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Man in the Blue Moon
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Man in the Blue Moon

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  486 ratings  ·  113 reviews
"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 m ...more
Hardcover, 380 pages
Published September 2012 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published January 1st 2012)
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Sep 18, 2012 Ruth marked it as to-read
Shelves: southern
From press release: SOUTHERN STRENGTH
Michael Morris spins an excellent yarn about a Deep South community circa World War I in Man in the Blue Moon. As a young woman, Ella Wallace was a promising art student looking forward to furthering her studies in France—but that was before she became infatuated with the charismatic, free-spending Harlan. Eighteen weary years later, Ella is disillusioned and raising three boys alone after Harlan ran away to escape his debts. Local banker Clive Gillespie can’
now have a new favorite author and his name is Michael Morris. The reason is the book Man in the Blue Moon. In the story we meet Ella Wallace. She was young when she met a wonderful charming man (Harlan) that her Aunt did not like. So what did she do ,she threw away an education and married this man after all she was in love, fast forward he leaves her with three children one that is sick and a load of debt on her family property. She is forced to work in a time when most women did not. She was ...more
I read Prince of Tides because the author of this book stated that he was inspired by Pat Conroy. There is a similarity between Prince and Man in that they are both set in the South and are based around a family in a struggle. Yet Man in the Blue Moon confidently stands on its own. I believe I liked it better than Prince of Tides. It was a slow read in that I took my time soaking up every word and description. I found myself cheering for Ella and despising Clive. I wanted to wrap my arms around ...more
When we meet Ella Wallace, it seems the entire world has turned against her. Her beloved aunt who raised her is now dead, and her husband has left her alone to raise three boys while WWI is going on. Add to that the fact that her store is barely making her any money, and the only thing she has left is the land her father left her, which she finds has been lost in a bet by her husband to a slick, greasy banker. Ella won't give up though, and fights tooth and nail to keep her house and land. So wh ...more
Harlan Wallace has disappeared; first into an opium-induced haze, and now he has disappeared completely. His wife Ella has been left on her own to finish raising their three sons in the Florida Panhandle town of Dead Lakes, just outside of Apalachicola. The banker, Clive Gillespie, can't wait to get his hands on Ella's property, and when it seems that Ella won't be able to meet the mortgage, a mysterious man appears and begins to help. Soon, everyone is talking about the new man in town and his ...more
Ella Wallace's opium addicted husband Harlan has left her to raise their three children on her own in the small Florida Panhandle town of Dead Lakes, outside of Apalachicola. Harlan has also left Ella deep in debt, and she struggles to run a country store and pay the mortgage before the bank forecloses on the family's property. The property has a valuable spring filled with cypress and pine, and local banker Clive Gillespie, a greedy and unscrupulous man, teams up with a shady evangelist to hatc ...more
Teddy Jones
Michael Morris, Your Granddad Would be Proud!
Michael Morris shows his skill as a writer from the first page of Man in the Blue Moon. By the time the reader completes that opening page, she’s bound to read on. Not only is the protagonist introduced (Ella Wallace, age 35), but in the smoothest possible way, he also tells us essential elements of the setting (Dead Lakes Florida), the time period (during WWI), a minor plague in Ella’s life (the annoying cat that stalks her store), and most important
Milinda Jay
In his 2012 novel, Man in the Blue Moon, Michael Morris crafts a novel of the love, life, heartache and ultimate triumph of the strong-willed debutante turned lumberjack, Ella Wallace.

It is 1917 in the small Northwest Florida town of Apalachicola, Florida. Abandoned with her three young sons by her opium-addicted husband, Ella Wallace fights to keep the land passed to her by her father from looming foreclosure at the hands of the greedy and lecherous town banker, Clive Barker. Her only hope com
I received a free copy of this book through an online book blogging program. It sounded interesting - historical fiction, one of my favorite genres - though as I say often in book reviews, I usually read European historical fiction, not American, but that was why I wanted to read this - something different.

Unfortunately, the book is very slow, the pace is even slower, the characters were flat, one dimensional, & as other reviewers have written, not anyone you could even connect to.

