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Crying for the Moon: A Novel

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  389 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
“A page-turner with an indelible heroine.” —Ann-Marie MacDonald

Canadian actor, comedian and social activist Mary Walsh explodes onto the literary scene with this unforgettable story of a young woman coming of age in late 1960s Newfoundland

Raised on tough love in St. John’s, Maureen is the second-youngest daughter of a bitter and angry mother and a beaten-down father who t
ebook, 336 pages
Published April 18th 2017 by HarperCollins Publishers
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This debut by the Canadian comedian and actress Mary Walsh. I think it's not a funny book, it does have elements of Mary Walsh's comedy but it is not a funny story.

Maureen Brennan; a downtown girl living on Princess street with her mom , The Sarge, her alcoholic father, her brother and retarded sister.

She goes to the Montreal 67 Expo and her true story starts... a story of love, drugs, abusive relationship...

Then DAFT the local drugs by's show up and change the life of teenagers in the Downto
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
She read out from a book, “Still a child, she cries for the moon, but the moon, it seems, won't have her.” That's how she'd spent her life, she said: uselessly crying for the moon.

In various interviews, Mary Walsh explains that as a lifelong devourer of books, she had always dreamed of writing a novel herself. So when her other projects slowed down recently, the icon of Canadian comedy decided to turn a several hundred page treatment – interestingly, it was her private backstory for Warrior P
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Talk about a falling down life! Maureen Brennan is hard as nails.
Rod Raglin
Jun 29, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Crying for the Moon - a dreary, tawdry series of events lacking in motivation  
Maureen comes from a working class family in St John's, Newfoundland. She's a senior in a Catholic parochial high school.
Even though she can't sing she fakes her way into the school choir so she can travel as part of the group to Montreal and perform at Expo '67, the world's fair taking place there in 1967.
As soon as she arrives, her and a girlfriend go AWOL and hit the Montreal nightlife.
Before you can say " G'w
Teena in Toronto
Nov 16, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: canadian
It's July 1967 and Maureen is a teenager living in St. John's, Newfoundland. Expo '67 was held in Montreal and in the July of that year, Maureen manages to weasel her way onto the local choir because they were heading to Montreal to perform. In Montreal, she and her friend, Carleen, are able to escape the nuns and party. Carleen decides to stay in Montreal with a sleazebag she'd just met and Maureen heads back to Newfoundland. Once home, she discovers she is pregnant, a situation her dominating ...more
Kathleen Nightingale
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved this book for the simplicity of the story line. Mary Walsh has done a fine job of writing Crying for the Moon. The story was engaging from the first page and I remained interested till the last page. Although set in Newfoundland Canada this story line has and continues to have the same angst as teenagers the world over move from mid-teens to turning twenty. The emotions and situations which the protagonist Maureen feels are relateable to every and all teenagers at some point. Walsh was a ...more
Paul Demetre
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is Mary Walsh's debut novel, although she had been writing and performing for many years in the entertainment industry here in Canada. Her work is the stuff of legend, especially her sharp whitted humour.

This novel exudes Mary Walsh's voice to the degree that it may as well have been an audiobook. I could hear every word of it being narrated in Ms. Walsh's voice in my head.

This work is full of funny, biting moments but i it is very dark and tragic throughout. A wonderful piece of fiction th
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2017
This debut novel by Mary Walsh was something I had a really hard time putting down. I have to admit though, I am very confused by the blurb on the back of the novel..."brilliantly funny?" I had a hard time finding the "funny" moments in the book. And honestly, I am totally okay with that.

This is a very real, heart-wrenching story of a young Canadian woman who has to deal with the Ghosts of the choices she made in her youth & I would highly recommend it.
Sep 12, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: could-not-finish
I desperately wanted to like this but had to drop it. I could not engage with the main character and the narrator's voice ground me down.

The first rape scene of a teenager was appallingly dismissed. Yes, she was an innocent, but that naive? Again it's the unsympathetic writing.

I was suspending disbelief far too often to make this novel work for me and humour, as teased out in the various blurbs for the book, was regrettably absent.

Could not finish.
Jul 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
What a disappointment. I heard Mary Walsh interviewed on Shelagh Rogers, so I knew this wasn't a funny book, but it's way too grim! Not only is it humourless, but the characters are just blah. You would think a book with nuns in the 60s would have SOME funny stuff in it, but nope. Grim, grim, grim. Couldn't get through it.

Amazing Grace, by Lesley Crewe, is a much better East Coast Canada book. Read that one instead.
Brian Howell
Jun 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
Was so disappointed in this book. Had been excited that it was by Mary Walsh and that it was set in St. John's in the late 60's early 70's.

There was no sense of time or place. Could have been anytime, anywhere. There were no redeeming characters and no one was having a particularly good life. too bleak violent and depressing for me. Not the Nfld I knew and grew up in.
Harpercollins Canada
May 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Alright Savvy Readers, we have a new novel that will literally have you gasping, laughing, crying, you name it. And it’s Canadian. How about that?

Read our full review here.
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was sure what to think about young Newfoundland girl Maureen at first. She seemed to be on a collision course with life that started at Expo 67 in Montreal.

