“The First Call
The green phone
on the wall in the hall
hardly ever rang.
Anyone who wanted to speak to Mom called her cell.
Sane with Angela.”
When 7 year old Joe answers the phone, he doesn’t expect to hear his brothers voice. 10 years his senior Ed has been gone a little while, and the news on the other end of the line is not good. Ed has been locked up, and they are convicting him of murder, he’s on death row. 10 years later Ed’s execution date has been set, and this might be the last summer they ever have together.
I have always been a fan of Sarah Crossan’s writing, from the minute I picked up the first book I read by her, The Weight of Water. I can’t quite believe that was 6 years ago, as that book is still etched into my brain for all of the right reasons.
Sarah Crossan isn’t like many other YA writers. He novels are written in prose, with a poem for each chapter, al telling different parts of the same story. Moonrise is very mush the same, with each part of the story told from Joe’s perspective, flashing between the present and the past seamlessly. The way Sarah Crossan writes is magical and means that there is no confusion anywhere about the time you are in, and the way the flashbacks sit nicely within the present.
Moonrise is not an easy book to read. Its not just about Ed’s execution but its about the relationship between Ed and Joe, and Joe and their mother, and Ed and their mother. Its about people’s relationship with God and how we can’t always believe the things we are told to believe. Its about trust and instinct and being born to the wrong people and in the wrong places.
Joe is a great narrator and has a passion and drive that is clear from the onset. The people he meets and the relationships he has with his family open your eyes to the type of people he is and I loved him from the start. Nell and Sue are the perfect small town characters, the exact kinda people you expect to meet in a town like Wakeling, Texas. One is itching to get out and the other is stuck going nowhere, but they are kind and loving people and thats all that matters.
Moonrise is not a nice, simple read. Like Crossan’s other books it makes you think about the way people are treated and the way they treat themselves. It makes you think about the life they have and how things could have been different if they were born to someone else, or if they were able to enjoy things more. I don’t think I’ve read a book by this author and not cried, and Moonrise was no exception to this. I bawled my eyes out and I can pretty much gaurantee I would again.
I can’t review this book without mentioning the beauty of its front cover. Moon is the surname of the two main characters, and remains a symbol throughout the book. The cover has a crescent moon shape cut out of it, with a picture of the moon on the inside. I love how when you have it closed, the character is looking out to the open plains of Texas, and on the inside cover the full moon hangs over the barbed wire of the prison. its symbolic and beautiful and sets the scene perfectly.
Moonrise was published in September 2017 by Bloomsbury. My copy was loaned from my local library.
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