Years ago Julia brought college friend, Marney, home for summers. Julia’s family welcomed and entertained her at their summer home on the island of Edisto which is off the coast of South Carolina. Julia could not have known that her father, Charlie, would have an affair with Marney which led to his divorcing Julia’s mother, Mary Ellen. He and Marney married and had three children. Moon Over Edisto, by Beth Webb Hart is the story of the aftermath.
Julia left South Carolina and became a successful artist as well as a college instructor in New York City. She has an equally accomplished boy friend with whom she wants to have a family. Mary Ellen has learned to live with the divorce and her other daughter, Margaret, seems to have become the perfect wife and mother. Each in their own way bears deep scars as the result of the destruction of their family. Charlie dies unexpectedly leaving Marney to raise three young children. Sometimes all it takes is a single past event to change lives. Quite often the future is determined by a single event. Marney appears unannounced in New York City and tells Julia she has cancer and is going to have surgery. She insists Julia return to Edisto to take care of Marney’s children while she recuperates. There is no one else. Initially, Julia refuses. However, unforeseen circumstances bring Julia back to Edisto to care for her two half-sisters and half- brother for one week. Her return to Edisto is the catalyst to a new future.
The story is told from many different perspectives. The characters are presented as fragile, complex and totally believable. They are vividly brought to life. The author provides impeccable details of the scenery and food South Carolina is famous for. She skillfully places the reader into the novel. Can we ever go back home? How much can we forgive? This is a beautifully written book and provides a rewarding reading experience.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through BookSneeze and I give this review of my own free will.