Reviews of Carolina Moonset by Matt Goldman

Carolina Moonset

by Matt Goldman

Carolina Moonset by Matt Goldman X
Carolina Moonset by Matt Goldman
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2022, 272 pages

    Paperback:
    May 2022, 272 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Both suspenseful and deeply moving, Carolina Moonset is an engrossing novel about family, memories both golden and terrible, and secrets too dangerous to stay hidden forever, from New York Times bestselling and Emmy Award–winning author, Matt Goldman.

Joey Green has returned to Beaufort, South Carolina, with its palmettos and shrimp boats, to look after his ailing father, who is succumbing to dementia, while his overstressed mother takes a break. Marshall Green's short-term memory has all but evaporated, but, as if in compensation, his oldest memories are more vivid than ever. His mind keeps slipping backwards in time, retreating into long-ago yesterdays of growing up in Beaufort as a boy.

At first this seems like a blessing of sorts, with the past providing a refuge from a shrinking future, but Joey grows increasingly anxious as his father's hallucinatory arguments with figures from his youth begin to hint at deadly secrets, scandals, and suspicions long buried and forgotten. Resurfacing from decades past are mysteries that still have the power to shatter lives―and change everything Joey thought he knew.

Especially when a new murder brings the police to his door...

Simultaneous release in hardcover and paperback.

1

When I saw my first palm tree, I almost died of disappointment. It wasn't on a tiny island. It didn't have coconuts under its fronds or monkeys clinging to its trunk. That palm tree failed me.

The tree lived in Beaufort, South Carolina, in my grandparents' backyard, and the letdown I felt over its lack of picture-book clichés is my earliest memory of that place. I must have been three or four. It was the same trip I met the ocean at Hunting Island State Park. I waded into the salt water. Tasted it on my fingers. Scanned the surface for sharks. Thought every dolphin and hunk of driftwood was a shark, which sent me screaming and splashing back to the beach.

I spent languid afternoons with my sisters catching chameleons. We put the lizards in a box and named them. Took the box inside to show the adults. And under strict and often shrieked orders, carried the box back outside to let the creatures go. The chameleons turned brown on the palm tree's trunk or green if set on a leaf. ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. At the center of Carolina Moonset are multiple murder mysteries. Who did you originally think the perpetrators were, and what did you think their motives were?
  2. What makes Joey and Leela so compatible? What enables them to bring out the best in each other? What distinctions did you notice in their personalities and family histories?
  3. What is the effect of seeing the storyline through Joey's eyes? How might the perceptions have been different if Leela or Ruby had narrated this tale?
  4. How did your perceptions of Thomas and Gail Hammond shift when more of their past was revealed? Is money the root of their power, or is power the root of their wealth? How does Trip Patterson's fate illustrate the class divisions within their community? ...
Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

Here are some of the comments posted about Carolina Moonset.
You can see the full discussion here.


At the center of the story are multiple murder mysteries. Who did you originally think the perpetrators were and why?
The multiple murder mysteries were what first attracted my interest in this book. However, I found the characters to be as interesting as the plot! As to whodunnit, I can’t believe that I didn’t think about one of The South&... - NCjeanne

Did your perceptions of Thomas and Gail shift? Is money the root of their power, or is power the root of their wealth? How does Trip Patterson's fate illustrate the class divisions within their community?
From the beginning their wealth was a turnoff as you could just feel the power they felt entitled to. No concern for doing the right thing, and trying to use money to wipe out guilt! - lindac

Do you feel Joey's reactions to divorce are common?
I agree with the above observances, but I would add that I was surprised by his lack of anger or irritation towards their exes. Usually when there is a divorced couple in a novel or movie there are so many issues to disagree about - custody, ... - ruthiea

Do you think it's true that we care less about others' opinions as we age?
For sure. As a teenager we are usually so worried about the opinions of our peers. As we age we become more self confident and able to more easily ignore what others think. - LindaMonaco

Do you think Marshall's legacy as a healer extended beyond his work as a physician?
It seems like some readers have trouble thinking of Marshall as a healer...long before he was a physician he was a thoughtful, compassionate person as examplified by his youthful friendships and loyalty. - somanybooks...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for 12 months or $12 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Goldman balances the various threads of the narrative masterfully; all of them are equally enthralling and beautifully interwoven, so much so that I found the mystery itself a less interesting aspect, almost an afterthought in this superbly wrought family drama. Those looking for a taut murder mystery may find it a bit of a letdown, but readers interested in a high-quality novel about aging and the complexities of middle age will definitely appreciate it.

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
[A] first-class mystery...The often amusing dialogue flows naturally, the emotional undercurrents ring true, and the mystery itself offers a full complement of suspects and motives. This novel about love, loss, and family ties isn't to be missed.

Author Blurb William Kent Krueger
Goldman has an unerring ear for snappy dialogue and a poet's eye for the beauty of nature. This is a compelling story of how the past is never truly the past, and how we make sense of the gifts that are offered us in every present moment. I loved this book.

Reader Reviews

Sharon Robinson

A Language Rich Book
This is a book in which the mystery takes a slight backseat to the rich characterization. The author chooses to give us insight into his characters through his lively language. One woman is described as "look(ing) like the kind of woman, who, if...   Read More
Techeditor

This book grabbed me from page 1
Don't you just love it when you read a really good book by a new-to-you author, and now you get to read his previously unknown-to-you books? That's how I feel now. I just read the really good CAROLINA MOONSET by Matt Goldman, a new-to-me author who ...   Read More

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for 12 months or $12 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Read-alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Carolina Moonset, try these:

  • Where the Crawdads Sing jacket

    Where the Crawdads Sing

    by Delia Owens

    Published 2021

    About this book

    Winner of the 2018 BookBrowse Debut Author Award

    How long can you protect your heart?

  • The Almost Sisters jacket

    The Almost Sisters

    by Joshilyn Jackson

    Published 2018

    About this book

    More by this author

    With empathy, grace, humor, and piercing insight, the author of gods in Alabama pens a powerful, emotionally resonant novel of the South that confronts the truth about privilege, family, and the distinctions between perception and reality - the stories we tell ourselves about our origins and who we really are.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search read-alikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $39 for 12 months or $12 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

and discover exceptional books
for just $3.25 per month.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    The Book Woman's Daughter
    by Kim Michele Richardson
    Kim Michele Richardson's The Book Woman's Daughter follows Honey Lovett, 16-year-old daughter of ...
  • Book Jacket: Iona Iverson's Rules for Commuting
    Iona Iverson's Rules for Commuting
    by Clare Pooley
    For the many years that I've been reading, one realization has always come to mind for me after ...
  • Book Jacket: We Had to Remove This Post
    We Had to Remove This Post
    by Hanna Bervoets
    It's not about money. Kayleigh, the protagonist and narrator of We Had to Remove This Post, a newly ...
  • Book Jacket: River of the Gods
    River of the Gods
    by Candice Millard
    The Nile River has provided vital resources for millennia, serving as a source of water, food and ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
Hamnet
by Maggie O'Farrell
"Of all the stories...about Shakespeare’s life, [Hamnet] is so gorgeously written that it transports you."
The Boston Globe

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden
    by Zhuqing Li

    A beautifully woven family memoir that coalesces into a vivid history of two very different Chinas.

  • Book Jacket

    The Lies I Tell
    by Julie Clark

    The new thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Flight!

Win This Book!
Win Where the Crawdads Sing

Win a signed copy of Where the Crawdads Sing

In celebration of the movie release on July 15, we have three signed copies to give away.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T O Thing W H T F I F I

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.