#Short stories The Pull of the Moon
- Author: Julie Paul
- Title: The Pull of the Moon (12 short stories)
- Published: 2014
- List Challenges 2018
- Monthly planning
- #CanBookChallenge (reviews)
- #DealMeIn2018. Jay @Bibliophilopolis
- The slow reader is like a swimmer who stops
- counting the number of pool laps they have done
- … just enjoys how their body feels and moves in water.
- For the first time I approached
- ….a collection of short stories
- as a slow reader.
- I read each and every word Julie Paul wrote.
- Not every story is a home-run
- ….but she hit a few out of the ballpark!
- I read the collection from
- …beginning to end as Ms. Paul arranged them.
- I could not detect a flow in the arrangement of the stories.
- They did not build on each other.
- There were 2 stories that felt just pointless (9,12)
- with paper thins characters.
- Three stories had potential ….but endings were ambiguous
- …and left this reader wanting. (8,10,11)
- The BEST stories were Black Forest, Crossing Over and Flip
- …all good feeling endings….love conquers all! (1, 3, 6)
- Setting: 6 of the 12 stories mentioned NO location specifics
- …which made the stories colorless.
- It does not take up much space in the story
- …to at least mention the name of a town or state!
- Children: Jenny – Simon – Sammy – Beany – Angela – Lulu
- Vicki/Larry – Jim/Fran – Mr./Mrs Poole
- – Bob/Dee Hudson – David/Erica – nameless wife/Michel
- — Sue/Fraser — Jess/Dylan
- Couples: Warren/Lacy — Claudia/Rodger — Billy/Allan — Mario/Sheri
- Brother and sister: Warren/Gwen – Stravos/Alexa
- Sisters: Tirsh/Donna
- Brothers – Owen/Jasper
- Teenagers: Jenny – Juna
- Neighbor: Carl — Mia — nameless woman (5th story)
- Looking at this character list you can see the
- …most common theme was
- marriage, family loyalty vs denial dynamics.
- Many fathers feared they were not a good enough parent.
- The most common themes were
- …doubts about parenting,
- marriage, separation, custody battle, family secrets,
- accepting no medical intervention for a sick husband and
- …a husband dealing with post traumatic syndrome disorder (PTSD)
- ..and Diana (49 yr) tries to make a home-made baby with a turkey baster!
- Couples/relationship dynamics swirled about tropical vacations:
- 4 young people’s dream trip went haywire.
- Claudia and Rodger took a chance on the flip of a coin
- …and found love in Cuba!
- One couple broke up…. Lacy/Warren
- …Lacy felt The Pull of the Moon and booked
- …a one-way ticket with the Lunar Pilgrim shuttle!
- Gwen: What do you do when all you have in the world
- …is a brother and a cat named Fluffy?
- She felt “…as lonely as a lighthouse.”
1. Black Forest
- crisis: Mother abandons family
- struggle: Lawrence must be father-mother for his daughter.
- discovery: Jenny is growing up and father feels separation anxiety
- transformation: Jenny who needs guidance…
- is the ‘adult’…and ends up guiding her parents!
...it is really about the cake!
- crisis: PTSD
- struggle: recover from trauma
- discovery: trauma can be a source of growth
- transformation: Jim feels a greater appreciation for life,
- ….a greater sense of personal strength.
- He pushes himself to ‘meddle’ with the neighbor’s problem.
3. Crossing Over
- crisis: Should a cat have a grave?
- struggle: brother (balanced, reasonable) vs sister (emotional, lonely)
- discovery: grief is real be it for a cat or a wife….
- transformation: Roy realizes that grief is simply a part of life.
- There is no need to suppress or deny the pain.
- crisis: the rise of New Age spirituality in a skeptical world.
- Lacy wants to follow course Angel Reading cards (…talk to guardian angel)
- struggle: Lacy is a believer: “That stuff got me so amped up!“
- discovery: If the moon controls the tides, affects crops, etc.,
- …it seems logical that it has some sway over us too.
- transformation: Lacy books a one-way-ticket to the moon!
- crisis: Mr. Poole (neighbor) suddenly dies
- struggle: narrator feels guilty
- ….she did not prevent Mr. Poole from wandering off.
- discovery: narrator is burdened with regrets and seeks redemption
- transformation: Mrs. Poole calls narrator a gift from God.
- Ironically.…narrator does not feel she is the answer to a prayer.
- crisis: Single librarian lives alone with her cat.
- struggle: Roger (co-worker ) asks her to go to Cuba with him!
- …What should she do?
- “…a vacation with Rodger? “
- …they only know each other in the coffee sense,
- ….she likes lattes with extra sugar and he like Africanos…!”
- discovery: Claudia discovers that it is sensible to want
- …more than what keeps the flesh alive and mobile.
- transformation: Love blossoms
- ….Claudia she is brought back to life… a little resurrection.
7. Tropical Dream
- crisis: couples have problems….flirting with each other.
- struggle: Fraser flirts with Billy – Billy….flirts with his wife Sue!
- discovery: boys find girls locked in a passionate embrace
- transformation: Sue is confused….feels the ache of unfinished business
8. The King is Dead
- crisis: Trish feels as an outsider from the secret family club
- struggle: tension b/t Trish and family….what is wrong? what is the secret?
- discovery: before Trish was born
- ….her brother Patrick drowned (father was drunk could no save him).
- transformation: Trish internalizes her grief and anger
- If she explodes she will never see her nephew again
- ….her ‘stand-in-little-brother’.
- crisis: Juna’s mother (49 yr) asks Stravos (17 yr)
- …to donate sperm so she can have a baby
- struggle: Stravos weighs the pros and cons.
- discovery: ???
- transformation: ???
- Conclusion: pointless!
10. Weeping Camperdown (tree)
- crisis: man divorced, woman married feel themselves falling in love.
- struggle: Andrew does not want his daughter to know he is looking for love.
- discovery: After a few incidents
- ….Andrew suspects this woman is stalking him!
- transformation: “Something in her voice made Andrew’s hair prickle”
- Conclusion: story had great potential but the ending just fizzled out.
- Last sentence: “He began to count”.
- Me: Count what?
11. Her Full Name Was Beatrice
- crisis: custody battle Erica vs and David for their child Beany
- struggle: David is awarded custody of Beany. (Beatrice)
- discovery: Erica cannot accept this decision
- transformation: Narrator (nameless) is guilt-ridden
- ….what signs did she miss….could she have helped Erica?
12 Squirrel People
- crisis: Jess cannot bear to live near neighbors Mario/Sheri from upstairs
- …they keep feeding the squirrels It drives Jess crazy!
- struggle: Dylan bring home puppy for Lulu (daughter). Jess is livid!
- discovery: role reversal
- transformation: Dylan has become just like Mario
- ….just wants to make people happy
- …Jess his wife turns into Sheri
- …raging when no raging was necessary.
- Conclusion: pointless story