by Ruth Hogan
Pub Date 21 Sep 2021
I absolutely adored Ruth Hogan’s novel, The Wisdom of Sally Red Shoes, so I was quite eager to read The Moon, The Stars and Madame Burova.
Around the plot, Ms. Hogan looks at some emotionally resonant issues. These include identity, race, the nature of love, how to treat others and also how to treat one’s self. All is skillfully done and is not too heavy handed.
Madame Burova’s mother, Shunty Mae, was a reader of tarot cards, palms and crystal balls. Her daughter, Imelda (aka Madam B) has taken on her mother’s vardo and profession. She is very good at it and her booth becomes a confessional for many. In the present, Imelda Burova is considering retirement; in the past she led an active life.
Imelda spent time at Larkin’s, a family holiday camp, when she was a young woman. There were many people and acts there. Imelda was close to Jeannie, a talented young singer and to Cillian Burke, a man who was of great importance to her. Readers will find out how Cillian influenced the title of the novel. Also at the camp is Vivienne; she wants Cillian and is used to taking whatever she feels that she needs.
In the present, Billie’s parents have recently died. She finds something out in a note that her father left her. This leads her to connect with Imelda and connect they do! In the present, Imelda offers Billie some answers and all the wonderful aspects of the kind of person she is. Readers will root for both of them.
This book is not a cliffhanger. It is a slow-ish read that I enjoyed and recommend. Not quite as good as Sally but very good nonetheless.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.