The Moonlit Path

Fiction - Literary
332 Pages
Reviewed on 11/14/2022
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Author Biography

Peter P. Goodman is a poet, fictionist, photographer, and radio talk-show host. He has also driven a cab in New York City, practiced law in San Francisco, crossed the U.S. by motorcycle many times, delivered the late-night news (in English) on Taiwan, and wandered through China, Tibet, Perú, and Mexico. He lives in southern New Mexico with his spouse, Dael, and the dog who rescued them.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Kristie Ingerto for Readers' Favorite

Katharine’s sister had gifted her a journal for Christmas in which she would be writing as a garden journal. However, Katharine wondered what she could write about related to her garden, as she believed it to be very little. Therefore, Katharine begins this journal on New Year’s Eve, December 31, 1913, as she is looking forward to the new year beginning and wondering what is to come. In the very first entry, Katharine shares her resolves for the upcoming year, but also her thoughts led me to ask questions that I wanted answered. It made me want to just keep reading entry after entry in this journal to have my questions answered and to learn more about the author of these entries. As the year begins and the days flow into each other, Katharine’s life changes and her life as a woman living in this era changes much more than she ever thought possible as she sat there in her warm home, anticipating the coming year.

As soon as I started reading The Moonlit Path by Peter Goodman, I was hooked, completely immersed in the thoughts that were being shared, the life that was being shared. Historically, the year 1914 was a significant year, with so much happening in the United States and all over the world. I love reading historical fiction and I absolutely loved Peter Goodman’s The Moonlit Path as it is so rich with historical detail. The diary/journal approach is a style that I love reading as well; the writing is so personal and I feel as if I really get to know the characters and they become even more real to me. Katharine shares her life, her personal feelings and thoughts, her everyday life activities and the events that are going on in the world around her and how they are impacting her. I really enjoyed this book. Great style of writing for sharing this story.

K.C. Finn

The Moonlit Path is an American work by author Peter Goodman, written in a dramatic literary style. At Christmas in 1913, a young woman named Katharine is given a diary to keep for the year ahead, intended to record the plantings of the year for her garden. But the artistically minded Katharine goes beyond mere function, using the garden journal to document every detail of her life as the year 1914 kicks off. What follows is a biopic look at one of the most interesting years of world history, told from California, and a highly emotional journey for one young soul amid that background.

Peter Goodman writes with a highly transporting style, never once deviating from his commitment to putting Katharine authentically onto the page. From the start, her musings are artistically put, genuinely feminine and highly appropriate to her age and gender at the time, as she stands on the very edge of a world about to be rocked forever by global unrest. Katharine’s own journey is one in which we learn about her life in the garden and what that represents, as well as examining her personal history, family life and connection to the wider world around her. I felt totally immersed in another world whilst I was reading, and the dramatic impetus of the tale just kept growing the more I went on. Overall, literary fiction fans will find a deeply immersive personal narrative in The Moonlit Path which is hard to rival, along with an unraveling history that reflects back on our shared past.

Ruffina Oserio

The Moonlit Path by Peter Goodman is a compelling literary work with a social and political setting in 1914, written as a journal against the backdrop of the war and exciting events in California. Katharine W, a thirty-two-year-old gardener and artist receives a blank garden journal from her sister at Christmas. She decides to use it as a personal journal but thinks that a garden journal would be a silly idea for there would be little or nothing to write about, except the wind-blown rain beating against the window panes or the warmth of the fireplace inside. She couldn’t be more wrong for the year turned out to be filled with exciting events, with the war having varied and powerful effects on the lives of the people around her.

This journal captures the day-to-day events that happened in the life of the protagonist and features social and political commentaries that give readers the feel of a historic event that marked the lives of many people in many ways. From the beginning, the narrator states: “I cannot quite say I am resolved to accomplish anything more than to create very fine gardens here.” That is on the 31st of December 1913, the eve of New Year, and the reader will be taken on a rollicking ride from the New Year's Eve celebrations through the entire year.

As the entries make their way onto the pages of the journal, a powerful, compelling narrative takes shape and pulls the reader into an exciting world. The language is engaging, and the author blends the epistolary style, prose, and exciting dialogues to craft a beautiful story for readers. The first-person voice is skillfully done and it gives an intimate character to the narrative, pulling readers into the worldview of the narrator. The Moonlit Path showcases Peter Goodman's creativity and gift for storytelling, a worthy read, indeed.