Monday, July 4, 2011

Meg Mitchell Moore

Meg Mitchell Moore worked for several years as a journalist. Her work has been published in Yankee, Continental, Women’s Health, Advertising Age and many other business and consumer magazines. She received a B.A. from Providence College and a master’s degree in English Literature from New York University. The Arrivals is her first novel. Her second novel will be published by Reagan Arthur Books in 2012.

A few weeks ago I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
Currently I’m reading Long Drive Home by Will Allison. The premise is absolutely riveting. A suburban dad, driving his first-grader home from school one day, jerks the steering wheel of his car in front of an oncoming vehicle; he’s trying to scare the teenage driver, with whom he’d had a near run-in just moments before, but his actions cause the other driver to crash and die at the scene. I’m about halfway through, as the narrator’s life is beginning to unravel while he tries to protect his family by keeping his role in the accident a secret. The writing is very strong, and it’s a lean, spare book, just over 200 pages, that manages to pack a real punch and forces the reader to wonder about all the little actions every day that may or may not have long-term consequences.

Before that I read The Blue Bistro by Elin Hilderbrand, who is one of my favorite writers. All of her novels take place on Nantucket, where she lives, and there is nothing better with which to start the summer. Blue Bistro is one of her older books but one I had somehow missed and I was delighted to discover it. It’s interesting to me that books by writers like Hilderbrand get labeled “beach reads” (which, certainly, they can be, there’s nothing better, in my opinion, to read at the beach). But underlying that description is sometimes an intimation of “therefore easy to read and maybe easier to write than a serious work of literary fiction.” I disagree! I have so much admiration for writers who can 1. spin a good yarn 2. create characters who are flawed and yet so likeable that you don’t want to stop reading 3. do that pretty much every year and nail it every time.

Before that, speaking of serious, I read Faith, by Jennifer Haigh, who has been one of my favorite writers since Mrs. Kimble came out. This takes place during the molestation scandal in the priesthood that rocked the Boston Archdiocese in the early 2000s. I thought this book was phenomenal. I live north of Boston (and am Catholic) so the themes were very familiar to me. I thought Haigh’s handling of the story, which is told from the point of view of the sister of an accused priest, was flawless, and I’ve been thinking about it since I finished it.

With one of my daughters I am working my way through the Betsy/Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace. I loved these books as a child, my parents saved them, and I am now reading those same copies with my children. These books are so beautifully written and so evocative of a real time of innocence for our country. (They take place in the early 1900s in a small town in Minnesota.) It’s so interesting and gratifying to me that the themes of friendship and growing up are still relevant to my children today.
Visit Meg Mitchell Moore's website.

--Marshal Zeringue