Strawberry Moon by Joy M. Lilley.
The Patterson family leaves the U.K. to begin a new life in France. St Severin, in the Dordogne, provides the backdrop for the family’s new home and all of the life-changing obstacles they are about to encounter. Maisie, who is almost seventeen, narrates this unpredictable story.
Maisie struggles as she experiences the changes of coming of age, the pain of loss, and the rollercoaster ride of competing love interests. Maisie’s older brother, Dan, rebels over the move and frequently threatens to return to England when his studies are over. Dan starts an affair with a married French woman. After a few months in France, he goes missing which begins to unravel the family. What starts as an exciting move becomes more difficult with each passing chapter. Maisie is left navigating this complicated new world, all while trying to plan the rest of her adult life.
Review by Amazon Customer: “This is literally the first “coming of age” story I’ve read in my life, and I must say I really liked it, especially because of the murder mystery elements, which just happens to be my favorite genre. With its relatable characters and fast pace, it was an easy and enjoyable read, perfect for a relaxing summer day on the beach. I wonder if the author decides to turn this into a series (or at least writes a sequel) and let us know what happens to Maisie later in her life. I’d eagerly read that!”
Review by D.L. Finn: 4.0 out of 5 Stars. This story held my interest until the last page. September 20, 2019, Format: Kindle Edition. “Sixteen-year-old Maisie and her family move from the U.K. to France for her father’s work. I loved where they lived, the culture, and the countryside surrounding their community. It drew me into that part of the book. The house they move into is run down with part of the roof missing. The family makes the best of it, but tragedy strikes when her brother disappears. The story moved at a faster pace after Maisie’s brother went missing. Although there was a mystery, I found the aftermath of that event more dominate for Maisie and her family. Maisie seemed rather mature for her age, but she was strong-willed and as confused as a teenager would be. I rooted for her but didn’t fully connect with her until halfway through. I liked some subjects covered, including alcoholism and drinking and driving. “Strawberry Moon” crossed the line once, at least for me as a YA read, along with a reaction that I wished had more reflection on Maisie’s part. Still, this story held my interest until the last page. I’m hoping there’s a second book to resolve all those unanswered questions.”
Review by Chris: 5.0 out of 5 Stars. Murder mystery meets coming of age story. April 19, 2019, Format: Paperback. “Really enjoyed this novel! The author has a gift for describing scenery and presenting real characters, flaws and all. It’s a unique murder mystery where there is less focus on the “who did it” and more focus on how a family copes and moves on. And great cover!”
Paperback: 285 Pages
Publisher: Independently Published (April 6, 2019)
Adult Readers: Fiction (Coming of Age)
Message from Author Joy M. Lilley: “Hello, my name is Joy Gerken, pen name Joy M. Lilley.
I write, blog and was a trained nurse all my working life, until I retired in 2015.
My first novel is titled “Figs, Vines and Roses” a tale of love and loss at the turn of the nineteenth century.
My second novel is called ‘The Liberty Bodice’. This is a completely different genre to the first novel and follows the trials and tribulations of a young girl working for the Special Operations Executive (S.O.E) in W.W.2.
You can also find my short story ‘Lost and Found’ published in Liphar short stories Vol 1. (Liphar short stories) by Liphar magazine.
In 2016 my novella ‘Times Pendulum Swings Again’ was published. This tells of a hospital romance that starts well, until the truth about the surgical registrar admitting to his nurse girlfriend that he is married with two sons back home in Nepal.
‘Strawberry moon’ (my fourth release) is a crime, mystery set in the Dordogne, France.
Just released (February 2020) ‘One Chance Encounter’ is a Contemporary Romance.”
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