Friday, April 24, 2009
In Christopher Meeks's "The Brightest Moon of the Century," Edward, a young Minnesotan, is blessed with an abundance of "experience"-first when his mother dies and next when his father, an encyclopedia salesman, shoehorns Edward into a private boys school where he's tortured and groomed. Edward needs a place in the universe, but he wants an understanding of women. He stumbles into romance in high school, careens through dorm life in college, whirls into a tornado of love problems as a mini-mart owner in a trailer park in Alabama, and aims for a film career in Los Angeles. Will his love for a Latina prove to be the one? In nine chapters, the reader experiences Edward's life from ages 14 to 45. This is the first novel from Christopher Meeks, which follows his highly acclaimed collections of short stories, "The Middle-Aged Man and the Sea" and "Months and Seasons." Author and humorist Sandra Tsing Loh has said, "Christopher Meeks's quirky stories are lyrical and wonderfully human. Enjoy." Carmela Ciuraru wrote in the Los Angeles Times Book Review of Meeks's first book, "This idea resonates throughout the collection: Meeks's characters seek happiness in the small things because they have no choice ... [The stories] are poignant and wise, sympathetic to the everyday struggles these characters face."
What can I say about THE BRIGHTEST MOON OF THE CENTURY? I can say that it is an exceptional novel. The main character, Edward and I have so much in common (born around the same time, had a step-mother, was taunted in school, and dreamed of going to Hollywood), so I could relate where he was come from. Watching him grow from an awkward 14 year old to the 45 year husband and father, you can feel his transformation. Christopher Meeks separates Edward’s life in stages and we experience with him the joy and pain of growing up, life in college, self-employment, tragedy and friendships. Mr. Meeks writes a terrific debut novel.