Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon by Debbie Fuller Thomas is filled with conflict, featuring a daughter with a terminal disease. This is enough of a nightmare for a parent, but to find out after her death that she was not your daughter after all, and instead was an infant switched at birth, just adds to the overall heartache and confusion.
When a custody battle wins Marty her biological daughter back, another battle begins. She and her real daughter Andie don’t get along, and neither do Andie and her “new” sister, Deja. Andie just wants to run away and live with her grandparents again. She soon begins to settle into this new family’s lifestyle working at the Blue Moon, a drive-in the family owns and runs, although she wants to be with her grandparents so that she can take care of them. However, she eventually finds that living with this new family isn’t as bad as she first worried it would be.
The book’s chapters go back and forth between Marty, the mom, and Andie, the daughter, revealing each of their thoughts about the events and conflicts going on, as well as each one’s perspective on matters. Relationships are definitely analyzed in this book. In this plot, there is a struggle in almost every friendship, business, or family relationship, and they all desperately need resolution. Even between Andie and her grandparents, the relationship that is very strong in the beginning becomes more and more distant as the story progresses.
Many of the conflicts have twists and turns that are unexpected, while others are rather predictable. There is a lot of tension between the characters, as there would be if this were a real-life situation. Andie has an independent, adult personality, desperately wanting to show that she has the maturity to care for her aging grandparents while also carving out a new life with her birth mother’s family. Conversely, Marty has a dependent personality, relying on her father to assist her when things get rough and often reverting to childlike behavior when she gets nervous or worried about matters. Within the context of the overall storyline, both personalities seem realistic and believable, even if each is flawed in several ways.
This is a very enjoyable story, but from a Christian viewpoint there is no real focus on God until very near the end of the book. In a rather Psalm 139:16 approach to trying to understand life (“All your days ordained for me were written in a book before any one of you came to be”), the characters accept the fact that their lives were not as random as they once thought, and that, just maybe, they each had an opportunity to help others and make the world a little better place. Though they were often errant in behavior, God still reclaimed them as His own.
I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has ever dealt with alienation, self-doubt, or a lack of personal identity. Females in their late teens or older will especially enjoy these characters. – Mindy T. Kreilein, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
When Marty Winslow's daughter dies of a devastating genetic disease, she discovers the truth her child had been switched at birth. Her actual biological daughter was recently orphaned and is being raised by grandparents in a retirement community. Marty is awarded custody, but Andie refuses to fit into the family, adding one more challenge for this grieving single mom that pushes her toward the edge, and into the arms of a loving God.
For Andie, being forced to live with strangers is just one more reason not to trust God. Her soul is as tattered as the rundown Blue Moon movie drive-in the family owns. But Tuesday night is Family Night at the Blue Moon, and as her hopes grow dim, healing comes from an unexpected source–the hurting family and nurturing birth mom she fights so hard to resist.