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5.0 out of 5 stars Moonlight Shadows?
This book is another of those you can see being a film: it has three plot strands that support the themes, and it is those themes that make the book stand out from the ordinary airport/supermarket fiction fodder.

It is about missed opportunities in love, a common enough subject, but here there is no real resolution, only possibilities.

May is in that...
Published on 21 Feb 2010 by M. J. Saxton

versus
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not bad...
When I looked at the cover for this book, it sounded so lyrical and beautiful, I grabbed it. It was quite disappointing, however. I found the prose style quite irritating - it read as if the author was in the middle of a creative writing course. It starts off with lots of description so you're frustrated by lack of characterisation and then stumbles around from one...
Published on 5 Jan 2001


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not bad..., 5 Jan 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Moon Island (Paperback)
When I looked at the cover for this book, it sounded so lyrical and beautiful, I grabbed it. It was quite disappointing, however. I found the prose style quite irritating - it read as if the author was in the middle of a creative writing course. It starts off with lots of description so you're frustrated by lack of characterisation and then stumbles around from one character's viewpoint to another so it's hard to get engrossed. Eventually, I grew to enjoy the characters and the story - it was the author's style that I found rather a strain. It made me realise just how brilliant Cathy Kelly is, for example, with 'Someone Like you; - she deals with lots of characters and slips smoothly from one to another, gracefully weaving them together in an apparently effortless way. Definitely Kelly is to be preferred.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, 1 April 2002
By 
This review is from: Moon Island (Paperback)
This is the first Rosie Thomas book I've read and although I enjoyed it, it didn't really grab me. The characters seemed rather 2D, but as the book wore on, I did care what happened to May (the lead). I liked Rosie Thomas's style of writing but I think I would need to read another one of her books to decide whether or not I liked her as an author. The overall word to describe this book would be 'ethereal'.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Moon Island, 23 Nov 2014
By 
Susie B - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Moon Island (Paperback)
Set in Maine, in New England, Rosie Thomas's story focuses on fourteen-year-old May Duhane, her father, John, a widower, and her eighteen-year-old sister, Ivy, who arrive at the coast one summer to rent Captain's House, one of five old clapboard houses set on a secluded beach, looking out towards the sea. May, an unhappy, overweight, solitary young girl, who is still mourning the loss of her mother, feels isolated and resentful when her lovely, long-limbed sister makes friends with the Beam family who live in one of the other houses on the beach - particularly the very attractive, tanned and pony-tailed Lucas Beam, who makes a beeline for Ivy. Living at the Beam house is self-appointed matriarch Marian Beam, who is Lucas's grandmother, and her large tribe of sons, daughters and grandchildren, all down for the summer, including Marian's daughter-in-law, the unhappily childless Leonie, who finds herself attracted to the widowed John Duhane. In one of the other houses lives Elizabeth Newton, an elderly widow, who regrets a decision she made in the past and who reveals her secret to May; then there is Judith Stiegels, a sculptor, and her overly-affable husband, Marty; and further along the coast live year-round residents Aaron and Hannah Fennymore, whose past is unhappily tied up with Elizabeth Newton's. As the days of the summer holiday pass and Ivy becomes increasingly intimate with Lucas, and John becomes more friendly with Leonie than perhaps is wise, May, who is feeling left out, hides away in her bedroom, where she discovers a diary written by Doone Bennison, the teenaged daughter of the owners of Captain's House, who tragically drowned the previous summer. Identifying with Doone, who before her death confessed in her diary about her romantic obsession with an unnamed man living in one of the houses on the beach, May begins to feel that maybe it is her fate to follow in Doone's footsteps, especially when she encounters a strange and ghostly apparition on Moon Island. (No spoilers - we become aware of all of this part-way into the novel).

I have been given several of Rosie Thomas's novels and I am working my way through them, finding some better than others. There were parts to this particular story that I enjoyed, such as the author's descriptions of the clapboard houses and their interiors, and Rosie Thomas is good at creating interesting characters and dilemmas for those characters - but there are so many of them in this book that it is difficult to become more than barely acquainted with any of them. There is also another strand to this story - one that is set in the past and brings into play a supernatural element (I cannot explain further without revealing spoilers) which I think the story could have done without. There was, for me, just too much going on in a book of less than 350 pages and I feel the author should have decided to focus either on telling a convincing tale of love, loss and family dynamics - which, in part, this novel was - or on writing an unsettling story about unhappy spirits reaching from beyond the grave into the present day - which I didn't find to be a very credible or enjoyable aspect of this particular story. All of that said, I have read some of the author's other novels which have worked quite well for undemanding holiday reads, but I do have to be honest and voice my reservations about this one.

