BRIGHT COIN MOON by my blogger friend Kirsten Lopresti actually came out in October, but I only recently got my hands on a copy. Check out this amazing blurb:
Set against the colorful backdrop of immoral psychics and dishonest scam artists, Bright Coin Moon tells a story of longing and loyalty and the emotional burden of sacrifice.
Seventeen-year-old Lindsey Allen is an A-student who has her heart set on becoming an astronomer. But first she must break away from her mother, an eccentric failed beauty queen who has set up a phony psychic reading shop in their Oregon garage.
Lindsey is biding time until she graduates high school, reading tarot cards for the neighbors in her mother’s shop and recording the phases of the moon in her Moon Sign notebook. Her life changes when her mother, Debbie, decides they should move to California to become Hollywood psychics to the stars. As they pull out of the driveway, Lindsey looks up at the silver morning moon. It’s a bright coin moon, which means only one thing: what you leave behind today will rise up tomorrow.
When mother and daughter arrive in Los Angeles with new identities, they move into a leaky, run-down building and spend their nights stalking restaurants and movie premieres to catch that one celebrity they hope will be their ticket. When it seems they will never make it in LA, Lindsey is assigned a new mentor through her school. Joan is a lonely, wealthy widow who can’t get past the death of her husband, Saul. Debbie is convinced they’ve hit the jackpot, and plans for a future séance commence.
As Lindsey grows closer to Joan, guilt over the scam consumes her, and she must make the ultimate decision. But can she really betray her mother?
First of all: the writing. The writing! It’s literary and poignant and witty with a sort of grim undercurrent that stuck with me through these recent cloudy, icy days.
Essentially, this book is about a mother/daughter scam artist team and their complex relationship. It’s easy to moralize and judge Lindsey and her mother based on their misdeeds, but Lopresti successfully avoids it, for which I’m thankful. This is not a morality tale, it’s an honest, beautifully written portrayal of a relationship that ebbs and flows like most mother/daughter relationships.
There’s a love story with a boy at her new school, but to me it played second fiddle to the more intense feelings (both positive and negative) Lindsey has for her mother. She yearns for independence but it’s scary to try to unweave their lives and see if her slightly unbalanced mom can stand on her own.
Add in fraudulent psychics, mediums, tarot, astronomy and angst–I was hooked! Sign me up for everything Kirsten writes in the future! 🙂