Aug 1 2007
Dear Ms Moyer,
When Jane told me that she’d received an advanced copy of your latest book, Heartbreak Town, I was thrilled. I love the first in the trilogy The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch” I really like The Last of the Honky-tonk Angels and was eager to see what’s in store next for Lucy, Ash, Denny, Jude and the citizens of Mooney, TX. You’d left me with a ton of questions at the end of “Angels” and I needed answers.
It was good to see old friends and faces back in Mooney. Some had changed and others hadn’t changed at all. What had happened in the few years interval since book two was Ash’s meteoric rise and fall on the Nashville music scene. Initial success hadn’t translated into lasting fame for him and the bottle was eroding the wonderment of Ash and Lucy’s marriage. When she thought it was the only option left to her, Lucy had packed up their son Jude, quickly loaded her car and turned it southwest towards east Texas. Now suddenly Ash has shown up again, moving onto their joint property against Lucy’s say-so. Is he trying to win her back, just see their son, restart his career, dry out or just passing through? Lucy can’t tell, Ash doesn’t really seem to know but you can bet that everybody in Mooney’s gonna have something to say about it all.
Once again, thank you for creating Mooney. The descriptions of it and NE Texas make me feel them – the heat, the crickets at night, the stars spread across the midnight sky, the small town with it’s lack of any cultural refinement and having to drive to other places for any choice or selection. I like that the town isn’t a DoubleName cliche of the South yet after two books, some characters are getting slightly stereotyped, especially those who feel the need to place bets on all aspects of Ash and Lucy’s lives. Dove’s garden still seems to be growing and looks like it might take over the town soon. Geneva and Bailey finally have a child, an adopted Chinese daughter Lily who seems like an old soul at age five. Jude sounds like a little boy – delighted to see his father and do “guy” things – growing up and away from hugs with Mommy – wanting his independence.
I like that you’ve included ups and downs for everyone. Life hasn’t been all rosy for the Farrell family – which is good – but it’s still hard for me to read about an alcoholic character due to personal reasons. Lucy and Ash still have a ways to go, probably always will since Ash will never be a recovered alcoholic — that seems reasonable – marriage is hard work and this book shows that – warts and all — HEAs take work. I can see why Lucy distrusts Ash and his recovery but at the same time, I did get tired of her not cutting him any slack. And what happens to Denny and Will? I hope you were laying the groundwork for a fourth book about for them cause you sure left us dangling. It was nice to finally get some information about Raymond Hatch and see some depth to Patsy Hatch beyond just being holier than thou. How could Father Laughlin not know about black-spot on roses? But I like his character too even if he does seem to have too many slick sayings to spout to Lucy. I like how he says he doesn’t always know if what he’s saying makes any difference to those he counsels.
I think you did a good job sketching out what happened in the two previous books yet I would strongly recommend that newcomers to the series start at the beginning and work their way through all the books as there’s a lot of details they’ll miss otherwise. As I said earlier, I also hope there’s another book in the works since this one left me with almost as many questions as I had after “Angels.” Yet it was good to go back to Mooney again and I certainly enjoyed my stay. B-