The Half Moon
Named a Most Anticipated Book of the Year by Vogue, Entertainment Weekly, BookPage, LitHub and more
“I adored this compelling, touching, exquisitely crafted story about a marriage in crisis.” —Liane Moriarty, New York Times bestselling author of Big Little Lies
From the bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes, a masterful novel about a couple in a small town who must navigate the complexities of marriage, family, and longing.
Malcolm Gephardt, handsome and gregarious longtime bartender at the Half Moon, has always dreamed of owning a bar. When his boss finally retires, Malcolm stretches to buy the place. He sees unquantifiable magic and potential in the Half Moon and hopes to transform it into a bigger success, but struggles to stay afloat.
His smart and confident wife, Jess, has devoted herself to her law career. After years of trying for a baby, she is facing the idea that motherhood may not be in the cards for her. Like Malcolm, she feels her youth beginning to slip away and wonders how to reshape her future.
Award-winning author Mary Beth Keane’s new novel takes place over the course of one week when Malcolm learns shocking news about Jess, a patron of the bar goes missing, and a blizzard hits the town of Gillam, trapping everyone in place. With a deft eye and generous spirit, Keane explores the disappointments and unexpected consolations of midlife, the many forms forgiveness can take, the complicated intimacy of small-town living, and what it means to be a family.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The Half Moon is a heartbreaking domestic drama about what we do when our lives don’t measure up to our dreams. A winter storm has rolled through the small New York town of Gillam, leaving it like estranged couple Malcolm and Jess’ marriage: cold, lonely, and lacking electricity. Jess has gotten the law career she wanted, but years of fruitless fertility treatments have left her questioning everything. Malcolm now owns the bar he’s worked at for decades, but it’s running out of money…and the cops are asking him about a patron’s strange disappearance. Author Mary Beth Keane—whose previous book, Ask Again, Yes, was another staff favorite—has a brilliant eye for small, telling details, and so much empathy for people navigating life’s disappointments. This is a novel that will both warm and break your heart.
Keane (Ask Again, Yes) takes a nuanced look at a troubled marriage during a fraught week of blizzards and power outages in a predominantly Irish New York City suburb. "Handsome and charming" Malcolm Gephardt, 45, finally recognizes that "middle age is looming," and that the Half Moon, the bar he owns, is in dire straits. His wife, Jess, an attorney, left him several months earlier, having been worn out by seven years of failed fertility treatments and discouraged by Malcolm's refusal to include her in financial decisions. He has held out hope that Jess will come back, until he learns she's involved with a fellow lawyer who has three young children. Keane surrounds her main characters with a crew of nosy people who regularly check in on Malcolm ("part of him suspected these friends, grown men, all in their mid-forties, loved the excuse to leave their families on a Saturday afternoon"), and livens the proceedings with juicy subplots about a shady loan with terms enforced by even shadier goons, the mysterious disappearance of a bar patron, and Malcolm's mother, who, unbeknownst to Malcolm, has been carrying on an affair with the neighbor who plows her driveway. Keane pulls off a quiet, contemplative novel about the dwindling time for second chances.
The half moon
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