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Moonrise

Moonrise

Blurb

Moonrise tells the story of Joe and his older brother Ed. Joe hasn’t seen Ed for ten years because for the last ten years Ed has been on death row in Texas.

Now Ed’s date of execution has come through and Joe knows there time together is limited.

Moonrise is a tale about the strong bonds of brotherly love but it is also a scathing condemnation of the whole premise of capital punishment


Our Review

Moonrise tells the story of Joe and his older brother Ed. Joe hasn’t seen Ed for ten years because for the last ten years Ed has been on death row in Texas.

Now Ed’s date of execution has come through and Joe knows there time together is limited.

Moonrise is a tale about the strong bonds of brotherly love but it is also a scathing condemnation of the whole premise of capital punishment. A topic that never fails to fascinate me because I just don’t understand how it still exists and is still considered to be a valid and humane punishment.

I liked the way the author uses Ed’s situation to highlight the arbitrary nature of capital punishment. For example:

“Ed was convicted of shooting a cop, a pretty ugly thing to do. But you don’t see every killer getting the gurney some guys get fifteen years. Others get life. So death for Ed but not for everyone. Cos it all depends on who you kill and where you kill them too.

Like don’t shoot a white cop in Walker County, Texas. If that’s your plan, do it in Arlington New York – no needles or electric chairs there. Just doesn’t seem fair to me. Just seems a bit fucking random.”

Sarah Crossan has a beautiful way of writing that absolutely shone through in Moonrise. The chapters in this book are clearly not just thrown together, they are carefully considered. The fact that it is written as verse adds a whole new level to it.

Joe is seven when he receives a phone call from Ed asking to speak to their sister Angela or their mom. Nobody is in so he tells Joe he has been arrested for murder.

‘They think I did something real bad.’

I pressed the receiver tight against my ear.

‘What do they think you done?’

‘They think I hurt someone. But I didn’t. You hear?’

‘Yeah’

‘I mean it. You hear me?

Cos people are going to be telling you all kinds of lies.

I need you to know the truth.’

His mom tells him not to call Ed back and not to expect to hear from him for a long time. Joe can remember thinking his mum would be wrong and Ed would be home soon but that didn’t happen.

A year later Ed was sentenced and a year after that Joe’s mom left Joe and Angela for good. She left them with their Aunt Karen who was determined to turn things around for the family.

“Karen knew how to save our souls from falling into the darkness that had carried off our brother, and the first part of her plan was never to mention Ed again.”

Ten years after the phone call from Ed Joe finds himself looking a crummy apartment in Kirkland Texas after Ed asks him to come and visit him because he has received his date of execution.

Joe has barely enough money to cover renting an apartment and no money to eat but there is no one he can ask for help because he is family to the criminal not the victim.

“No one cares whether or not we get to be with Jo at the end,

How poor or hungry we are

The cop’s widow though?

If she sets up a crowd-funding account to buy a black dress and a matching hat,

You’d have people donating big time…

But we aren’t her –

We’re not the victims here.

Instead we’re on the other side of right-

Players for Team Wrong.”

Ed was like Joe’s substitute parent, best friend and brother all in one. Joe idolised him growing up but he barely knows him now. Over the summer Joe and Ed try to get to know each other again whilst dealing with the fact that this may be their last summer together.

It is a testament to Crossan’s writing that I felt as though I was feeling everything Joe and his family felt to the point where I had been in tears several times before I finished Moonrise.

My favourite thing about Moonrise is its message that we are better than the sum of the worst things we have done.

Even if you don’t read any other part of the book you have to read the chapter ‘Time Travel Me’ because it was amazing.

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 4.5/5

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