Loose in the Bright Fantastic
Author: E.B. Moore
Publisher: Frayed Edge Press
Physical description: 5.5x8.5; 221 p. (pbk.)
Publication date: May 16, 2023
Gray-haired Maggie flees the hospital wearing her late husband’s ill-fitting wingtips and an ancient mink over her hospital johnny. She escapes into the familiar comfort of the Boston Public Garden and, as dusk settles, her past and present meld together. She eludes the police and family for days, while revisiting old haunts, from tea at the Ritz to shopping at Goodwill. In Boston’s South End, a homeless man shelters her in his squat, while she searches for her lawyer’s office somewhere overlooking the park.
Maggie’s adult children, Clair and Roger, search frantically for her while also dealing with the final sale of Maggie’s house and the disposal of her belongings—along with their own challenges. Clair is separated from her husband and contending with being a single mother to three active children and managing a house under renovation, full of pet mice and a slobbering dog. Roger, meanwhile, is immersing himself in his charity work with the homeless, avoiding the affections of his long-time best friend Jeremy. Clair’s youngest, five-year-old Hank (aka Major Amazing Man), complicates matters further by setting out on his own to track down his beloved Nana.
Told from the varying points of view of Maggie, Clair, and Hank, each with their own version of events, this is a story of family ties that get stretched under duress but never quite break. Told with compassion and humor, this heartfelt story of generational challenges will appeal to any reader who has ever been part of a family.
E. B. Moore is a metal sculptor turned poet and novelist. She grew up in a Pennsylvania fieldstone farmhouse, moved to the Boston area, and finally found a sense of home in a South End townhouse and later a loft in Cambridge. In the middle of raising her family, her mother moved in following unsuccessful brain surgery. The family coped by finding the lighter side of outlandish happenings over the eight years they lived together; these experiences partly served as the basis for writing Loose in the Bright Fantastic. E. B. Moore is also the author of the poetry chapbook New Eden, A Legacy (Finishing Line Press, 2009) and the novels An Unseemly Wife (NAL/Penguin 2014) and Stones in the Road (NAL/Penguin/Random House, 2015). She is the mother of three, the grandmother of five, and currently lives with her partner in Scarborough, Maine.
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