Tragedy of the Moth


Romance - Contemporary
186 Pages
Reviewed on 05/24/2018
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

Tragedy of the Moth by Suzanne Mondoux is the story of a sleepy Canadian village, where Felicity Moss has retreated from a life once spent in front of the camera; her fall from grace was as wildly spectacular as the act that preceded it was bitterly heartbreaking. Self exile eventually brings love and some semblance of routine as she shares a home with Alfred and teaches filmmaking. The cycle of normalcy is, however, shattered when a series of events begins to shake things up: a seemingly irresistible friend of Alfred's shows up, Felicity is pressured to return to film by her manager, and a film director is convinced his partner is cheating on him.

Tragedy of the Moth is one of those books that you will either love instantly or toss aside in confusion. I was in the former camp, immediately drawn to Suzanne Mondoux's quirky writing style and the fluctuating composition of the book. Her prose is lyrical in the face of the character chaos that they wonderfully surround ("She looks down at the trees protruding as though in suspension, fighting gravity. Could one be in suspension, denying gravity its chance to motion toward the ground, crushing the body?"). My favorite character was Eliot, who feels equally at home communing with the dead as he does filming a scene. The main character is definitely Felicity, but there's no denying that the supporting cast is fantastic. I'd recommend this book to those who love creative fiction that pushes boundaries in a story that runs a reader through the full gamut of emotion.

Divine Zape

Tragedy of the Moth by Suzanne Mondoux is a cleverly written contemporary romance with incredible twists. Meet Felicity Moss, a successful actress with a tragic past — she couldn’t stop the pain her eighteen-year-old son was going through after a kidney cancer diagnosis, so she helped him with suicide. After the painful trial for murder, a trial hugely covered by the media, she decided to retreat to her estate with Alfred, her lover. She feels deeply loved by Alfred, a love that gives her the emotional stability she needs and the sanctuary the world can’t give, but then when Samuel — an old friend of Alfred's — visits, no one suspected he’d be there for long. But it seems like he has no plans of leaving, an independent, wealthy, and handsome man who easily catches the attention of women. Alfred is unsure how long Felicity will be able to resist his charm?

Tragedy of the Moth is engrossing, a well-written, cunningly plotted story that holds the reader spellbound, thanks to the masterful use of suspense. The reader wants to know what will happen next as they watch Samuel around Felicity. The main plot is punctuated by other issues like Felicity’s filmmaking classes, the activities with her students, a documentary in Africa and references to the world’s deadliest outbreak of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone. Character development is impeccable and Suzanne Mondoux has the gift of taking readers into the hearts of her characters through a meticulous, calculated, and brilliant use of the stream of consciousness, drama, and vivid descriptions. The author also shows great mastery in dialogues, creating conversations that feel as natural as they are exciting. The emotional depth of the story is indisputable, but the deftness in the craft, the fluidity in prose, and the balance in the overall writing is remarkable. A great achievement for a story and a setting in the West Coast of Vancouver that is colorful and enticing.

Deborah Lloyd

This contemporary romance is uniquely different than others in this genre. The tale begins with a comfortable and loving morning between Felicity Moss and her lover, Alfred Manning. Felicity, an actress who had little choice but to remove herself from the public spotlight, was forming a new life for herself. She had experienced harsh judgment from the public after she assisted her eighteen-year-old son, Luc, suffering from a very painful form of kidney cancer, to commit suicide. Retreating to a relaxing life in her beach house in a small coastal town on Vancouver Island, she focuses on her relationship with Alfred, and teaching acting to local students. Author Suzanne Mondoux has developed an engaging and interesting novel in Tragedy of the Moth. While the relationship between Felicity and Alfred has its intriguing aspects, the arrival of Alfred’s best friend, Samuel, adds a triangulating element. Felicity’s manager, Jack Saunders, continues with persuasive arguments to urge her to return to her acting career.

While the narrative sections of the book flow with ease, there are other formats utilized in this story. These include poetry, a play and a screenplay, serving to explore and enhance several themes within the novel. While some readers will enjoy these interjections, other readers may find these somewhat disruptive to the plot. In Tragedy of the Moth, Suzanne Mondoux has portrayed the vulnerabilities of characters who strive to create enriching experiences, even when faced with life-and-death decisions. There are many thought-provoking moments within this story, and it is a book that will not be soon forgotten by any reader.

Lisa McCombs

Felicity Moss has buried Luc and is dealing with the aftermath of losing a son to the ravages of cancer. In her grief she avoids the demanding life of a stage actress in order to compartmentalize the many people in her life. Alfred Manning, the love of her life; Luc, her precious son; Samuel, an old friend of Alfred; and Jack, her agent and sperm donor. While Jack attempts to woo Felicity back to the set with outrageous scripts, Felicity has a need only for the sea and the peace that surrounds her home. Luc is gone, though his presence firmly remains. Even though Felicity does not see the resemblance between herself and the play’s author, there is an obvious connection in the women’s life stories. Jack knows that Felicity is the best choice as lead actress in Write Between the Lines. “Like Vivian, Felicity has lived a nightmare and is a heroine.”

Tragedy of the Moth by Suzanne Mondoux is simplicity within an intricate literary design. While telling the story of actress Felicity Moss, Mondoux departs from traditional narrative in order to present a symbolic juxtaposition of novel and play. While Felicity struggles with her decision to return to the set, the players in her life represent the many possibilities that life offers. I like the way in which Suzanne Mondoux intertwines traditional story telling with play script, providing a clear picture of Felicity’s very being. The reader is forced to dig deeper into the meaning of this tale to determine narrative from script. Refreshing read!

Mamta Madhavan

Tragedy of the Moth by Suzanne Mondoux is set in a village near Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The place is known for its art scene and the story revolves around Felicity Moss, who is a successful actress. Things take a painful turn when her Luc, her eighteen-year-old son, is diagnosed with kidney cancer. The illness is so painful that she assists him with his wish to kill himself. She was very close to her son and his suicide haunts her, along with the intrusion of the tabloids into her personal life. She leads a secluded life with Alfred, her lover, and puts an end to her acting career. Alfred is not too happy when an old friend, Samuel, visits them and does not leave. Felicity’s manager is trying to convince her to sign a film, but Felicity wants to do a short film written by her students to whom she teaches filmmaking. The director, Eliot, speaks about talking to the dead and performing rituals that allow deceased souls to ‘cross over’.

With all these happenings, the plot explores life and living and sets the tone for a romantic, aesthetic, and mysterious story. Tragedy of the Moth by Suzanne Mondoux has many layers to it and I like the way the author weaves these seamlessly into the main plot. Since the story revolves around movies, theater, and acting, it is very entertaining. I like the insertion of poetry in many places as the story progresses because this gives it a fresh feel. Though there are many characters and many things happening in the story, I like the way they all come together in the end, making the plot cohesive to readers.