Envious Moon
Thomas Christopher Greene
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Buy *Envious Moon* by Thomas Christopher Greene online

Envious Moon
Thomas Christopher Greene
William Morrow
288 pages
May 2007
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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In prose that evokes the natural beauty of the New England landscapes and picaresque coastlines of Rhode Island, author Thomas Christopher Greene explores the unpredictable ramifications of love in this chilling and obsessive tale of a teenage boy who sets himself on a path towards self-destruction.

Seventeen-year-old Anthony Lopes wants to follow in the footsteps of his father, who died in a fishing accident when Anthony was a young boy. Blessed with a fierce intellect and a sense of loyalty to his working-class roots, Anthony spurns the possibility of going to college for the freedom of fishing with his beloved swordfish fleet just off the coast of Galilee.

When Anthony isn't finding solace in the simple clarity of the sea, he spends time hanging out with his best friend, Victor, smoking cigarettes and drinking beer, each satisfied to just drift along and lazily contemplate their dreams and wishes.

All this changes one afternoon when Victor tells Anthony of large, deserted house just across the bay on Cross Island, where in the dining room right beneath a large Persian rug lies an envelope overflowing with money. They joke and laugh about what they would do with the money if they actually had it. It could even change their lives and take them away from their current path.

One night, the boys decide to sail to the Island to retrieve the money, both excited that they're on the cusp of something yet not quite knowing what it might be. The expedition, however, proves to be disastrous when events begin to go wrong as they discover that the house is not as empty as Victor first thought.

While retrieving the money, Anthony comes face to face with a beautiful girl draped in shadow, with a face more gorgeous than any he has ever seen. He stops to admire her, totally entranced by her beauty.

Suddenly, a man appears out of nowhere and tries to tackle Anthony on the stairs, eventually tumbling over the railing and landing on the floor below. Anthony and Victor are able to escape with the money, both deeply shocked at what has happened.

The next day, Victor tells his friend that the man has died and that his name was Jacob Forbes, the wealthy father of the Hannah Forbes, the beautiful girl he spied that night bathed in the soft golden light of the moon.

Unable to get her out of his mind, Anthony is soon having visions of Hannah, seeing her everywhere and in every waking moment. As he becomes ever more obsessed, willing himself over to the throes of love, he camps out on Cross Island, perhaps hoping for a chance to befriend this young girl who has so changed his life.

Driven by his own needs and the intensity of the moment, including the hopes of having a life with Hannah, Anthony follows the twists of this confusing emotional maze, trying hard to block out the truth about himself and his life. Spurred on by a kind of willful ignorance and haunted by a misplaced passion for Hannah, Anthony becomes a fugitive, driving across state lines, desperate and on the run with only his delusional love for Hannah to guide him.

Part literary thriller with pretensions towards the gothic, Envious Moon is a heady, atmospheric, and ultimately tragic tale of the innermost fears of a complicated and haunted boy. Reminiscent of Scott Spencer's Endless Love, Greene's novel is a much darker exploration of this kind of obsessive love, where the final reckoning that awaits Anthony is just as shocking as it is poignant.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. Michael Leonard, 2007

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