The plot
Julie Schoerke
Butter...that's what I kept thinking....the writing is soooo smooth. And the story of a man in the early 1990s who has been mailed in a box to a family that desperately needs his help, is so creative. But, on top of all of this, the author was inspired by this very thing happening in his family in the early 20th Century. Readers discovering Michael Morris for the first time are in for a real treat. There's enough quirkyness in this novel to tickle fans of Southern Lit and anyone who has been to ...more
Finished this book today. It was the kind of book that it's hard for you to lay down cause you just want to keep reading. The title is so unique, and the explanation in the story causes you to raise your eyebrows and say "what???". Ella, the main character, is a fantastic person and I commend the author for creating such a masterpiece. This woman has a world of troubles, which makes for a very interesting plot. Her no good husband leaves Ella with 3 children and a store to take care of. The auth ...more
Clay Stafford
You have to ask yourself, what has Michael Morris been doing all these years? Morris is one of our best Southern writers and I think it has been at least 10 years since he released his last book…until “Man in the Blue Moon.” I guess he was storing up the power shot. This is a wonderful book set in Florida during World War I.

A stranger comes to town in one of the most unusual entrances I think I’ve read. “He could never relieve himself of the sins of the father. The past shaded his mind until at
Excellent book, now want to read more of Michael Morris's books. The main character was strong and brave, husband ran off and left her with debt, a business to run and 3 sons to take care of. And she has to work hard to keep her land that had been left to her by her father. Through it all her and her family strives despite the banker trying to ruin her and neighbors talking about her.
Engrossing story of Ella Wallace, a hard working woman whose husband has abandoned his family. Set in 1918, Ella is a store keeper raising 3 sons. When Banker Clive Gillespie threatens to foreclose on her land Ella is determined to raise funds to pay the mortgage. Lanier Stills enters Ella's life in a very odd manner and as the story unfolds, he becomes is an integral part.
This book is waaay better than the blurb lets on. It's a story set around the time of WWI in a small town on the Gulf Coast of Florida. A single mother who is trying to bring up her sons and recover from the terrible decisions made by the opium-addicted husband that walked out on them. Apalachicola (Florida) is one of those beautiful port towns whose prestige and importance in the past has been largely overlooked in the history books (see Sunbury, GA). This little port town once had a French Con ...more
This book was an excellent, southern-style novel about a woman and her three kids after her husband ran out on them. Morris's characters are deep, real, and believable. Plus, there is a mysterious man who comes to town in an unusual way, creating a lot of buzz because he has a particular gift.
Marissa DeCuir
This is such a fantastic book!! I literally read it on one Saturday morning, could not put it down. Michael's writing is so easy-flowing and enjoyable. An entertaining story based on a true story his grandfather once told him!
I struggled through this book, but we had a good book club discussion about it.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting: early 1900s, small town in Florida
Main Character: Ella Wallace, age 35

At age 17, against her family’s wishes, Ella married Harlan, a charming man who turned out to be a gambler and a con artist. Now, 18 years later, Harlan has run off, leaving Ella alone to raise their 3 sons, to run the family store, and to keep the bank from foreclosing on her property. A box from the Blue Moon clock company arrives, sent by Harlan. Ella hopes it is a beautiful clock that she
Charlotte Lynn
Aunt Katherine warned her niece, Ella Wallace, about the wonderfully charming Harlan. But the young Ella knows what is best for her and marries Harlan. Years later, Ella is left with three young children to raise on her own after Harlan runs out on her. He also leaves Ella with a pile of debt on her family property and a store to run. Ella receives notice that a box from Blue Moon Clocks has arrived and is awaiting pick up. When she goes to pick up what she hopes will help pay off her debt, it d ...more
Learning about the unfortunate main character, Ella. She's an orphan, raised by her late Aunt, married some no good fool who ran out on her and left her to raise three boys.


Mortgage she can't pay and foreclosure notice is delivered. She swore to protect the land to her dying father

Punch in the gut!

Strange man claiming to be her husband's cousin shows up in a way that shocks the family.


