"If you liked Downtown Abbey, you would love this book. Gabriele Wills has done readers a great service in writing Under the Moon, set in post World War I in Muskoka, Canada. Wills writes sweepingly about the Jazz Age. She has woven this historical trilogy into a tour de force. Her fascinating writing and incredible dialogue takes us back to the roaring twenties. The rich aristocrats, Captains of Industry and Financial Titans of those wonderful Edwardian times mingle with working-class Muskoka, and it reads so well. The [characters] share heartache, passion, and post war tragedies. Wills has done meticulous historical research and some of the chapters in her novel left me breathless. I was honoured to read something where the author has given so much loving attention to sumptuous detail. Anyone familiar with Muskoka will marvel at her descriptions of rocks, trees, flowing rivers, and glistening lakes of the area. Creating an authentic sense of place with landmarks like Huckleberry Rock reads like a travel brochure. So perfect and appealing. Wills has become one of my very favourite writers, and I am looking forward to reading her other books on a sunny afternoon in marvellous Muskoka." - Maria Duncalfe-Barber, Muskoka
"Your books cast an incredible, captivating spell. To write a story whereby the reader is completely taken away to a different time and place is an incredible talent. Your attention to detail is to be commended. Your historical research is painstaking and complete. Storytelling is your passion ... all the better for us the readers! Bravo to you for Under the Moon! I look forward to wherever your next creation takes you!" - Lynn Bilton
"It is always a happy and joyous occasion when old cherished friends return. The characters in Under the Moon are old friends to me. Their lives have once again touched my life. Several members of my family who had TB were cared for at the Sanitarium.... Your characters instantly made me reflect back on my ancestry and the difficult times they encountered before, during, and after the War. Life went on. You have a passion for writing, Gabriele, which in turn is creating a passion for others to read. Thank you for sharing this wonderful talent and gift with us. Keep up the good work. I, along with all your other readers, look forward to your next novel." - Marie North
"Gabriele Wills' encompassing and engrossing Muskoka Novels, set in the pristine, legendary lake district of Muskoka, Canada, bring to inspirited life, a cast of deeply drawn, exceptional characters, that fast become like old and dear friends. I found myself seduced by their seemingly idyllic lives at the beginning of the Age of Elegance; and caught up in their deeper intrigues and idealism, bound into their coming of age through the cataclysmic years of the Great War and the social revolution of the glittering Jazz Age. The Summer Before the Storm, Elusive Dawn, and Under the Moon, pay honourable tribute to a generation tested by extraordinary times. I came away enriched by expanded historical aspects of war, especially from the point of view of the women who stepped from genteel drawing rooms into the horrors of makeshift hospitals and dangers of driving ambulances on the front lines. Around the world, as Remembrance Day approaches, our private and collective memories of war remind us of Life's enduring value; and I find myself recalling the many haunting passages echoing from these dazzling dramas of another time. These books inform and engage with their poignant portraits, sometimes quirky and obscure facts, and compelling authenticity. For those readers who appreciate the rare fusion of impeccable research to the allure of beautiful crafted story telling, endearing characters, and the depth and breadth of sweeping saga, I recommend the Muskoka Trilogy, absolutely!" - Ruth Cunningham, Poet and Philosopher
"I really enjoyed Under the Moon. Sometimes I was surprised by the events and sometimes I just got what I had been expecting all the way... which was a nice experience as well. It was exciting to follow Lizzie and Esme on their very different ways, and it was fun to meet Hemingway and some other celebrities. Once more you did a great job presenting history in a very personalized way.... Well, my thoughts on the book ... in short: loved it, want more." - Gisela Kretzschmar, Germany
"I'm suffering from book hangover. I just finished reading Under the Moon... It was a fantastic read and I thoroughly enjoyed it and couldn't put it down. I've read all the other books in the series and thought I might have to get them out to review who was who and what happened to whom, etc. but Under the Moon had enough quick little reviews that it all came back without having to thumb through the other books. That was a nice bonus.... I look forward to reading whatever the next book is." - Harlene Arnett, Peterborough Ontario
"'When the orchestra began Under the Moon... the music was slow and sensual, telling of a young man's moment of falling in love under a summer moon.' (p.67) This song could be a metaphor for the experience of the return to Muskoka of the personae of The Summer Before the Storm, who had served in WW 1 in England and France as related in Elusive Dawn. They lovingly return to former family and social relationships and obligations, and former affluent, hedonistic lifestyle. At the same time, they must deal with change - different physical capabilities, psyches affected by war experience, women's changed values and ambitions. It is a compelling read. Many cliffhangers - how long can Chas keep [his] secret; Phoebe's rollercoaster emotional and mental life; sibling rivalries; resentment and ongoing animosity; threats of the local, year round, non-affluent resident population; dangers associated with speed boat racing; the wilderness location; capricious weather. The author is a meticulous researcher. One leaves the novel having learned lots of interesting relevant facts, historical and otherwise. The family tree provided is an invaluable and necessary reference, as are the explanatory notes. The author deserves an OLYMPIC GOLD for her creation of an historical trilogy that delineates so many characters in a lucid prose over the time period - pre WW 1 to 1934. Happily, the leaving of the door open at the end of Under the Moon allows for a continuation of the saga, perhaps into and through WW 2?" - Muriel Cluett, Toronto, Ontario.
|The Muskoka Novels||