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Sharon A. (Tierra Verde, FL)
A Twisted Tale
Nathan Filer's book demonstrates a powerful writing style with a lot of nuances in the chapter titles, drawings and typeface. The author takes every opportunity to draw the reader into the tragic story of mental illness. This topic is certainly one being debated in the news and the way the author takes you inside the mind of a mentally ill Matthew to experience his troubles first hand makes for some heavy soul searching on the part of the reader. Filer grabs you from the first page when he lets Matthew speak directly to the reader who is immediately drawn into this family story. This is definitely a tough read, but an eye opening one too. I'll be waiting to see what he writes about next.
Connie H. (Evanston, IL)
Where the Moon Isn't
Matt spills out his painful story in fits and starts both of insight and delusion. His struggle to come to terms with his reality is believably portrayed. I was reminded of Paddy Clarke Ha-ha-ha by Roddy Doyle.
Debbie M. (Grand Junction, CO)
Where the Moon Isn't
Where the Moon Isn't opens your eyes to a world seen by someone with mental illness. As the world becomes more open to mental illness, we need to understand how the affected brain processes information.
Maggie S. (Durango, CO)
Where The Moon Isn't
Matt lost his brother when he was young. As he grows up , it is harder and harder for him to leave his brother behind. Nathan Filer takes us through these emotional years and show us someone who struggles to understand life.
Where The moon Isn't by Nathan Filer is beautifully written. It is a sad, funny, hopeful, heart wrenching story of Matthew, the narrator and main character. He absolutely stole my heart. He is difficult and yet so vulnerable that I couldn't help but love him. A book that teaches me about other peoples frailties and differences and leads me to a better understanding of their story is one that stays with me. This is one such book. I absolutely loved it.
Carole C. (Upper Marlboro, MD)
Missing the Moon
At first I thought the drawings and multiple type faces, fonts, and spacing might be mere gimmicks. Not so. This powerful novel by Nathan Filer uses all of these devices to enhance the telling of nineteen-year-old Matthew Homes' harrowing story.
Shaun D. (Woodridge, IL)
A strange but intriguing story
As Matt battles schizophrenia -- and all the ensuing humiliations, set backs, and attitudes surrounding mental illness -- he is on a quest to discover what actually happened on a holiday night at the beach in Ocean Cove Park nine years earlier. On this night Matt's older brother Simon, a Down Syndrome child with "a beautiful smiling face that looked like the moon" dies.
For the next ten years, guilt-ridden Matt, whose parents are devastated, fights his way through the past to an understanding and the redemption of a memorial.
Readers who enjoyed the carefully crafted voice of the boy with Asperger's disease in Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night will find that Filer has captured beautifully the voice of a boy in search of truth and sanity in this tragically moving story of memory, madness, family resilience, and enduring love.
"Where the Moon Isn't" is definitely on the strange side. Unlike a lot of coming-of-age tales it doesn't have a morale; underlying, concluding or otherwise. If you like family-centered drama with a dash of mental illness, dysfunction and a protagonist who occasionally talks directly to you, you might want to give this book a try. It feels a bit like a Jim Crace novel - it can seem disjointed but hang in there as there is a small dose of redemption at the end. All in all a good read.
Mary Margaret F. (North Venice, FL)
where the moon isn't
This debut novel was a jigsaw puzzle that caught your attention at the beginning and proceeded to put the pieces in place as pages were turned. The author puts you into Matthew's mind and from that vantage point all the other characters, their experiences and their foibles are explained. It is a very different presentation and your attention is held as you reach the ending which brings you back to the beginning of the novel.
Sally H. (St. Louis, MO)
Where the Moon Isn't
I recommend this book.
The story opens with a family's holiday. There are four people. These characters are mother, father, and two sons. Soon one of these people will be gone. This book deals with a boy's relationships, his first job, his first apartment and other challenges in his life. Does he have the life skills to work? This is not a spellbinder but it deals with relationships and feelings. It is written through a boy's eyes. It is interesting and different. I would recommend it for book clubs, teens, and for those who want a different type of book.