Friday, May 30, 2008

Debbie Fuller Thomas's Tuesday Night at the Blue Moon ~ Reviewed

By Debbie Fuller Thomas
Published by Moody Publishers
367 pages

Back Cover:

Switched at Birth – and then switched back.
When Marty Winsolow’s thirteen-year-old daughter dies of a devastating genetic disease, she discovers the truth – her precious middle child had been switched at birth. After learning that her actual biological daughter was recently orphaned, she decides to fight for custody. Winning the court case was the easy part.

This still-grieving, single mom is torn between memories and realities. And wants desperately for God to heal her family.

For Andie, tall and blonde like Marty, being forced to live with strangers is just one more reason not to trust anyone. Her soul is a beat up as the rundown Blue Moon Drive-In the family owns. But Tuesday night is family night at the Blue Moon. And as Andie’s hopes fade, healing comes from the last place she wanted or expected – the hurting family and loving God she fought so hard to resist.


“Switched at Birth” impossible but I was watching it unfold right before my very young eyes on TV. “1989” Ernest & Regina Twiggs take Bob Mays to court for the custody of their biological daughter, Kimberly Mays; 10 years old and the only child of Bob Mays. The drama on TV was happening in Sebring Florida where the Mays lived – the Twiggs lived in Philadelphia with their 7 children.

The Twiggs learned the truth about their daughter Arelena after she dies following complications from heart surgery. Thru blood tests done after Arelena’s death Ernest and Regina found out that their healthy daughter was given to another family at birth. After this discovery the Twiggs became “determined” to make Kimberly Mays apart of their lives.

Tuesday Night At the Blue Moon begins with a similar case and courtroom drama very much like I remembered as a kid but the participants are very different. Marty is a single mother raising Deja almost 16, Winnie about 8. They are all struggling emotionally after the loss of their sibling Ginger to a deadly disease Neiman-Pick. Because Neiman-Pick is a genetic disease extensive testing was done on all family members after Ginger’s death. The conclusion was that Ginger wasn’t their child after all. Their biological child was Andrea Hayley Lockhart (who went by the name of Andie). When this case comes to court they discover that Andie is living in an adult community in a trailer park where children are not allowed!! Marty is given temporary custody until the grand parents can sell their trailer and live in a place where children are welcome and they don’t have to hide Andie.

I loved how the author brought depth to the many characters in this story and their situation. She doesn’t go too far to where you’re over whelmed by the tragic details of the disease Neiman-Pick which can wipe out entire families, but has found the balance in telling you just enough to draw you in but not enough to devastate you and you put down the book. This is one sensational story. I like how the author gives you the feel of going behind the scene of this story as it’s told by having Marty’s Point of View told first. Then the next chapter is from Andie’s point of view of the exact event described by Marty. Debbie Thomas shows you the story from all angles which quickly got my attention. By doing this I could see the many layers to this story which kept me flipping the pages to find out more.

Unlike the Twiggs Vs Mays custody battle I mentioned earlier Marty had compassion for her biological child; a sense of God and a desire to do the right thing. Marty is determined to make the best of it. I love how the author shows both Marty and Andie struggling in their own way with their present situation; trying to piece together the past and make sense of their future.

I really liked Marty and how practical and down to earth she is . She says “There’s an unwritten rule floating in space that when your house is at its absolute worst, you’ll have company. So of course, the doorbell rang…”

I felt for Andie and appreciated her honesty with herself, she recalls “When I was a little kid I used to think everybody dressed up in costumes on their birthdays, just like me. In kindergarten, I realized that my birthday and Halloween were two separate things. It was kind of disappointing to find out.”

Debbie Thomas does a great job of showing how this tough situation effected everyone’s life not just Marty and Andie. I found myself rooting for both sides – both families. I also rooted for them to let God work His peace and joy back into their lives as impossible as that seemed.

Marty ponders a story in the bible where two women come before King Solomon with a baby. Both claim to be the mother. King Solomon suggests they cut the baby in half so that each of them could have a piece of the baby. The real mother yells “Don’t harm my baby. Give the baby to her!’ Right then the King discovers who the real mother is. Marty asks God to help her do the right thing. It would be so much easier for her to let this whole thing go. She has enough drama and heartache in her life. She definitely didn’t need this.

I wish Ernest and Regina Twiggs had taken that bible verse to heart. It would have caused a lot less pain and drama in Kimberly May’s life. But The Twiggs launched a full out attack on Bob Mays to DEMAND CUSTODY of 10 year old Kimberly Mays. This case became a media Circus putting Kimberly and her father under constant surveillance by everyone they came in contact with. Bob Mays finally agreed to visits with the Twiggs but stopped after 5 of them. Kimberly was being squeezed emotionally and wasn’t’ doing so well. After a 5 year battle Kimberly took Ernest and Regina to court and wanted to “divorce” her biological parents. She told Barbara Walters in an interview aired for all the world to see ‘I want my life back the way it was before the Twiggs entered my life as my natural parents”. She won the case. Who would have every thought a child of 15 would have to go thru something like that. Sometimes “real” life is stranger than fiction.

Andie “Wanted her life back too!! The life where her parents were back from vacation and alive. She wanted to live with them not this strange family. She knew that wasn’t going to happen! Andie was 13 and felt lost and alone. Who could she turn to?

I was fascinated by the way Debbie told this story. It’s not like anything you have read lately. This is every parent and kids nightmare come true. The Characters and their situations will definitely pull at your heart strings as you watch them try to make sense of the mess they find themselves in. I was totally absorbed with how everyone dealt with this situation in their own way. How they handled this “New” living arrangement. Because of this dramatic change everyone found themselves in, aspects of their lives come out unexpectedly. The stuff they thought they had already dealt with - stuff they didn’t’ know they had to deal with.

Can they survive this nightmare? Could a child be expected to live with strangers and have her belong just because she has the genetic makeup and is their flesh and blood? You’ll have to read this amazing story to find out where God leads Marty and Addie!! This is a challenging situation for sure; one that you’ll want to read about. Get your copy today and read the “Rest of the story”.

Reviewe by: Nora St.Laurent

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