Botanist Alfred Homer, ever hopeful and constantly surprised, is invited on a road trip by his parents’ friend, Professor Morgan Bruno, who wants company as he tries to unearth the story of the mysterious poet John Skennen. But this is no ordinary road trip. Alfred and the Professor encounter towns where Black residents speak only in sign language and towns that hold Indigenous Parades; it is a land of house burnings, werewolves, and witches. Complete with Alfred’s drawings of plants both real and implausible, Days by Moonlight is a Dantesque journey taken during the “hour of the wolf,” that time of day when the sun is setting and the traveller can’t tell the difference between dog and wolf. And it asks that perpetual question: how do we know the things we know are real, and what is real anyway?
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Days by Moonlight is a waking dream of a novel that teeters between fiction and poetry. Reeling from multiple losses, botanist Alfred Homer embarks on a literary quest with a professor who’s in search of a long-lost poet. While the journey is literal, it’s also a trek through grief’s layers—and a look at Canada’s fragmented identity. As his characters pass through small towns in a stylized Ontario, author André Alexis introduces curious local rituals anchored in race and culture—like places where black people observe distinct rules around speaking, or where sexuality is a museum curiosity. We were swept up in this languid philosophical journey.