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Untying the Moon Ellen Malphrus

Untying the Moon

Ellen Malphrus

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Kindle Edition
184 pages
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Ellen MalphrusForeword by Pat ConroyA road trip in a 67 Skylark convertible through blood and bone places in search of the redemptive possibilities of love and homeThat ol moon can bear down sometimes, but if she bears down too hard, you can untieMoreEllen MalphrusForeword by Pat ConroyA road trip in a 67 Skylark convertible through blood and bone places in search of the redemptive possibilities of love and homeThat ol moon can bear down sometimes, but if she bears down too hard, you can untie her then too. Untie the moon and walk on.Bailey Martin is in perpetual motion—a child of the South Carolina lowcountry tides, being pulled to and from a reckoning with destiny. A marine biologist by training and an artist by dedication and talent, Bailey is a woman of contradictions, at once a free-spirited adventurer giving deeply of herself to environmental causes and familial loyalties but also consumed by primal, isolating appetites and dangerous attractions. Restless and troubled, Bailey chafes at her existence, becoming uneasy in her success, her life, and her own skin. Untying the Moon, the debut novel from Southern storyteller Ellen Malphrus, is a vibrant tale of self-discovery, approaching the realms of myth and lore as readers ride shotgun with Bailey in Blue Ruby, her 67 Skylark convertible, from Manhattan down the eastern seaboard, from coastal Carolina to the Alaskan wilderness and back again, all in search of the embrace of love and—finally—of home.When Bailey trades the freedom of the road for a relationship with Padgett Turner, a Vietnam veteran haunted by his past, she finds the compelling possibility of settling into one place and one relationship. But the weight of Padgetts emotional scars is too much for either to bear, even together. As Padgetts darkness escalates, a moment of horrific violence pulls Bailey homeward to the Jericho River of Kirks Bluff, South Carolina—a river of dolphins, dreams, and portents. In her lifelong friendship with neighbor Ben Simmons and under the sheltering gaze of her fisherman father, Cecil, and Bens parents, George and Retta, Bailey uncovers the healing connections she had been seeking elsewhere and earns her chance at the truest prize of all—a balance between her dedication to her inner life and her responsibilities to the outer world.Recalling the writings of James Dickey, Jack Kerouac, Jack London, Pat Conroy, Mary Alice Monroe, and Lee Smith, Untying the Moon explores the redemptive powers of home, nature, creation, and storytelling itself. With prose that ebbs and flows from the lyrical and lush to the staccato and sparse, Malphruss novel is rich with classical allusions and regional folklore, the enrapturing beauty of its settings, a racially and geographically diverse charismatic cast, and all the mystery and magic of fate.New York Times best-selling writer and Story River Books editor at large Pat Conroy provides a foreword to the novel.Ellen Malphrus lives and writes in her native Carolina lowcountry and southwest Montana. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in Southern Literary Journal, Review of Contemporary Fiction, William and Mary Review, Georgia Poetry Review, Haight Ashbury Literary Journal, and the anthology Essence of Beaufort and the Lowcountry. She was a student of James Dickeys and teaches at the University of South Carolina Beaufort.Untying the Moon introduces an exciting new voice in Southern fiction. Ellen Malphruss kinetic heroine Bailey Martin takes the reader on an eventful, at times bumpy, ride across the continent in a search, ultimately, for the road that leads home.—Ron RashIts a delight to make the literary acquaintance of Ellen Malphrus. Her writing is both assured and fresh, grounded in the rich traditions of Southern literature and yet utterly contemporary. Her language is exuberant, her contemplations moving. Shes a great observer of womens lives and no slouch with portraits of men either. Untying the Moon predicts the start of a long, rich career.—Valerie Sayers, author of Due East and The PowersEllen Malphrus enchanting Bailey Martin was conceived and born in water, and she carries the birthmark of the South Carolina lowlands with her wherever she goes. Bailey, like memorable American literary characters before her, is in motion, lighting out for the territory ahead. As she follows the twists and turns of rivers and ocean shorelines, Bailey must also navigate the convoluted and changing course of her heart. This is a novel about the incomprehensible contradictions and consequences of love and violence. Malphrus lush, lyrical language is wedded to her witty yet generous and wise sensibility that hovers over every page. Untying the Moon shapes a sensuous world both magical and very real, a geographical and emotional environment that the reader will never forget.—Allen Wier, author of Tehano: A Novel