2.5 Stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Moonlight Shadows?, 21 Feb 2010
By 
M. J. Saxton (Dewsbury, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Moon Island (Paperback)
This book is another of those you can see being a film: it has three plot strands that support the themes, and it is those themes that make the book stand out from the ordinary airport/supermarket fiction fodder.

It is about missed opportunities in love, a common enough subject, but here there is no real resolution, only possibilities.

May is in that confused teenage area of being almost adult. She's self-conscious about her weight, madly in love with a boy she's only just met, and is coming to terms with the death of her mother. She spats with her father and sister (the scene with the knife is excellent). She finds the diary of a girl who drowned last year and whose room she is now hers.

So, is it a ghost story? No. Well, sort of. There is the ghost of Sarah, who spent a year on a whaling ship searching for a lost lover. Her story is one of the sub-plots. She relinquished the man she loved and killed herself, and hangs around vaguely warning others in danger of doing the same.

Then there's Helen, she relinquished the man she loved, lived on to regret her mistake. She's in a sort of septuagenarian love parallelogram. Determined not to see someone else do the same, she encourages Leonie to take a chance when it occurs.

It is a vivid story full of just enough major characters and those interesting minor ones who don't pop up too much, but who you enjoy when they do. Apart from Marty, but you'll have to read it to find out what he is all about.

Rosie Thomas has created a great little New England town that it's enjoyable to spend a few weeks in, and once it's over, you're pleased you went there.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A fairly decent ghost story, nothing to write home about, 17 Feb 2010
By 
Nicola F (Nic) (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Moon Island (Paperback)
As a Rosie Thomas fan I had somewhat high hopes for this novel, but they fell fairly flat somewhere around the fifth or sixth chapter. This is a fairly decent story, granted, but nowhere near as strong as some of her other books; i.e. 'Constance' and 'Iris and Ruby' are much better than this. Nevertheless, I ploughed on with it regardless and did enjoy it despite its predictability- I think it would make a good beach book, but that's all.

A brief summary: John Duhane and his daughters are spending the summer in a cottage on Pittsharbour, off the coast of Maine. There's gorgeous eighteen year old Ivy and the resentful fourteen year old May, who really doesn't want to be there at all, the teen is still grieving for her mother who died suddenly three years previously and is a generally angry and confused girl. In the surrounding houses there's also the Beam family who unfailingly spend every summer there- with Leonie intimidated by her overpowering mother-in-law and trapped in a loveless marriage and who feels a connection to John instantly. Watching it all is the widowed Elizabeth Newton who is hiding some secrets of her own.

When May discovers that the summer before a young girl of her own age drowned, and then finds a secret diary in her bedroom, she manages to uncover something of a mystery. Things at Pittsharbour may never be the same again...

If you like Rosie Thomas books, you'll probably enjoy this one. If you've never read any of hers then I'd recommend starting with one of her other novels instead- definitely give 'Constance' a try, it's a brilliant read.
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2.0 out of 5 stars compelling? i think not!, 24 Jan 2000
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This review is from: Moon Island (Paperback)
I started this book with high hopes as I usually like a good spooky story. But the book's description led me astray, rather than being the spine tingelling emotional chiller I envisaged, it turned out to be a book about the personal problems of a pubesent teenager. Some of the description was remotley good, I'll admit that. But I honestly found the characters boring and shallow and the 'heroine' May, a total wimp! I really wanted to finish the book just to be over with it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Top Read, 6 Sep 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Moon Island (Paperback)
This book is absolutely brilliant. I bought it without recommendation and have now passed it on to a friend.
A 14 year old girl goes to the New England seaside for the summer and learns more than she knew existed about life and death, love and sex.
Its unpredictable plot kept me glued....even missed my tube stop twice!
I'm now off to buy more by Rosie Thomas.
Coffeebean
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5.0 out of 5 stars moon Island, 14 May 2014
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This review is from: Moon Island (Kindle Edition)
Wonderful holiday read.felt as if I was in New England myself.
Highly recommend this book, transported to another place with the story line and characters.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Did not finish this book, 19 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Moon Island (Kindle Edition)
I love Rosie Thomas but not this one,it seemed rather disjointed skipping from one character to another at an alarming rate.It was also quite dark with the main character wondering if she was possessed by a previous occupant of the house she is renting with her family for the summer. She finds a dairy belong to Doone the girl who was found drowned and and becomes obsessed by her visiting all the girls previous haunts she also reads the books loaned by a neighbour to Do one which were too graphic for me so I skipped this part ..Her father and sister are too preoccupied with other interests to see how unhappy she is she is obviously missing her mother who has died ,It was all s bit depressing for me to read to the end.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting Read, 23 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Moon Island (Paperback)
This is an intreging book, quiet in a way but compelling reading. As with all her books Rosie Thomas excels at
keeping you guessing.
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Moon Island
Moon Island by Rosie Thomas (Paperback - 1 July 1999)
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