Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist in Regional Fiction, Religious Fiction, and Best Cover Design
Named by BuzzFeed as one of Winter 2021's Most Anticipated Historical Fiction Books and Top 10 New Books To Add To Your Reading List!
It’s hot, Texas, and the year 1977. Jimmy Carter is in office.
The Walters are a good, churchgoing family who stand for holiness, purity, grace, and Christian love. Except when they don't.
Family patriarch and fanatic preacher, Victor Black, knows many things for sure, including the fact that abortion is murder and should be punishable by death--a position he defends live in a televised debate. Black’s youngest granddaughter, Stephanie Walters, sits in the front row wearing her frilly Sunday dress, listening carefully to every word.
But it doesn't take long for cracks to appear in the Walters upstanding family facade. Stephanie's mother, Lily, begins telling unsettling stories about having a baby who died, and her story keeps changing. It’s clear Lily has a secret--one that righteous Victor Black would kill her for if he knew. This family secret burns more than the lies . . .
From the Moon I WatchedHer is a coming-of-age tale about the skeletons that lurk under church pews and the little girl who goes looking for and finds them. Amid the dark and quirky terrain of camp revivals, burning crosses, and public shunnings, one child from the Southern Churches of Christ cries out.
Medley's intense coming-of-age debut details the damage mental illness and extreme religious beliefs inflict on one family. Narrator Stephanie Walters is five years old in 1977 Pasadena, Tex., where her maternal grandfather, Daddy Black, preaches at the Bayside Church of Christ and believes abortion should be punished by death. Stephanie is in awe of Black, as well as her "extra good Christian" father, banker and deacon Paul; her pretty mother, Lily; and her seven-year-old sister, Katherine, but her home life is upended after Lily pulls a gun on the family for opening a Christmas package sent to Lily by her uncle. Lily is admitted to a hospital for psychiatric care, and when she comes home after a brief spell, it's clear that, despite Paul's dismissiveness, there's some truth behind her conflicting stories about miscarrying a baby before they were married, which, if revealed, would undermine the family's dogma. Several years later, after Lily learns Paul's having an affair, Stephanie and Katherine are at risk of being "disfellowshipped" by their grandfather. Medley's shrewd view into small-town culture and religious hypocrisy brilliantly conveys Stephanie's conflicting emotions, loyalties, and behaviors as she becomes a teenager. This poignant story of loss and self-discovery shines by showing the human desires for truth, community, and love under a church's oppressive control.