By Jenny Knipfer
Historical Romance/Mystery, 401 pages
Reviewed by Gloria Bartel, https://gloriaabartel.wixsite.com/gloriaabartel
From prologue to epilogue, Jenny Knipfer’s Ruby Moon carries the reader through the enthralling catacombs of Jenay Follet’s mind to solve a murder mystery. This story uniquely cross-examines the past and present of all the major players on the stage, good guys and bad guys alike, which lends to the story’s theme of redemption as well as serving to discover the characters’ motivations and interests.
Faith and forgiveness are large themes in Jenay’s story, and these strengthen her on every shaky step she takes toward unraveling her mystery. Through all her heartbreak, Jenay learns to put more trust in God and the people around her, despite all the physical, mental, and emotional pain she endures. This story is very inspirational in that way and is a good lesson on how to appreciate and focus on the world around you.
The main issues I found with this novel are with the tense and title theme. Sometimes the tense switch between third and first person is a little abrupt. Knipfer uses first person from Jenay’s perspective on occasion, mostly when she is writing in her journal or penning a letter, but in the few places where she is doing neither of those things, first person seems odd, though it does let the reader into Jenay’s head a little more. The title of Ruby Moon also seems to be written a little forcefully into the story toward the end. Perhaps that could have been strung more throughout like the other themes.
Overall, Knipfer’s characterization is stellar in this novel, and she skillfully ties in themes of faith, forgiveness, and trust. The mesh of cultures in this novel are delightful and refreshing, as is the way she carries the readers through the story in non-chronological order using different perspectives and tenses. For the most part, these shifts are easy to follow because she gives section headers that note the date, making it easier for the reader to fit the puzzle pieces together. The non-chronology also makes for a more stimulating read. While I questioned it at first, this style fits so well with the story.
If you are looking for a whodunnit, this is not your book. This is more of a “how did this happen?” type of novel, but it will have you perching on your chair wondering what’s next.
Reviewer Gloria Bartel lives in southern Wisconsin and is an aspiring writer. She loves to read books of all kinds. She has been writing novels since high school. She enjoys talking to authors about their publishing journeys as one day she hopes to publish some of her vast collection of novels.
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