Bright Moon Ridge

Bright Moon Ridge


Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
362 Pages
Reviewed on 02/14/2017
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Author Biography

Linus Treefoot is an American who has lived in New Zealand for 46 years. He was born in San Francisco, and grew up in the Bay Area. He graduated from Stanford University in 1968, then spent about 10 years doing carpentry and farm work, traveling and having a good time. For many years he was a part time entertainer, playing guitar and singing solo or in bands. He has had a stint as an amateur comedian as well. He moved to New Zealand when he was 24, and began a teaching career at age 33. He has been a primary school and English (ESOL) teacher for about 35 years. He is currently a Senior English Language Teacher at Massey University, Auckland. He is married to a Chinese woman who grew up in the People’s Republic of China. They have two adult children. When he doesn’t have to work, his interests are music, reading, learning Chinese, swimming and hiking. Some stories in Bright Moon Ridge are based on events in his life.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite

Bright Moon Ridge by Linus Treefoot is the story of a young nineteen-year-old boy named Johnny Bartooth. He lives with his aunt and he never knew about his parents. His life takes a dramatic turn when he is visited by an old hippy named Heron. Heron brings a journal that once belonged to Johnny's father. The journal now becomes that one piece that helps Johnny reconnect with his parents and his past. What happens next is the gut wrenching story of a young boy who finally learns the truth and the emotional tale of two lovers who were separated by fate. Now Johnny is even more desperate to find his parents. He has been trying to fit in and become a part of a family that was never his and never will be. He yearns for his real family and he will do whatever it takes to find his parents, even if means he has to leave his only home and his country behind.

This novel was very emotional, especially when Mei (Johnny’s mother) was mentioned. I could feel her pain and I could feel the desperation of Bartooth to get to Mei and help her. Their story was tragic and very, very interesting. I liked Johnny; he was strong and determined and ready to find his real family. It was not as if he was ungrateful for the love and affection he received from his aunt and her family, but he never really fitted in. I was glad he had a direction to find his real family. This novel was really wonderful and very well constructed. Truly tremendous!

Tracy Slowiak

In an interesting and intriguing new read by debut author Linus Treefoot, Bright Moon Ridge is a story that will keep readers engaged from the very first words all the way through the very last. Follow the story of 19-year-old Johnny Bartooth as he learns more about his family and history after he receives his father’s journal from one of his father’s old hippie friends. Johnny, who has lived with his Aunt Belle in Santa Cruz for his whole life, and has often wondered about his parents and their relationship, finds the true story of his beginnings through his father’s own words. His father, called Bartooth, had fallen in love with his mother, Mei, a young married woman in China, after Bartooth had been left seriously injured and unable to walk. Bartooth wanted more than anything to take Mei with him to the USA so they could happily be together, but the complications of smuggling both her and their baby out of China were too great. Bartooth was able to get Johnny into his sister’s care, but the journal ends when Bartooth returns to China to search out Mei. What will Johnny decide to do with this information? You’ll need to read the book to find out!

I very much enjoyed Bright Moon Ridge. Author Linus Treefoot has done a great job in recounting the tale of Johnny Bartooth and his father, and is able to draw his characters very vividly. The story ends leaving the reader wanting more, which is exactly what one wants when writing a planned series. Any reader who likes realistic fiction with relatable characters should absolutely read this book. I am pleased to be able to recommend Bright Moon Ridge, and look forward to reading more in this series from author Linus Treefoot.

Joel R. Dennstedt

Bright Moon Ridge by Linus Treefoot begins with a rapid-fire mystery introduced in the form of a diary/journal written by Simon Bartooth, the lifelong-absent father of the novel’s narrator, John Bartooth. The journal entries first attended to by John, after receiving this delayed bequest by way of his father’s hippie friend, Heron, read as quickly and engagingly as any modern thriller. The hook is set deep. Just like the son, the reader is hell-bent to discover what transpired after Simon conspired to escape post-Mao China with his illegitimate son and the culturally tainted woman he loved. Why has John never known his real mother’s name, never known the presence of his father in his life, and never heard the real story of how he came to be an American without his birth parents there to raise him? Thus begins a separate thrilling adventure to locate Simon Bartooth, the father, and his one true love, the mother.