"No matter how hard she smiled that day, or laughed, or even raised her arms in victory, she coul
I’ve found that the joy of reading is not only experiencing the story but also hearing what others think of the book. I am glad to find that I’m in the majority here on Goodreads…I loved MAN IN THE BLUE MOON. The descriptions were vivid and the sense of time and place were astounding. The author makes turn of the century Florida come to life. Typically I do not read historical fiction but I found this novel to be more of a journey of the human spirit. Ella struggles against her wayward husband, ...more
Ella is a smart woman brought low by a no good man. Her aunt had high hopes for her and she was hoping to study art and hopefully go to Europe some day but she fell hard for con man Harlan and his smooth talking ways. Soon she finds herself alone and trying hard to pay off a mortgage Harlan took on her land by forging her name. A mortgage he took with the help of a local shady, sleazy banker who wants Ella's land for himself.

Just as things seem to be at their worst a box arrives from the Blue Mo
Karen Zacharias
Q & A with Author Michael Morris

So who does Pat Conroy read when he’s in the mood for a good story? Michael Morris. Conroy calls Morris one of his favorite Southern writers. Man in the Blue Moon, Morris’s latest, “is reason for great celebration –a beautifully wrought portrayal of small-town Southern life,” says Conroy. Publishers Weekly praises Man in the Blue Moon as the perfect book club read.

It was Morris’s grandfather who first told the young boy about a man being shipped to town inside
Story Description:

Tyndale House Publishers|August 17, 2012|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-1-4143-6842-9

“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 h
Richard (Bound & Determined...)
Let’s pause, for just a moment, and go back to school for a minute. I think you’ll need this educational break to appreciate this book, a refresher on the definition of tragedy:

1. An event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe.
2. A play dealing with tragic events and having an unhappy ending, esp. one concerning the downfall of the main character.

There is no getting around the fact that Man in the Blu
Jaime Boler
Book Review: Man in the Blue Moon by Michael Morris

Man in the Blue Moon by Michael Morris (Tyndale House Books; 400 pages; $13.99).

“Wars and plagues” can get people thinking it’s the end of the world. Such a bleak outlook only worsens when American boys die on foreign soil, when families lose their homes to foreclosure, and when a dangerous flu ravages communities. No, we’re not talking about wars in Afghanistan or Iraq. Neither are we discussing America’s most recent economic crisis. And no, t
In MAN IN THE BLUE MOON, Michael Morris has given us a lovely novel that crosses many genres. It’s southern literature, historical fiction, an inspirational tale, and it has a bit of magic to it, too. Rather than put it in one of those categories though, I’ll just say that it’s a great story with terrific writing to propel it.

MAN IN THE BLUE MOON begins with Ella Wallace struggling to support her children, keep the family land, and move on after her husband has left her for his real love: opium.
Cynthia Robertson
When a mysterious oblong box arrives in backwater Dead Lakes, Florida, its contents complicate things for Ella. It isn’t easy, but Ella Wallace is doing the best she can; she runs the family commissary and takes care of her three sons, Samuel, Keaton and Macon. Her husband Harlan, a gambler and opium addict, has run off and abandoned them, but not before losing her family land to the town bully, Clive Gillespie.

Clive wants Ella—always has—though he will settle for the town’s crazy girl in a pinc
Terri Powers
Loved it! It had a great time period, great location, interesting story, and a little bit of fantasy thrown in. Man in the Blue Moon by Michael Morris was a book club selection for our meeting in January and I’m so glad it was suggested because I never would have picked it up on my own.

This book had some delicious components. Based prior to the end of World War 1, the story took place in the Florida panhandle. My fellow book club members suggested that the author used a checklist as he put toget
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A fifth-generation native of Perry, Florida, Michael Morris knows Southern culture and characters. They are the foundation and inspiration for the stories he writes.

His latest novel, Man in the Blue Moon, is based on a true story about a man on the run for murder who was shipped in a crate to his grandfather's family in the Florida Panhandle. The novel was named one of the Best Books of 2012 by P
More about Michael Morris...
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