Two teenage girls find unexpected love and confront homophobia in this Lambda Literary Award–winning novel from the author of Annie on My Mind.
An aspiring actress, Jan is sure she’ll get the lead role in her high school’s production of The Crucible—so she’s shocked when the part goes to a new student named Kerry. Even though she’s hurt and disappointed, Jan can’t imagine not being part of the production and accepts the position of stage manager.
As she begins to work with the cast, Jan and Kerry develop a friendship that soon grows into something more, which doesn’t go unnoticed by the arrogant male lead, Kent. When Kent spreads rumors throughout the whole school, Jan and Kerry become the center of another kind of witch hunt—one that threatens to destroy their new relationship and their self-worth.
Good Moon Rising is a moving novel anyone can relate to—“a story of the outrages heaped on any teenager suspected of being different” (Kirkus Reviews).
A lesbian romance takes center stage as a high school mounts a production of The Crucible in this sensitive if not altogether convincing drama. Jan begins her senior year with her confidence primed from years of starring roles and a stint in summer stock; she is stunned when a new girl, Kerry, gets the lead in the play and she herself is made the assistant to Mrs. Nicholson, the drama teacher. Her anger and jealousy evaporate quickly as she and Kerry get to know each other and discover a powerful mutual attraction. And when Mrs. Nicholson withdraws due to grave illness, Jan realizes the teacher has been preparing her to step in as director. Trouble arises in the form of Kent, the male lead, who is unaccountably homophobic and who appropriates the anti-witch rhetoric of Crucible characters to start a campaign against Jan and Kerry. Garden's descriptions of teenagers confronting their gay sexuality are just as affecting and candid here as in her Annie on My Mind, but the book as a whole is less successful. The author takes shortcuts in characterizing the supporting cast, rendering them as fairly predictable types rather than individuals: the faithful friend, the quaint maiden aunt, the flamboyant retired actress. Kent in particular is underdeveloped; as a result, parallels between the hysterical witch-hunting of the play and Kent's anti-gay malice seem programmatic rather than provocative. Ages 12-up.