Book Review: The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane

“Whether we stay together or stay apart, it means something. I’m just trying to figure out what. We’re messing up. We’re wasting time. We have one life, and it’s a miracle when you think about it. I want to stop messing it up.”

Mary Beth Keane, The Half Moon

Title: The Half Moon
Author: Mary Beth Keane
Genres: Literary, Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 304 (Hardcover)
Published: May 2nd, 2023

My Rating: ★★★¾
Read: 5/19/2023 – 5/22/2023


I’ve been on a literary kick so this book came along at the perfect time. This might have been the first time all year I read my Book of the Month selection in the same month I chose it. 

Malcolm and Jess’ marriage is on thin ice. This isn’t much of a surprise after a long battle with infertility, financial struggles, and midlife crises. We follow their turbulent lives in the present all while flashing back to various points throughout their relationship. 

One of my all-time favorite movies is Two for the Road and this book is very reminiscent of it right down to the way it’s told. For that, I absolutely adored it. What I didn’t love were the characters. I didn’t hate them nor did I find it difficult to sympathize with them, they just felt without a strong identity outside of the active plot. Strong characters in a plot like this are a must for me. Otherwise, I enjoyed the book quite a bit. 

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • The fading in and out from present to past rather than have full chapters of flashbacks.
  • Mostly stuck to the main two characters. Of course, there were side characters, but their plots didn’t overshadow the main.
  • Despite it dealing with some heavy topics, there was a hopeful undercurrent.

What I didn’t like:

  • The characters didn’t have as much depth as I’d hoped in a story like this.
  • I lost steam toward the end.


I read most of this during an overnight trip and it was the perfect hotel read.

Where to buy the book:

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