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Playing with the Moon [Hardcover]

Eliza Graham
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Jun 2007
Two women, divided by fifty years, united by their grief . . .

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan New Writing (1 Jun 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0230528872
  • ISBN-13: 978-0230528871
  • Product Dimensions: 2.8 x 13.5 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,060,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Eliza Graham spent Biology lessons reading Jean Plaidy novels behind the text books, sitting at the back of the classroom. In English and History lessons she sat right at the front and listened to every word that everyone said and read all the books on the term list plus anything else she could get hold of. At home she read books while getting dressed and cleaning her teeth and visited the public library multiple times a day during school holidays.

She lives in the Oxfordshire countryside with her family in an ancient village.

Perhaps it's not surprising that she writes novels with a strong historical vein.

Her first novel, Playing with the Moon, was longlisted for Richard & Judy's Summer Read and World Book Day's Book to Talk About in 2007. It has sold more than 110,000 copies. Her fifth and latest adult novel, The One I Was, was published in April 2014.

Find out more about Eliza on her website:

You can also follow her on Twitter: Eliza_Graham or read more about her at her blog: .

Under her pen name, Anna Lisle, Eliza writes novels set in the nineteenth century, the first of which is Allegra.

When Eliza's not writing she enjoys going for walks with her dogs. She's also happy sitting in front of a fire with a glass of wine and a good book.

Product Description


'Eliza Graham tells a powerful tale, and her characters are well drawn and believable. I enjoyed this book very much'
-- Historical Novels Review

'Eliza Graham tells a powerful tale, and her characters are well drawn and believable.'
-- Historical Novels Review

Book Description

Shattered by a recent bereavement, Minna and husband Tom retreat to an isolated village on the Dorset coast, seeking the solitude that will allow them to cope with their loss and rebuild their foundering marriage. Walking on the beach one day, they unearth a human skeleton. It is a discovery which will plunge Minna into a mystery which will consume her for months to come. The remains are soon identified as those of Private Lew Campbell, a black American GI who, it seems, drowned during a wartime exercise in the area half a century before. Growing increasingly preoccupied with the dead soldier’s fate, Minna befriends a melancholy elderly woman, Felix, who lived in the village during the war. As Minna coaxes Felix’s story from her, it becomes clear that the old woman knows more about the dead GI than she initially let on. Playing with the Moon is an unforgettable novel about memory and loss, about the legacy of war, and the need to reconcile ourselves to our past in order to live with the present.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars STELLAR WRITING! 3 July 2007
An intriguing opening that keeps you hooked from then on--PLAYING WITH THE MOON is a very difficult book to part with for too long.

"I push past his restraining arm and see what he's dug up: a long white object. A bone... it's a human leg bone. Tom digs a little more and exposes a row of ivory-coloured arches. A ribcage."

The writing is stellar, the prose vivid, and the atmosphere perfect as we seamlessly switch between the present and the nineteen forties. The players in this poignant tale will stay with you for some time. I absolutely loved it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Linking time and people 20 July 2008
This book is based on the truth of what was happening in southern England in the build up to the Allied invasion of France in the Second World War. It also plays on the connections between those times and the early 21st century. These connections are built on the characters who have grown from the children of the earlier period to complex adults, who have harboured their personal secrets through all of those decades.

The opening chapter commences with the discovery of the skeleton of a GI who lost his life before the invasion started. But the mystery around how he died and who, if anyone, witnessed his untimely death, is something which is explored as the chapters switch back and forth between the time zones. The couple who discover the bones on the beach have their own problems, and their stress adds to the mounting tension that links the characters who have survived the fifty-something years since those horrible events.

The threads, as you would expect, all come together in the end, but I found that as I read a chapter in one time zone, I couldn't wait to get back to the last, where I knew I would find myself in the next. Confused? You won't be if you take the trouble to pick up this book and read it. It is fairly easy to follow, I promise you, and it was a pleasure to read. I shall definitely be first in line for Eliza Graham's next book. I can't wait!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing book 17 Oct 2007
I read this book in hardcover, and it's not to be missed. The story weaves between two timelines: the modern-day Minna and Felix grappling with their own ghosts, and Felix as a girl in a tiny village that must be evacauted so soldiers can practice landing on the beach. The characters are engrossing, the story is rich, layered and developed and the writing is graceful. This is a wonderful debut and I can't wait to read more.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A pleasure to read 31 July 2007
By J.S.
A beautifully written novel with images as vivid as a well-drawn portrait. The characters and their stories stayed with me even when I was forced to set down the book to attend to "real life." This is a mystery with heart, and well worth the read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars the one i was by eliza graham 9 July 2014
By hcfp
Format:Kindle Edition
Not the first book I have read by her - but certainly the best so far.
I had to limit my reading but wanted to know how it would all end
and yet I didn't want to finish - I read the last 3 chapters with tears
streaming down my face - be warned! I am not easily moved to tears.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I really enjoyed this book 3 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book,sad at times but the characters were very real,going from the past to the present held my interest.What a bargin.glad I downloaded it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read 18 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
While I enjoyed this book I found it a little slow to start with that I nearly gave up but I don't like to admit defeat so kept going and I'm glad I did once I got the characters in my head I enjoyed it
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4.0 out of 5 stars Playing with the moon 8 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was ok an easy read for the beach or pool,
easy to dip in and out of.Good characters enjoy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars a good
a good read
Published 1 month ago by sadie
3.0 out of 5 stars Good first attempt
I'm going to go easy on Eliza Graham because this is her first book. Writers are allowed to have a book or two before really hitting their stride and I think this writer is going... Read more
Published on 23 Sep 2010 by Catherine Murphy
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully Told Story
When the body of an American soldier, who died 60 years ago, is found on the beach of a small village by Minna and Tom, it makes a good story for the newspapers. Read more
Published on 8 April 2009 by Mrs. C. Colbert
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Characters
This debut novel by Eliza Graham is a story that is so well plotted and shifts between the present and the war-time past. Read more
Published on 15 Mar 2009 by Lincs Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars One of best reads I have read this year
In a word.....wonderful. The first book I read this year and thoroughly enjoyed it. Took the characters to my heart immediately and was page turning from the beginning. Read more
Published on 26 April 2008 by DE Will
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorry - did I miss something?
On the strength of the reviews on Amazon, I recommended this book for my book club - only to be severely disappointed. Why? Read more
Published on 26 Mar 2008 by A. Lloyd
5.0 out of 5 stars History - with long kept secrets
I really enjoyed this book, and found my imagination was working overtime, imagining how Fontwell looked, and what life was like for the villagers during WW2. Read more
Published on 10 Oct 2007 by R. J. Payne
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