The Moon at Midnight – GUEST
LBC regular reviewer Michael has been reading again…
Thanks again Michael!
THE MOON AT MIDNIGHT
It is late autumn, 1962, and darkness is falling, but not just over the idyllic fishing port of Bexham. The threat of atomic warfare is so real that people are taking their children to work, or staying home with their families as they face what they think might be the end of the world. For some, the threat is all the more bewildering as they struggle to understand the new generation of the Sixties, a generation for whom they made so many wartime sacrifices, for whom they had such high hopes. No sooner has the threat of nuclear war seemed to have passed than Judy, Mathilda and Rusty are facing a new, personal crisis brought about by their teenage children. Much as Waldo Astley would like to remain on the sidelines, he finds it impossible, and this too brings about bitter opposition from those caught up in the near-tragedy. Still grieving for his lost wife, he tries his best to help his three friends, only to find himself falling in love with one of them.
Meanwhile the younger generation have their own problems, all of which involve their families. That all the generations find themselves once more united in a battle, this time to save the village they love, is both an irony and finally, a saving grace. Once more an enemy has to be defeated, once more they must arm themselves, but this time for a war of a very different kind.
The Moon at Midnight by Charlotte Bingham is set in the fishing port of Bexham on the South Coast of England and follows the fortunes of several reasonably well to do families there. There’s an almost but not quite affair between a married woman and an American called Waldo, a reckless car stunt that puts a girl in hospital with a mashed face, and results in the exile of the driver to Texas to avoid a family’s shame.
In amongst this is the familiar battle of community against a rich developer, with the community seeking to preserve the fishing port as it has traditionally been.
Whilst the story is eventually quite a happy ending and heart-warming, there are just too many characters and too many plotlines, and in places the speech is so confusion that you are left wondering who actually said what. Maybe the second and third parts of the Bexham Trilogy will make sense of it all!
I enjoyed the Blue Note, by the same author, much more. And the score reflects that!
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