could happen to Maureen, the main character. Stick to comedy writing, Mary!

i
Ireadalot2
Aug 11, 2017

Disgusting. I feel awful for anyone who's life is anywhere like this.

Dysfunctional family, community and an angry adolescent who never seems to get out of this hell hole. The dust jacket said it was sometimes funny. I failed to see the humour. It rates up there with "Mercy for the Children" and "Fall on your Knees" that Canadiana genre of hopeless stories of life in east cost rural villages.

r
rodraglin
Jun 29, 2017

A dreary, tawdry series of events lacking in motivation

Maureen comes from a working class family in St John's, Newfoundland. She's a senior in a Catholic parochial high school.

Even though she can't sing she fakes her way into the school choir so she can travel as part of the group to Montreal and perform at Expo '67, the world's fair taking place there in 1967.

As soon as she arrives, her and a girlfriend go AWOL and hit the Montreal nightlife. Before you can say " G'wan with cha" she gets drunk and wakes up in a strange hotel room having lost her virginity as well as her girlfriend.

Evidently not big deal.

She goes back to the hotel, don't know that she ever performs at Expo, but the next night is out looking for her girlfriend in the same bars and has sex with another, more or less anonymous guy all the while not enjoying it one bit, which makes this reader wonder why she does it?

Not wanting to hang around with someone she hardly knows she ends up at yet another bar, gets dead drunk and has sex with an "old man".

Back home and back at Catholic school in St. John's she throws up on a nun's habit and is announced pregnant and kicked out of school. Her mother, the "Sarge" tells her she isn't going to sit around so she gets a part time job in a discount store where all the other employees hate her.

There's more, but none of it has any motivation, there's little character development - it is just one grim situation after another.

Why would a "good" girl attending a Catholic school, suddenly go on a sex and drinking binge just because she's away from home?

I never found out because I abandoned Crying for the Moon after three chapters. Blame it on a really unsympathetic character and an inability to suspend disbelief.

This is a good example of a "celebrity book". The publisher knows the author's fame in other endeavours, in this case Mary Walsh being somewhat of an comic icon in Canada, will sell enough books to make a profit.

Maybe stick to comedy, Mary, or was this book supposed to be a joke and I just didn't get it?

l
ljnewton
Jun 17, 2017

A picture of growing up in an alcoholic, abusive environment that the protagonist perpetuates in her own life. Maybe realistic, but I don't see the point. I found it hard to follow the characters and the story line seemed inconsequential. Certainly not a humorous book.

s
sallyblyth
Jun 12, 2017

I was very disappointed in this book. I guess I'm used to better writing and more poetic language from Newfoundland writers. Could not empathize with the main character at all. The story seemed forced.

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