Title: Once in a Blue Moon
Author: Eileen Goudge
Release Date: October 6, 2009
Publisher: Vanguard Press
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: TLC Book Tours
Rating: 4 out of 5
Lindsay Margaret McAllister Bishop didn’t always have an easy life, but she has succeeded despite the odds. When she was very young, her mother was sent to prison on drug charges. Lindsay and her younger sister, Kerrie Ann, were separated and placed in foster homes. Lindsay was lucky enough to be adopted by a loving couple and had a good upbringing. Lindsay’s never forgotten about Kerrie Ann though. When Kerrie Ann shows up on Lindsay’s doorstep out of the blue, Lindsay is both happy and shocked – after all Kerrie Ann wasn’t as lucky as Lindsay, and has turned out more like their mother. When Kerrie Ann reveals that her daughter was taken away from her, Lindsay realizes she’s in over her head, as she has problems of her own to cope with.
I enjoy stories about sisters, and Once in a Blue Moon was no exception. Goudge portrays the tension between these two women very well. Lindsay is pragmatic and successful. She realizes that she was lucky in her upbringing. She has trouble with Kerrie Ann because she sees their irresponsible mother in her. Kerrie Ann showed up on her doorstep expecting help and a place to stay, and Lindsay doesn’t know if she has the strength for that. Kerrie Ann, on the other hand, feels that Lindsay is ashamed of her. She wasn’t lucky enough to be adopted by a picture perfect family and has had to make it on her own. She resents Lindsay for the luck she’s had, while realizing she is asking a lot of her.
I sympathized with both these women, though I have to admit Kerrie Ann drove me slightly nuts at the beginning of the book. I could completely understand why she acted the way she did, especially considering what she’d been through, but I was with Lindsay all the way. It made Kerrie Ann’s growth over the course of the novel that much more satisfying.
The overarching story of the custody battle is gripping. This isn’t a book where you can automatically assume Kerrie Ann will win back her daughter, especially considering the mistakes she’s made, and continues to make. It was really heartwarming to see how these two sisters, despite their differences, band together in order to help one another.
Once in a Blue Moon was an enjoyable women’s fiction novel. I appreciated how realistic the characters were and how well Goudge portrayed their relationship. This would make a great book club selection.