Under the Moon

General Fiction, Romance

By Gabriele Wills

Publisher : Mindshadows

ABOUT Gabriele Wills

Gabriele Wills
Gabriele loves to recreate an era in which she can immerse herself (and readers), by weaving compelling stories around meticulously researched facts. Her characters are best friends, whom others are now calling "cherished friends". If you want a glimpse of her world, visit her bo More...



When Chas Thornton returns to the mystical island of Wyndwood as a decorated hero, more than flesh wounds remind him of his tumultuous past. Once merely a realm of carefree indulgence, this lavish retreat in the vast, haunting wilderness has now become a place of healing and rebirth. But can the serenity and stirring beauty that he abandoned five years earlier to fulfill his patriotic duty ever again feel the same?

For Chas, his wife Ria, and their family and friends who survived the catastrophic war, the final battle is to rebuild their shattered lives. From the ruggedly genteel Canadian Shield to the cafés of decadent Paris and opulence of the blossoming Riviera, some seek to reinvent themselves among the avant-garde. Moving on and ascending the social hierarchy comes naturally to opportunistic cousin Jack, as he never had much to lose – until now. But for those whose sorrows and secrets lie in foreign graves, resolution seems impossible.

Meanwhile, the inevitable momentum of civilization ushers in a daring new era of scandalous excess and social upheaval that threatens the strictures of Edwardian society. On the forefront of this revolution are two diametrically opposed Wyndham cousins, Lizzie and Esme, who struggle to defy convention in the name of love and ambition. Only time will tell whether their worlds are ready to embrace change.

In this gripping third volume of the acclaimed Muskoka Novels series, Gabriele Wills vividly evokes the triumph and tragedy of the glittering Jazz Age as it seduces a privileged summer community, and we stand witness to its sultry dance on the dock, Under the Moon.

Those who were young in the 1960s tend to think that theirs was the first era of social and sexual revolution. But the 1920s were a time of radical change when Western civilization truly entered the modern age. The burgeoning middle class embraced consumerism, and soon there was a Model-T Ford – available for as little as $290 - or other automobile in nearly every yard. People embraced new innovations such as radio, Kleenex, rayon, Schick electric shavers, Popsicles, air conditioning, and Jantzen swimsuits – “the Suit that Changed Bathing to Swimming”. Liberated from confining corsets and floor-sweeping gowns, women stepped out of parlours as well as domestic service to embrace careers, or at least jobs that afforded them independence. Unchaperoned, they smoked, drank illegal booze, wore daring makeup, bobbed their hair, danced the Charleston with wild abandon in nightclubs, necked with boyfriends in the back seat of automobiles, and sometimes believed in “free love”. Poet Dorothy Livesay spent a summer at the Muskoka Chautauqua where she went blueberry picking in the nude with friends. There were topless shows on Broadway, and Hollywood movies became so steamy that moral censorship guidelines were instituted through the “Motion Picture Production Code” in 1934. Banned were such things as “excessive or lustful kissing”, as well as profanities, including “God”, “Christ”, “hell, and “damn”. But Paris was much more liberal. Homosexuality wasn’t a crime there, and sexual predilections of all kinds enjoyed unprecedented freedoms. With the franc devalued to mere cents compared to the dollar, it was little wonder that so many North Americans – then under Prohibition - moved to the “City of Light”. Among the 30,000 plus ex-pat Americans were artists and authors such as F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. It was an exciting time to be young and mingling with the artistic and intellectual avant-garde, whose names still resonate as the voices of their generation. It was great fun to portray this sassy era that is remembered as both “The Jazz Age” and “The Roaring 20s”.