Verdict: I'LL BE LOOKING AT THE MOON is a richly-told, warmhearted story about a woman finding trust, love, and a new sense of self after a lonely childhood.
Elizabeth Morgan’s father cared only for his business and for ensuring that his son, James, followed in his footsteps. Her mother’s internal demons left her mentally ill and unable to care for her children. Loving grandparents and her close, affectionate relationship with her brother can’t quite make up for her dark, lonely, sometimes-frightening childhood. When she takes a job overseas in France, however, Elizabeth finds newfound freedom, self-worth – and unexpectedly, the possibility of true love with an Italian restaurant owner, Antonio. But can their love survive what appears to be catastrophic betrayal?
I’LL BE LOOKING AT THE MOON is almost a fictional biography as much as it is a love story. Actually, if this story were expanded to include a few other storylines (which the supporting characters could easily provide), and told episodically, it would make a terrific soap opera in the classic Dynasty or Dallas style, dysfunctional family, romantic Mediterranean lover, and all. Barrett explores Elizabeth’s tragic family, her growing independence, and her passionate love affair with lyrical, beautiful, vividly-descriptive language. The romance with Antonio actually takes up a rather small proportion of the book – the real story is Elizabeth finding her own self-confidence and learning that she is, and always has been, worthy of loving and being loved. She is, thankfully, a well-drawn, likeable, engaging character, with enough depth and personality to keep the reader happily involved in her story.
James is possibly the best-drawn of the minor personalities, and his story, woven deftly through Elizabeth’s, is heartrendingly stark in its contrast to hers. The romance between Elizabeth and Antonio has a whirlwind energy and vigor that stand out brightly against the rather more measured, carefully-detailed pace and texture of the rest of the book. At times, though, this makes both their getting together and splitting up feel a bit too abrupt for real believability, while the rest of the book can feel in places like a tedious interlude to readers kept in suspense about the fate of their relationship.
I’LL BE LOOKING AT THE MOON is a richly-told, warmhearted story about a woman finding trust, love, and a new sense of self after a lonely childhood.
~Catherine Langrehr for IndieReader