THE BOOK: Crooked Moon.
PUBLISHED IN: 2008
THE AUTHOR: Lisette Brodey.
THE PUBLISHER: Saberlee Books.
SUMMARY: This is the story of two childhood best friends, Frankie Cavalese and Callie Mason, who grew up together behind opposite walls of a row home in a blue-collar neighborhood of Philadelphia called Rainytown. They thought they’d be friends forever, but after high school, life interfered and circumstances separated them as they each went on to live in drastically different worlds. Twenty-three years later, one hot unsettled summer, their lives come crashing back together when Callie, who has led a life of privilege, returns to Rainytown and finds her old friend still living in her childhood home, unmarried, and caring for her angry dying mother, Ruby.
Frankie is faded. Her signature tenacity is threadbare as she routinely implores her playboy brother, Paulie, to help ease the burden of being their mother’s sole caregiver. As the two women reconnect, Frankie tries to forgive Callie for abandoning the friendship, while Callie wrestles with the guilt of having disappeared. To complicate the fragile reunion, Callie’s marriage to her husband, Jackson, is suddenly at risk, further muddled by the affections of (and attraction to) Paulie. Tensions and passions explode in the sweltering heat, and amid pain and tragedy, each woman not only ends up with a life-altering secret regarding the other, but the burning question of what to do with it.
THE BACK STORY: I’ve always believed that what draws people together, as friends or lovers, goes way behind the surface things we have in common. What is in our heart goes beyond how much money we have or what we look like. Often, we meet old friends and pick up as if it were yesterday. Other times, we realize we’ve grown far apart and are very different people. In Crooked Moon, Callie and Frankie are at pivotal times in their lives when they both need one another more than ever. But Frankie’s pride makes it hard for her to forgive Callie for deserting their friendship, while Callie’s reasons for doing so, upon retrospect, feel wrong and unforgiveable.
The first chapter of this book focuses on Callie as she sits in her car in front of the Philadelphia row home where she grew up. Memories come flooding back as she wonders about Frankie and feels great trepidation about getting out of her car. This chapter explains the past as the present is woven into the narrative, and as Chapter Two begins, the story kicks into full gear.
WHY THIS TITLE? I almost never start a novel without a title. It’s not something I like to do. But I made an exception in this case, because I knew it would come to me while writing it. And in Chapter Four, it did. That’s all I can say without giving too much away. WHY WOULD SOMEONE WANT TO READ IT? This book is most likely to appeal to people who like character-driven stories. I kept the dialogue very real, so this isn’t for readers who are turned off by expletives. That said, the “bad language” is not gratuitous. It is simply how some of the characters talk. A lot happens in a very short time encompassing a full range of emotions. It is painful and joyous … sometimes both in the same moment. It is real life with flawed human beings.
“The centerpiece of this book are the characters and their messy, complicated and screwed up lives, and yet there are bright flashes of goodness and humanity that light up the darkness. The author handles these complex relationships with a deft hand and never stops surprising the reader along the way as secrets are revealed. The dialogue is pitch perfect, raw and at times laced with profanity but that’s the way people speak in Rainytown, a place where dreams die hard and gossip trumps hope. The class divide between Frankie and Callie looms large and is brilliantly depicted throughout.”
“Grief is a theme central to the story. I am in awe of Ms. Brodey’s ability to so skillfully script her characters’ dialogues. Throughout the read, my experience of the raw emotional impact inherent in each aspect of loss was intense. The toughest emotions are counterbalanced by comedic retorts and memories – brilliant dialogue! I commiserated with Callie and Frankie, the deep longing each had to rekindle their friendship yet this longing was juxtaposed against deep-seated feelings of anger, guilt and shame.”
“What may have surprised me the most, is Brodey’s uncanny knack for the unforeseen plot twists, which found me saying (out loud) “Oh, this woman got me good!” So MANY times, she got me good, all right! While reading, it inspired me to explore, in greater depth, personal relationships that I have cultivated. So much so, that while enthralled with certain parts of the book, I found myself thinking, “Oh, this writer has ‘wrecked’ me!” I enjoy being wrecked. I long to be wrecked! For as much as I (and all who embrace this book) relate to this story of love and redemption … for as much as I was laughing, I also did not expect to find myself weeping uncontrollably.”
AUTHOR PROFILE: I have written books in different genres. I find it very difficult at times to pin a genre label on my work. I have written General Fiction/Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction (a romantic comedy), Coming-of-Age (1970s), and a current-day YA paranormal trilogy, The Desert Series. The series is more like magical realism as it very much centers on real-life issues. The paranormal elements are woven into the story, but there are no vampires or shape-shifters. No matter what I write, I enjoy writing multi-layered plots with diverse (and always flawed) characters.
People often ask me why I wrote a paranormal trilogy. I’ve always had a lifelong interest in the paranormal, and throughout my life, have witnessed unexplained and mysterious events. I enjoyed writing this series set in a dying Southern California desert town. It seemed like the perfect setting for the past to come to life and influence the present.
My 7th novel, which is Literary Fiction, will be published some time in 2017. I’m also working on a collection of short stories (Dystopian Literary Fiction). While all of those stories will read as standalones, they will also connect to one another, giving the book somewhat of a novel feel.
AUTHOR COMMENTS: I hope to get my short story collection out in 2017 as well. I’m not in a hurry. My goal is always to put out the best work possible. I can only write what I feel passionate about. Many people, upon learning that I am a writer, often say things like, “I have a great story for you!” I always tell them if they have a great story, they should write it. I can only write what I personally feel passionate about.
SAMPLE CHAPTER: You can download a sample of Crooked Moon here: Amazon Author Page: http://Author.to/lisettebrodey
WHERE ELSE TO BUY IT: Crooked Moon, as well as all of my books, is available exclusively on Amazon, in both paperback and Kindle editions. I made the decision to be exclusive so that members of the Kindle Unlimited program could read all of my work for free.
Amazon Author Page: http://Author.to/lisettebrodey
PRICE: $2.99 for the Kindle edition / FREE on Kindle Unlimited.
CONTACT THE AUTHOR:
You can contact me on my website: http://lisettebrodey.com/
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/BrodeyAuthor