Leading us into the heart of that gigantic dragon known as China, Linus Treefoot’s novel, Bright Moon Ridge, reads like a deceptively fictional account of true events – one never stops suspecting this is true – and those events are related with such casual observation and stirring personal revelation that the reader feels like he is sharing a legendary story told annually around the dining room table during an extended family gathering. And yet, this tale consistently retains the pulse-straining urgency found in contemporary whodunits. Dammit, the anxious reader wants some answers now! When those answers do arrive, believe it or not, the story gets even better, and the details we all crave to know are filled in like the finest brush strokes on a perfect piece of art. This is, after all, a great love story.

Chris Fischer

Bright Moon Ridge by new author Linus Treefoot tells a compelling coming of age story in a way that will touch the hearts of many readers. The story follows protagonist Johnny Bartooth, a 19-year-old young man who has always had questions about where he truly came from. He’s been raised by his Aunt Belle in California, but always felt that there was more to the story of how he came into her care than what he has been told. When an old friend of his father’s, Heron, an aging hippie, shows up one day to give Johnny his father’s old journal, suddenly Johnny has the answers to a lot of the questions he’s been asking. Taking him on a journey all the way to China in the 1970s, Johnny finds that there is way more to the story of his history than he ever imagined. Will Johnny find what he’s been seeking for a long time?

Bright Moon Ridge is an enjoyable tale that many readers will be able to find connections with, especially those who have had any sort of questions about their pasts and family history. Author Linus Treefoot has done a good job in creating characters that his readers will truly come to care about. If that isn’t a hallmark of an extremely promising author, I’m not sure what is. Readers who enjoy historical fiction or a good read of fiction in general should definitely pick up this book. I look forward to seeing where author Linus Treefoot takes his readers with this series, and will certainly be keeping my eye out for the next edition.

Viga Boland

It's easy to forget when you are reading Bright Moon Ridge by Linus Treefoot that this historical fiction is, well, fiction. It's written in first person, as if it were a memoir. The narrator, John, and all the characters with whom he interacts are so life-like that, honestly, it was only when I went to write this review that I realized this love story was fiction. Now, that was clever!

The story of John, and his search to find out what really happened to his parents, opens with the mystery of a journal given to John by an old friend of his missing father, Bartooth. After scanning the contents and talking with the aunt who has been a mother to him since he was an infant, John becomes intrigued by references to his birth. His curiosity propels him across the seas to China, just as Bartooth senior had journeyed a couple of decades earlier.

What John discovers after hours and miles of tracking people down is one of the sweetest and saddest love stories ever told...that of his parents' love for each other, despite cultural differences and political chaos that ends up separating the lovers immediately after John's birth. What happens to each of them immediately after is what keeps readers turning pages, as the story unfolds through journal writings and bits and pieces of information revealed by friends John eventually locates in China. There is no way I am going to spoil a reader's enjoyment of this story by telling you what happens, other than John does eventually locate his aging mother, Mei, and through her, we learn what became of the beloved Bartooth senior.

Despite my getting occasionally lost in the plethora of Chinese names and people, Bright Moon Ridge is a darned good read, not just because of the beautiful love story, but because of what it reveals about life in China under communist rule back in the '80s. It was an awful place to live and what John's mother, Mei, endures in that political climate is brutal. It will turn readers' stomachs. But there's no reason to doubt that this fictional book is based on fact. All this political ugliness, along with the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Mei and Bartooth at John's birth, with nicely injected humor and sensitive love scenes, make Blue Moon Ridge well worth reading. Enjoy!

Ellie Midwood

I love a story within a story type of novels, and especially those set in the country, with a culture of which I’m not quite familiar with. “Bright Moon Ridge” was a perfect read in this sense; it took me on an unforgettable journey to China and presented me with a world that was both alien and magnificent.
The story follows the protagonist – John Bartooth Jr. – on his quest to find out what happened to his parents, who seemed to have vanished in China some twenty years ago. For a long time John knew nothing about their story, only the fact that his father fell in love with a pretty Chinese doctor while on a tourist trip to China. Only when his father’s old friend appears at the door of John’s aunt’s house and presents him with his father’s journal, John discovers the truth and vows to retrace his father’s steps and find him and his mother, if they were both still alive.
John’s journey was indeed fascinating to follow. The striking differences between the two countries and two cultures were depicted incredibly vividly, and I discovered many new facts about China – both historical and cultural – that I’m sure not too many people are aware of. This was a great, compelling read and I would definitely recommend it to everyone.