By Jerome Mark Antil
Publisher: Little York Books
Date Reviewed: February 22, 2019
Release Date: May 7, 2019
Jerome Mark Antil brings the vibrant New Orleans and its residences to life on every page of this novel. If the reader longs to visit and experience New Orleans and Louisiana they should look no further than Mamma's Moon. The city's life, culture, food and music are perfectly woven into the story to create a fantastically immersive narrative; Jerome Mark Antil allows the reader to walk the streets alongside his characters and see the world through their eyes. Mamma's Moon is a faultless mix of everything from sex and crime to life and death but the overwhelming themes are that of hope and love. The hope for a better life and a brighter new day is a sheer delight to read; Jerome Mark Antil injects hope even in the most dire of situation like a beacon of light in the seemingly never ending darkness. When it comes to love the author shows practically every form of love possible in the world, from family/friends love and romantic love to the love of life and experiences.
The story shows that growing up as an illiterate man in the bayous of Louisiana is no easy feat but Antil imbues his characters with a remarkable amount of strength even when the odds seem stacked against them. That strength is shown in great amounts within Antil's character Peck, a man trying to improve his life but to do so he has to delve into the dark mess that is his complicated past. The reader cannot help falling in love with Peck; his personality makes him immediately loveable which is a true testament to Antil's creative storytelling and character development.
The novel shows the friendship between a group of unlikely friends, a man close to death, an illiterate Cajun French yardman and two of the most successful women in the city. With a wide spectrum of personalities on the surface it appears that they wouldn't complement each other. And yet Antil has developed the characters to be multidimensional and connected through their hope and love each other. Jerome Mark Antil showcases a wide range of emotional turmoil, especially within Peck's story, which no doubt will charm sympathy from the reader and the overwhelming desire for Peck and the others to achieve everything they desire.
From the very beginning the reader knows they are in for a real treat as the tale starts in the middle of action, thrusting them into the fictional world at record speed. It's impossible not to be hooked when faced with expertly crafted conflict, the desire to know everything and to see the satisfactory conclusion. However, this is not where Antil's creativity ends. He set this novel apart from all others by how he handles two different yet intertwining stories. Just when the reader thinks that the story is going to go one direction Jerome Mark Antil skillfully twists the tale to another direction keeping the reader on tenterhooks as to what will happen next.
While Mamma's Moon could be seen as a sequel, the story stands alone in its own right. Serving as a way for the reader to discover more about the characters and the world they find themselves in, Mamma's Moon is everything that could ever be wanted from a book. While it's not essential to read the rest of Jerome Mark Antil's series, if this novel is anything to go by then reading his other works will be a true enjoyable experience.
Overall, Jerome Mark Antil's Mamma's Moon is an extraordinary piece of literature that showcases the Louisiana culture and the pure strength of his characters. How could a reader not fall in love with the world he showcases and the tale he shows them?
" 'Did you murder the kid Gabe?...'Define murder...' "
JEROME MARK ANTIL writes in several genres. He has been called a "greatest generation's Mark Twain," a "write what you know Ernest Hemingway," and "a sensitive Henry Wadsworth Longfellow." It's been said his work reads like a Norman Rockwell painting. Among his writing accomplishments, several titles in his The Pompey Hollow Book Club historical fiction series about growing up in the shadows of WWII have been honored. An 'Authors and Writers' Book of the Year Award and 'Writer of the Year' at Syracuse University for The Pompey Hollow Book Club novel; Hemingway, Three Angels, and Me, won SILVER in the UK as second-best novel. Foreword's Book of the Year Finalist for The Book of Charlie – historical fiction and The Long Stem is in the Lobby – nonfiction humor. Library Journal selected Hemingway, Three Angels and Me for best reads during Black History Month. Before picking up the pen, Antil spent his professional career writing and marketing for the business world. In this role, he lectured at universities - Cornell, St. Edward's, and Southern Methodist. His inspirations have been John Steinbeck, Mark Twain, and Ernest Hemingway. Connect with him on his site and social media.
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