“The curse of being an artist is never knowing if you’re good enough. It’s torture trying to bridge the gap between imagination and expression.”
Catch the Moon, Mary is one of the most beautiful books I’ve read. It lifts you to another level of wonderment, with mesmerising lyrical prose, infused with melodious inspiration. The musical suggestions sweep through the novel where each chapter is named after a musical term, such as Ostinato, Ariosa, and Cavatina, and provide a rhythm that is unique and special.
Mary Granger is an 11-year-old child; plain of features, with nervous mannerisms and a personality on the autism scale. She is sexually abused by her father, and by using her music, transcends these encounters by creating tunes in her head that flow and combine and transform into something that is heaven bound. Archangel Gabriel has been on Earth for over a thousand years and can’t return to his father (God) until he can spiritually save the world. He despairs that he will never return to glory but one evening he hears the uplifting tapestry of melodies that he knows can bring his salvation. The music emanating from the gifted Mary can be used to enlighten the world and forge an indestructible bridge between Heaven and Earth. This is what he has been waiting for.
On visiting Mary, the angel witness’s sexual abuse from her father. He stops him with severe pain to his stomach and after he has gone, offers Mary a contract. The price for her freedom from abuse is her music, and she must play for him when and where he chooses. She agrees. Mary is a precious character and Wendy Waters produces a personality that is innocent, sensitive and seemingly assailable and shines with a heavenly aura. She silently listens to the music in her head as her raised hand and fingers play an imaginary piano.
As Mary becomes a young woman she trains as a paralegal and continues to develop her musical skills under the promise that Gabriel will lead her eventually to international acclaim and Carnegie Hall. She connects with her two bosses Robert and James beyond just working engagement and eventually tracks down her half-siblings Jennifer and Jonathan. The relationships are wonderfully drawn and the delicate participation with Mary and the other characters are cloaked with vulnerability, psychological damage, and mental disorders. Mary is the only one who can see Gabriel, but it’s his light and her music together that she feels is bewitching and emotionally charges her listeners. There are a number of deaths that seem to suit the interests of Gabriel and when quizzed about it he says
“Everything kills to protect that which gives it life.”
The control Gabriel has over Mary wanes over time and Mary realises, she has as much power as him – any more killing and the music stops. Reading this book was a memorable experience and I would highly recommend it. I would like to thank Wendy Waters for providing me with a copy of her book in return for an honest review.
The official music video for “You’re in My Head” (From “Catch the Moon, Mary” Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, a novel by Wendy Waters)