Book Review: Moon Water by Pam Webber (Five Stars)


Book Review: Moon Water by Pam Webber

(Five Stars)

“Some things must end for others to begin.”

Amazing story. Two sixteen-ish young women come of age in historical fiction set in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains in 1969. Nettie gives up the freedom of childhood (see The Wiregrass) and expects certainty in adulthood: love, faith, friendship. Nope.

“Journeys force us to make choices that never leave our lives in the same place.”

Slow start leads to a cataclysm of Biblical portions, which actually happened fifty years ago. Excellent character and plot development and foreshadowing, if occasionally telling too much too soon. Nettie lived in a different world: no computers, camera-equipped cell phones, social media, credit cards. Manners mattered. The focus is local; the moon landings, Vietnam War, and politics are offstage.

“Your job is simple: forgive it, forget it, and move on. Not only for their sake, but for yours.”

In 1969 Virginia was still shedding segregation laws which recognized only whites, lumping all others. Some Virginians had already made the transition; others still haven’t. Race is not an issue here, but Webber portrays all people with sympathy and respect, even the few who didn’t seem to deserve it.

“Sometimes what we’re searching for is right in front of us and we’re too distracted to see it.”

Part of growing up is deciding and declaring what you believe. Nettie reflects an honesty so pure it hurts. The confluence of Christianity and Native American spiritualism is not always as smooth as portrayed.

“I was baptized last night. I believed when I went into the water, and I believe now. The rest is icing.”

[Full disclosure: Pam Webber gave me an advance copy in return for an honest review. I won.]

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