Tyndale House Publishers
Man in the Blue Moon by Michael Morris is a story of the perseverance of a young woman to save her family's farm in the 1940's. The main character, Ella, is a struggling, newly-abandoned mother of three. Her husband was a drunk who left her feeling betrayed and lonely. One day she is sent a crate inside of which is Lanier. He is a fugitive being sought for the murder of his wife, but he promises he was sent to help Ella. With no other man available to help her, Ella agrees to let him stay and a friendship develops. As the novel goes on, it is found out that Lanier can perform miracles, including saving the life of Ella's son, who is sick with sores in his throat. Ella goes through hardships trying to save her father's land, a land she promised never to sell trying to keep it out of the hands of the banker, Clive.
In the story, Lanier says a prayer before healing the wounded or sick. God uses His power to work through Lanier to heal a wounded livestock's bleeding leg and also various people who are infirmed or wounded. As when the people found out that Jesus could perform miracles, the community flocks to Lanier to be healed even though he makes great efforts to keep his gift secret and private.
Morris does a good job of sustaining suspense, but he overlaps too many coexisting plots, making the main story hard to stay focused upon. Lanier is a mysterious character whose internal motivations stay secret and suppressed as the story unfolds. With the biblical references related to gifts that often lie dormant in all Christians, plus the determination that Ella provides as an inspiration to all women who wish not to be treated as second class citizens, this book does have merit. However, its lack of specific direction and its complicated structuring made it too challenging for this reviewer to find enjoyable. – Amelia DeSteno, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
“He’s a gambler at best. A con artist at worst,” her aunt had said of the handlebar-mustached man who snatched Ella Wallace away from her dreams of studying art in France. Eighteen years later, that man has disappeared, leaving Ella alone and struggling to support her three sons. While the world is embroiled in World War I, Ella fights her own personal battle to keep the mystical Florida land that has been in her family for generations from the hands of an unscrupulous banker. When a mysterious man arrives at Ella’s door in an unconventional way, he convinces her he can help her avoid foreclosure, and a tenuous trust begins. But as the fight for Ella’s land intensifies, it becomes evident that things are not as they appear. Hypocrisy and murder soon shake the coastal town of Apalachicola and jeopardize Ella’s family.