Book Review: The Moon Will Not Rise by John King

*I received a complimentary copy of this book, and I’m leaving a voluntary review*

We need to talk about this book. We need to talk about Ellen, Tom and the wonderful summer they shared together in 1972.

This is a coming-of-age story first, and I’m not even sure if it fits in any other genre. But I doesn’t have to. Coming-of-age describes everything that this is, and it’s beautiful.

I wouldn’t normally read this, so I’m very happy I accepted this to review. I loved it so much, I actually told my wife as soon as I was done that she needs to read this.

The story is simple, Ellen, a young student, is left alone and homeless when her boyfriend leaves her to travel for the summer. She eventually ends up living with Tom, an older, retired gentleman.

Their relationship is very symbiotic. Ellen gets food, board, and money, and Tom get help with housework, chores, plus company. It’s natural, quiet and simple. Eventually they become closer, sharing stories, as well as their love for books and movies. They become roomates, more than employer and employee.

Dealing with the betrayal of her boyfriend and abandonment from friends, Ellen starts working out, jogging specifically. She starts taking care of herself, changing from a teenager to a young adult. Her relationship with Tom becomes stronger and they talk about life and love, she learning about the cultures Tom has seen around the world, and about his life before he became a lonely old man.


At first, I was waiting for the story to begin. For some mystery to reveal itself, some kind of action to happen. Then I realized the story was right there, unfolding right in front of me, in the life of Ellen. And I loved it. I was actually emotionally moved. Now, to realize why this is special, know that I’m a 6″, giant, long-haired, bearded metalhead, who’s favourite pasttimes are playing angry music, weightlifting, and being left alone. Of course I have emotions like everyone else, but they’re usually hiding underneath a thick skin of angry anxiety.

But I loved this! I wish I’d read it 15 years ago, because I honestly believe it would’ve made me a better person. (If 15 years younger me would even be bothered to read it though).

The ending, which without spoiling anything sees Ellen and Tom depart from each other, actually had me sit up in bed, and I’m pretty sure I yelled “Nooooooo?” to myself. I was that amazed, so moved, so enthralled.

Reading about Ellen was a joy. Really, it made me happier in the end. If you evee take any recommendation from my blog, in regards to what to read, let it be this, let it be The Moon Will Not Rise by John King. Because we need to talk about this book, people need to hear about it. Knowing the stats of many an indie author’s mind, through sharing motivation and inspiration on Twitter, I can honestly say I think a lot of people would be well served with reading this book.

Please, do yourself a favor. Go have a look.

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