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Lindsey's Literary Leanings

Book Reviews - Contemporary Fiction / Biographies / Autobiographies

  • Lindsey Skelton-Smith

In the Moonbeams (Author: Sarah Dawson Powell)


Book Cover - In the Moonbeams

Gripping, Gritty, Absorbing


Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Family Drama/Coming-Of-Age


In The Moonbeams by Sarah Dawson Powell- author


Mike is a single Father of four, all of whom are now teenagers. Amy-Jo hadn't been prepared for the responsibilities of parenthood, and had therefore left when the children were still young. The one thing that Mike & Amy-Jo really had in common was a love of the Cosmos, & the elements that made up the vast void that they would gaze up at, at night. They therefore fittingly chose to name their free-spirited off-spring after three constellations, & the eldest, after the region of outer space seen from the earth, Skylar (Sky), Orion (O), Starla (Star) Sunshine (Sunny).

Whilst working as a bar tender Mike meets Melissa and she asks him about his kids. He is only too happy to impart details of their accolades, both academically and personally and realises how proud he is of his brood. Considering the difficult times of the past, they were all growing into well rounded, sensible people.....weren't they?


Being that this novel is based around a troubled family, this was the perfect read for me. When I also read that the inspiration for the title came from the Author's late mother, this made 'In The Moonbeams' even more appealing, as I love narratives with any sort of realness at their core. This novel was certainly that, it was authentic of what happens in families. I loved the names of the three sisters and brother, and how it tied in with the books title. For me, it gave the book an enchanting feel, and really fired up my imagination as to how they might look.

Once again, Sarah has produced another well thought out & well assembled novel that demonstrates her exceptional ability to enter the mind of the young person. The element of the way in which the Author has imagine the Hollis children that I particularly liked and found endearing was, although they are typical siblings who argue and fight, they are always there as a support to one another. Particularly Orion who feels a duty to protect his sisters which was admirable, even if it was misguided at times. I felt that that Mike's initial inability to sensibly handle any conflict between himself and his children, demonstrates a lack of involvement in their upbringing, other than financial and supports that Skylar his eldest daughter, provided the majority of the parenting for her younger siblings. In both of the novels from this Author that I have read so far read, she never sidelines 'side' characters, keeping all characters of equal importance and in the consciousness of the reader throughout. This was really well maintained in a plot with numerous characters, some of whom could have been overlooked either by the Author or the reader.

The presentation of the book is something I feel an important part to praise. The front cover illustrates the title beautifully, and inside, chapters are divided by pages on which are laid out, the inner thoughts of a character as they reflect on recent events, together with the name of that character against a back drop of an illustration that defines their name or true characteristic. The last chapter and acknowledgement is represented in the same way with a sky and stars. I thought these were a lovely touch as eye-catching visual additions to the text. The chapters were written from the point of view of 'first person', which leaves no room for mis-interpretation for whom is speaking dialogue and makes the narrative very easy to follow.

I am a very character centred reader in that I'm not one for lots of descriptive text, I like dialogue. Characters seem to be very much at the heart of Sarah's books and this definitely ticks all the right boxes for me. I look forward to reading her 'Fragile Line' series and any stand alone novels from her in the future.

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