Cover Image: The Moon is Missing

The Moon is Missing

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Member Reviews

A mixed bag of feelings for me at the end of this novel. Generally speaking I enjoyed the book and found it a quick read that held my attention. I liked Georgia the main character but at times I did find her a bit too confident in the affect she’d had on not just Danny but Adam and Harry and the male colleagues she worked with in the UK and USA. The marriage to Adam was never fully explored and I always felt that I was taking Georgias word for it that it had ever been a good one. Adam seemed permanently unhappy or angry. I also found Lara a very good and accurate 16 year old until she went to NZ and while chatting to her mother over copious amounts of wine she was dispensing wisdom like a wizened sage. No teenager is going to be that focussed on their Mum’s feelings and not their own. Also the fact that she never called Danny ‘Dad’ struck me as unlikely. Even though Adam is the only Dad she’s ever known most teens wondering who they are will refer to the missing parent with that term of endearment in order to create a bond between them and the missing parent. The screaming, tantrum that the book opened with was far more realistic. I did like the story behind what happened that night on the Pa but I thought bringing John into the story made it all convoluted and ruined it a bit for me. It made it all a bit improbable.  
What did work for me; the chapters in New Orleans were gripping and beautifully captured both the horror and the good of that terrible tragedy. The scene with Leroy was fantastic. 
The descriptions of New Zealand especially the Great Barrier Island were so evocative and set a fantastic backdrop. It’s made me want to visit the country very much!
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Up to about one-third of the way into this book, I was not sure I wanted to carry on reading. Everything was so bleak. Georgia, a consultant neurosurgeon, is married and has two children, one of them from a previous relationship. Her 15-year-old daughter Lara wants to know more about her father, Danny, who died before she was born, but Georgia finds it very difficult to talk about Danny. In the first few chapters, Georgia falls out with Lara over Danny, her marriage starts to suffer, a young patient dies when an operation goes wrong and Lara is almost killed in a car accident. So far, so bleak.
The book really gets going when Georgia, having been relieved of surgical duties because of panic attacks, is sent to New Orleans for a conference. New Orleans is where Danny's family came from and where many of her memories of him are. She takes Lara, now almost recovered from her injuries, with her.  Mother-daughter bonding is interrupted by Hurricane Katrina, the conference is cancelled, and Georgia's medical skills are called into use.
The book travels back and forth, with vivid descriptions of the devastation of New Orleans.
A book about coming to terms with the past and allowing yourself a future.
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I loved this book, so insightful and intriguing. It tells of a neurosurgeon who has been so busy working that she hasn't realised how detached from her family she has become. 

Her daughter, now 16, is beginning to ask questions about her biological father and it causes lots of long forgotten memories to return. 

Georgia,  the surgeon, begins to have panic attacks and has to take a break from surgery whilst she recovers... then more drama occurs, her daughter is rebelling, hurricane Katrina... 

I studied neuroscience and I have also undergone brain surgery myself, so I found the brain aspect really interesting and authentic - you can tell the reader knows what she's talking about. I really felt for Georgia and how she was tied between a very difficult and demanding job and an awkward family time too. 

I wanted to know what would happen to her and how she progressed. 

I liked the way this book is written. The only downside for me was the counselling sessions felt a little odd. 

I think the characters were well drawn and the story compelling.
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The first half got me - but then - just too much!  I felt like I was reading a few different books.  Was this about a lost love, etc.?  Or was this about Hurricane Katrina?  Just too much - and I didn't believe in the marriage.  I liked the premise - just lost me along the way.
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I enjoyed the story and the peripheral characters but found the protagonist a little two dimensional. Her inexplicable recovery from being too anxious to perform brain surgery in the middle of an epic crisis didn't ring true with me.
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Jenni Ogden's new novel, The 'Moon is Missing', a title that seems to have little to do with the contents, follows the convoluted tribulations of a successful, but troubled British (ex-Kiwi) neurosurgeon as she deals with panic attacks, teenage rebellion, marital difficulties,  hurricane Katrina, and a series of improbable coincidences relating to the death of her ex-boyfriend, father of the teenage rebel.  The book is a quick read, and despite a tendency to purple passage (chiefly gratuitous adjectives in many descriptions), is sometimes quite atmospheric.  The author is a neurobiologist, and tends to assume that the reader is too - I didn't take the time to decipher the jargon in the neurosurgery descriptions that are anchors to the plot.  The promised 'final twist' is not terribly unexpected, and all ends happily ever after.  A fun read, especially, I guess,  for New Zealanders familiar with the locations and local vocabulary..
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Georgia is a neurosurgeon living in London with her family. When she loses a patient during surgery, a patient who looks like a past love, Danny who died tragically, she begins to have anxiety and panic attacks. Her daughter, Lara, pushing her to reveal more about her father only adds to the stress.

