About the Author
Pamela Duncan was born in Asheville in 1961 and raised in Black Mountain, Swannanoa, and Shelby, North Carolina. She holds a B.A. in journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an M.A. in English and creative writing from North Carolina Sate University in Raleigh. She lives in Graham, North Carolina.
Reading Group Guide
1. Moon is a fairly common name in the North Carolina hills where the book is set. Nonetheless, do you think Pamela Duncans choice of the name for her characters has other significance? If so, what is there about the behavior and personalities of Marvelle, Ruth Ann, Cassandra and Ashley that are associated with their name?
2. At the center of the book are the female characters. The men in the story orbit around the women. Do the Moon women seem to follow a pattern in their choices of men: Jesse, A.J., Keith, and Lance?
3. We see both Marvelle and Ruth Ann as wife, sister, mother and grandmother. How are the two women similar or different in these relationships? If Ruth Ann relates to her family in ways that are different from Marvelles, do you think its a conscious decision? What, if anything, do you think she has learned from her mother?
4. By the end of the book, each one of the Moon women has changed. Whether shes gained insight, made peace with the past, made peace with other members of her family, found the resolve to pursue a dream, each has been transformed. What are the ways in which the four main female characters change over the course of the story?
The questions, discussion topics, and author biography that follow are intended to enhance your groups reading of Pamela Duncans debut novel, Moon Women. We hope they will enrich your understanding and enjoyment of this wise, funny and emotionally engaging novel.
Essay on Summer Reading
To me, summer is a season for simple pleasures. The long, slow, light-filled days are perfect for getting everything done with big chunks of time and daylight still left over for reading. When my chores are done, I go out on the screen porch and sit in my rocker, put my feet up, take a moment to bask in the beauty of green trees and birdsong and bee hum surrounding me, and then I open a book and disappear for a while. There are few things to match the satisfaction of finding a book I love so much and get so involved in that I'm torn between a desire to race through and see what happens next, and a need to limit myself to a few pages a day to make the book last longer. Usually I find a happy balance between the two, reading slowly and savoring, for long hours at a time, the supreme pleasure of a good book. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough and The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy are books that affected me so strongly that I have vivid memories not only of the books themselves but of the experience of reading them. Summer is also when I love to visit with some of my favorite Southern authors, writers who create wonderful, warm, real, and quirky communities. Fancy Strut by Lee Smith, Tending to Virginia by Jill McCorkle, Clay's Quilt by Silas House, She Flew the Coop by Michael Lee West and Night Ride Home by Vicki Covington are novels so evocative of inviting Southern places and people that I want to jump into the pages and live there a while. And on many a coming lazy summer afternoon, that's exactly what I intend to do.—Pamela Duncan