This little darling of a book, like usual, wasn’t recommended to me by anyone as I am not into the habit of asking for recs. I am pretty satisfied with the way I discover new authors and that’s to scour the internet looking for books similar to what I have previously enjoyed. Which is how I ended up stumbling on Clare Vanderpool’s Moon Over Manifest.
Clare is actually an award winning author and it kind of surprised me that I had never heard of her, which goes to show how hard it is for even good authors to get meaningful publicity these days.
Moon Over Manifest is a crossover YA novel narrated mainly through the eyes of twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker, who has been sent by her father to Manifest, a Kansas town, to live with an old buddy of his. While there, Abilene discovers a treasure trove of cryptic notes and mementos, which lead her on a chase to discover the real identity of the Rattler, a supposed first-world-war spy.
Several other points of view in addition to Abilene’s are used, and the book switches between scenes taking place in the war years 1917-18 and the book’s present, 1937.
My review: I gave this novel five stars on Goodreads. Abilene, young as she is, is a compelling and sympathetic narrator who does things very few other kids of her age would. Together with her sidekicks, Lettie and Ruthanne whom she has just befriended, she ends up solving an age old mystery that would otherwise have lain hidden for eternity.
Clare’s prose is impeccable and the way she weaves between events in different time periods is nothing short of amazing. You have to read this to find out for yourself.