Her inner voice wooed me. Full of negativity and spouting despicable charges first hurled by her hateful mother, I remember the teenage self-doubt and desperate need to be part of the life that everyone else seems to be leading.

Maureen's outer voice causes problems. She is one of those people who always seem to say the wrong thing. And, oft
Cheryl Sinclair
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
A gritty story that keeps you wondering if a happy ending is possible. You will have to find that out for yourself!
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
DNF I made it to page 32. If you are a reader needing Trigger Warnings, Mary Walsh's debut is not for you. I don't normally have trouble, but me thinks Ms. Walsh laid it on rather thickly. Page after page after page of violent physical abuse, sexual assault, rape, predatory pedophiles, drugs, abuse, and on and on it went. I couldn't do it any longer beyond those 32 pages. Where is the light? It was too much, almost as though Walsh was working too hard to try to destroy and upset her readers.

Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
It has to be said. This is an awful book. I was expecting much more from Mary Walsh who is a Canadian comedian and somewhat of an icon in the country. Her first novel. It's the story of Maureen Brennan, a Catholic teenager from the wrong part of St. John's NL in the 1960s. Maureen begins the book by faking her way into a school choir trip to Montreal during Expo 67 where she unwisely manages to slip out of the clutches of the supervising nuns and comes home pregnant. It's all downhill from this ...more
Laura-Lynne Smith
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you think this book is going to be funny due to the author being a comedienne you are not getting a funny book here. This is the story of the misadventures of one Maureen Brennan with a great cast of characters to go along on the ride. The end left Maureen in a much better position with the future laid out before her & lots of opportunity to change her life for the better. For a first novel I thought this was a great book & I'm glad it came across my path.
Aug 25, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2017, canlit
2.5 stars. I appreciate the care Mary Walsh put into this novel, and it all seemed real -- the setting, the dialect, the characters, Maureen's thoughts. It just wasn't enjoyable to read. Maureen is a sad, hapless sort of person who stumbles from misfortune to misfortune. Doesn't mean it's a bad novel, just means I didn't really care for it.
Wendy Hearder-moan
Oct 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Have to give credit to Mary Walsh for fulfilling her dream of writing a book, but would it have done so well if written by "Mary Doe"? It paints a grim picture of life in Newfoundland, or at least in that particular milieu. Three stars instead of 2.5, only because of the clever dialogue, which captures the cadence of some Irish/Newfoundland voices.
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Yeah, no!
Sorry love Mary Walsh, television and one woman play but did not enjoy book.
Maybe, I was expecting something light hearted.
Sorry, Mary.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: canadian, fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Things I liked:
1) The plot has great potential. The underbelly of St. John's was, and still is, raw and exciting.
2) When the dialect worked, it worked wonderfully, especially coming out of the Sarge.

Things I wasn't fussy about:
1) A lot was rushed in the early chapters. Too many major events too quickly.
2) The writing didn't work for me in general. There was a lot of telling and not enough description. I couldn't hear the characters' voices (mostly I heard Mary Walsh's voice) or imagine how they
Daniel Kukwa
It's an exceptionally well-written story, but it's full of characters I loathed, despised and pitied. I didn't end up sympathizing with everyone, and the central character of Marueen is so weak and confused that she joins my Jane Eyre-get-a-backbone disgust list of characters I want nothing to do with. That said, the story itself is skillfully crafted, and I needed to know what happened...even if I couldn't stand the characters involved. The novel in general feels like some odd alternate-univers ...more
Beth McKinlay
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gayle Tennant
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book. Interesting it was set in the Montreal Expo years 1967 to 1970 so fitting for my age. I'm glad I couldn't directly relate to her home experiences or her experiences with her boyfriend's violent beatings he gave her. However Mary Walsh did a great job of describing the lifestyle she had. I think its a book you need to read for yourself to decide what you'd feel about it.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it liked it
The harsh realities of a poor Catholic teenage girl living in St. Johns, Newfoundland in the 60's makes for a story filled with hard living, hard drinking and even harder choices.
Maureen Brennan is so beaten down by her harsh mother, her circumstances and the nasty nuns in her school.....and so frightened, that her one act of rebellion ends up ruining her life and leaving her paralyzed to change it.
The book is touted as "brilliantly funny", but for that to be true, you will have to have an esp
Ann Douglas
An intriguing novel with a strong sense of time and place (1970s; St. John's, Newfoundland) and an even stronger narrative voice. I was expecting a dark comedy (something in the spirit of the author's wonderfully quirky TV series
Anna Porter
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
An absorbing read by a very talented writer. Sad, poignant, sometimes heartrending, often violent, now and then (but not often) funny. Maureen, once she entered the circle of desperation, seemed unable to save herself, until the end, and even then... but no spoilers. It's a book you will want to finish reading.
May 20, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fast, escapist reading. Loved the name of the mother (Sarge) and her dialogue was the best. The fast internal monologues of the main character were also a unique device. A lot of the characters felt flat to me and I didn't have a good sense of place. Basically, good but not so compelling I would be pushing it onto other friends.
Aug 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just because it's Mary Walsh, it deserves a read. Walsh has created a character straight form the 1960's.
Maureen is looking for happiness and fun, as well as trying to escape a dysfunctional family.
Well-written with much sadness and incredible humour. I laughed and wept. Read it one sitting, and again the next day.

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