Georgia is ordered to seek psychiatric help and cannot perform surgeries until she is given the all clear. While she is trying to make sense of her past and her anxiety, her family is falling apart. Her husband, Adam, might be on the verge of having an affair and her daughter is mixed up with the wrong crowd.

The opportunity to return to New Orleans for a conference where her past with Danny, a jazz singer, all began she takes it! And she brings her daughter with her. Within a few days of their arrival hurricane Katrina hits like no other storm before it. Georgia helps out at the nearest hospital and rediscovers what she loves about being a doctor. When she can she sends her daughter home but Georgia goes home to New Zealand to confront her past once and for all.

I did enjoy reading this book. It started off strong but there were some moments when I felt like not enough backstory was made clear.
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This was a well written book with lots of great details about the areas/times it is set in.  One of the major plot twists seemed a bit of a stretch to me but it was overall a very enjoyable and entertaining read!
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I loved this book. I wanted to keep reading. I loved the characters and the beautiful settings. This book is about family, love, loss and secrets. It is about trying to keep a family together. The whole story is beautifully told and is a memorable read.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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“I lay, unmoving, long after the haunting notes of ‘Georgia On My Mind’ had floated out the window to be swallowed by the sea. In the late morning I found myself on the beach walking aimlessly through the dunes, possessed by bittersweet memories—the joy of that magical Cape Cod weekend and the pain that our brief happiness was destined to bring to me, to Adam, to Fiona and Leroy, and now to Lara. So many people who loved Danny and who missed him when he never returned.“

This was a good family drama book, filled with deep family secrets desperate to come to the surface.

The story centers around Georgia who is a surgeon and lives in London with her husband Adam and 2 kids, Lara and Finbar. Georgia has just been released from work on a leave of absence and is struggling with extreme anxiety and panic attacks. She is told that she needs to seek help and get her anxiety under control before she can come back to work. Her daughter Lara is now 15 and asking a lot of questions about bio father, who was not Adam. Her bio dads name was Danny. Georgia and Danny had had a whirlwind love affair that ended in tragedy with Danny’s untimely death. As Lara is pressing for information, Georgia finds she has gaps in her memories, especially surrounding the night of his death. She’s almost afraid to confront the memories head on and truly remember the circumstances of that night. 

As the story unfolds, so do the family secrets. Sometimes the quest for the truth can lead to pain. But sometimes reaching the pain, can lead to forgiveness and redemption.

This is my first novel by this author. I found it to be slow during the middle and I had to intentionally press on at times, but I’m so glad I did. The wrap up and conclusion of the story were wonderful.

I would like to thank NetGalley & Sea Dragon Press for the ARC of this book. 

“And I shall hear, though soft you tread above me, And all my grave will warmer, sweeter be, For you will bend and tell me that you love me, And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me.”

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Jenni Ogden always has two things going for her in writing her novels- her grasp of psychology and her ability to write gripping family dramas. The relationship between characters in times of grief, struggle and desperation will ring true to many a reader. 

Ms. Ogden also brings the reader in close to the horror of Hurricane Katrina and offers an unflinching look at that period in time.

Forgiveness, love, grief and family all play a pivotal role in this well written book.
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The Moon is Missing (Jenni Ogden)

Georgia was able to deal with her lost memories/trauma from her fiancée dying years before until her daughter Lara started asking questions and wanted to know more about her dad, Danny.

