Daily Review: Back Side of a Blue Moon
August 2, 2018
Back Side of a Blue Moon is a story of hope, redemption, and miracles. But is it a romance or a mystery, and will love prevail?
Times are hard along the Sabine River, and the little East Texas town of Ashland is crumbling under the weight of the Great Depression. Families are broke and hungry. For many, their last meal may well have been their last meal. Families are giving up and leaving town. Everyone knows the fate that awaits the scattered farms. No one can save Ashland. It is as isolated as the back side of a blue moon.
Into town comes Doc Bannister wearing a straw boater and a white suit. He is the miracle man. He has a homemade doodlebug machine that, he says, can find oil and make them all rich. Oil, he swears, lies beneath the blistered farmstead of Eudora Durant. She thinks Doc is a flim-flam man.
The Sheriff believes he is a con artist. Both are convinced that Doc has come to town to swindle every dime he can get before hitting the road again. Ashland knows Doc may be crooked, but he has brought hope to a town that had no hope.
Eudora has everything Doc wants. She is a beautiful woman who owns cheap land. In Ashland, she is known as the scarlet woman. Whispers say she murdered her husband. No one has seen him since the night they heard a shotgun blast on her farm. The town wants oil. Doc wants Eudora. But Eudora is too independent and stubborn to fall for the charms of a silver-tongued charlatan.
She holds the fate of Ashland in her hands. Will she let Doc drill? Is there really oil lying deep beneath her sunbaked land? Can Doc find it? Or is he more interested in finding love than oil? What happens when a man with a checkered past comes face to face with a woman whose past is as mysterious as his?
A fascinating story with intriguing characters that will stick with you long after you finish the book, especially beautiful, proud, and stubborn Eudora Durant, and Doc Banister—a smooth-talking, hard to resist, con man.
When Doc appears in Ashland—a small town in Texas where families are broke and hungry—and starts talking about drilling for oil, he sets into motion a series of events with unpredictable consequences for everyone.
I found myself rooting for the people of Ashland who were all pitching in everything they had, and I was holding my breath to find out what will happen… Were they going to drill? And if so, will they hit an oil well or a dry hole? The future of the entire town and every living soul in it depended on it.
This book stirred up strong emotions; I got angry, I laughed, and I cried. What a ride and what an ending!
By Kelly Marshall
Back Side of a Blue Moon is writing at its finest. Caleb Pirtle makes you sweat in the scorching sun and choke on the dust that fills your nostrils and clogs your throat.
Ashland, Texas, is dying as one family after another abandon their homes and move away in hopes of finding something, anything better than the life they are leaving behind in Ashland.
Eudora Durant is dying too—not from disease, but from the slow drip, drip of a miserable marriage to a cheating, no-good, alcoholic, S.O.B. named Washburn Durant. Her days are filled with back-breaking physical labor and her nights are full of Washburn’s drunken abuse.
She stays away from others in Ashland and hides the frequent bruises that mar her once beautiful face. One night, Washburn hits her one time too many, and he finds himself facing the business end of his own shotgun. He runs, but
Eudora and the shotgun are faster.
Under cover of night, fast-talking, good-looking, Doc Bannister and his partner in crime, Waskom Brown sneak into Ashland. The two con men have conjured up plans to sell the locals on Doc’s doodlebug, a contraption with wires and dials that they bamboozle folks into believing can find oil on their farms.
Doc finds himself drawn to the lovely widow and sells Eudora on the idea of oil bubbling beneath the surface of her dried up fields. Others are caught up in Doc’s dream and donate what little they have to build a derrick and drill for oil.
The heat is relentless, and so is the fire burning between Doc and Eudora. She knows he’s a con man, but her heart can’t stop thinking about the dandy with the doodlebug and his silver tongue.
Back Side of a Blue Moon is a story of hope, redemption, and miracles. I’ve read several books by Caleb Pirtle III. This is his best yet.
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