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The Half Moon

A Novel

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About The Book

From the beloved author of the triumphant New York Times bestseller Ask Again, Yes comes a magnificently told novel about the complexities of marriage, family, longing, and desire.

Malcolm Gephardt, the handsome and gregarious longtime bartender at the Half Moon, has always dreamed of owning a bar. When his boss is finally ready to retire, Malcolm is inspired to buy the place. He sees unquantifiable magic and potential in the Half Moon and hopes to make it a bigger success—but quickly realizes that his customers don’t like change and that making a profit won’t be easy.

Malcolm’s wife Jess is smart, confident, and has dedicated herself to her law career. But after years of trying to have a baby, she’s struggling to accept the idea that motherhood may not be in the cards for her. Like Malcolm, she feels her youth beginning to slip away, and while her hopes and expectations fall short of the current reality, she wonders how to reshape her life.

Taking place over the course of one tumultuous week—when Malcolm learns shocking news about Jess, a patron of the bar goes missing, and their town gets hit by a massive blizzard—award-winning author Mary Beth Keane’s skilled storytelling and generous spirit are on full display as she carefully explores a marriage in crisis, what it takes to make a life with another person, and the true meaning of family.

About The Author

Photograph by Martin Hickey

Mary Beth Keane attended Barnard College and the University of Virginia, where she received an MFA. She was awarded a John S. Guggenheim fellowship for fiction writing, and has received citations from the National Book Foundation, PEN America, and the Hemingway Society. She is the author of The Walking PeopleFever, and Ask Again, Yes—New York Times bestseller and a Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon Summer Reads Pick. Ask Again, Yes has been sold in twenty-two languages. She lives in New York with her family.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Scribner (May 2, 2023)
  • Length: 304 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781982172602

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Raves and Reviews

“Mary Beth Keane writes to the heart of the human heart. She shows us how love can deepen, how love can stall—hang in the sky like a half moon, waxing and waning in the same moment, equal parts shadow and light. I could not put this book down.” —MIRANDA COWLEY-HELLER, author of The Paper Palace

"One of our finest writers on the interior complexities of marriage and family shines a flashlight on the intricate clockwork of love and longing that runs inside us. Because of the thoughtfulness of that examination, beauty and possibility are visible. I ran my finger over sentences while reading, thinking: 'Yes, exactly.' This kind of fiction allows us to look around our own lives with respect and kindness and is therefore a great gift." —ANN NAPOLITANO, author of Dear Edward

The Half Moon is one of those rare novels that feels simultaneously classic and contemporary. Mary Beth Keane writes with exquisite detail about a marriage and a hometown, and accomplishes something remarkable: she makes you care about every character and see their point of view. The Half Moon is about the choices we make in who we love and how we love and when we need to come to terms with the past. I could not stop reading.” —VENDELA VIDA, author of We Run the Tides

"I fell in love with The Half Moon from the first page, and barely looked up until I'd finished. Mary Beth Keane has written another brilliantly absorbing novel about complicated marriages and family dynamics—how they shape us, yes, but how they undo us as well. Prepare to lose yourself in this book." —SARA COLLINS, author of The Confessions of Frannie Langton

"The Half Moon is a masterful novel that tells with great tenderness how love goes wrong and how, with hope, it can be righted. Mary Beth Keane is an unnervingly talented novelist—dead-on brilliant, authentic, full of humor, and possessing a dark and comforting wisdom. The Half Moon is a triumph." —ADRIENNE BRODEUR, author of Wild Game

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