Georgia is forced to face her memories and try to remember what happened, and she embarks on a journey to remember what happened and whether it was her fault.

Through many twists and turns, we follow Georgia across 3 continents as she lives in London, gets caught in Hurricane Katrina in the US, then returns to New Zealand.  

Thanks to @netgalley for providing a copy in exchange for a review. 

#netgalley #moonismissing #bookreview #bookreviewblog #selflove #adventure #selfdiscovery
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Overall, a good, easy to follow story.  I was able to finish this one in just a couple of sittings.  It held my interest and I would recommend it.

3/5 Stars
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This book has several storylines, settings, and characters.  It’s about families and the harm that results from secrets.  It’s about finding balance in an active family, which can be especially difficult when Both parents have demanding jobs, and Mom has some mental health issues.  It’s about how love can survive just about anything if you just keep trying.  It’s about trauma, some from the past and some that occurs during the story when family members are caught in the clutches of Hurricane Katrina.  Her portrayal of the hurricane was gripping and had me on the edge of my seat.  The book moves between several locations including New Orleans, Great Barrier Island off the coast of New Zealand (where the author lives), and England.  There was a lot to keep up with, but the author pulls everything together in a neat package at the end.  And lastly, I loved the book cover!  Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with this ARC in return for my honest review.
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Absolutely loved this book instantly . A storyline that travels and takes you with it , characters so wonderfully described I could picture them all , Moments of fear, pain , love , loss  I felt them all.  I would definitely recommend this book .
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This book blew me away! I was unable to but it down. Perfect, dazzlingly, very well written. The details the author described throughout the book was so amazing. The  characters and storyline were fantastic. The ending I did not see coming  Truly Amazing and appreciated the whole story. This is going to be a must read for many many readers. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! No spoilers. Beyond amazing I enjoyed this book so very much. The characters and storyline were fantastic. The ending I did not see coming  Could not put down nor did I want to. Truly Amazing and appreciated the whole story. This is going to be a must read for many many readers. Maybe even a book club pick.
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Three interwoven stories, one in London, on a small island in New Zealand, and during Hurricane Katrina right in the heart of the hurricane!  Mother and daughter navigate a complicated relationship full of twists and turns.  This family drama unfolds as the main character Georgia Grayson, beings to have occupation ending panic attacks as her daughter becomes of age and begins to question her paternal origins.  The heart of the tale, of course, is love, acceptance, and whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. What a talented author who clearly did her homework! Excited to see what’s in store next!
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Thank you to Sea Dragon Press and NetGalley for this arc. 

The Moon is Missing is about a neurosurgeon called Georgia, originally from New Zealand but lives and works in London. She’s navigating her life after she has a panic attack while operating on a patient and after her daughter starts asking questions about her biological father, Danny. Unfortunately, Georgia has a lot of anxiety and memory loss surrounding the subject of Danny. Determined to discover the truth about the past and uncover memories for both herself and her daughter, Georgia goes on a journey to New Orleans where she first met Danny. 

This focuses on familial issues, emotional trauma and anxiety. I thought the representation of these elements were executed well and I enjoyed the fact that the therapist was a likeable, helpful character. I also enjoyed that Georgia was a strong, independent, career driven woman. 

The writing style was very easy to get into so this book is extremely accessible. The three settings in the book (New Zealand, London and New Orleans) were so interesting and the descriptions of each felt very distinctive. I didn’t foresee any of the events in the book so it kept me hooked, wanting to know more. I desperately wanted Georgia to recover her memory and we do that with her throughout the story. 

The first person narrative meant I felt close to the main character Georgia and I really thought she was remarkable. Although, it would have been good to have some other perspectives, too. I only really felt connected to Georgia and the other characters felt a little one dimensional for me. 

My favourite part was part 2, in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. This was devastating and incredible at the same time. I had to wonder if the author had first hand experience with this because it felt so real.

Overall I’m pleased I read this and am definitely interested in picking up more of this authors work. I thought it was great.
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The Moon is Missing is the new release by author Jenni Ogden. I will admit I have never read any books by this author, and it was the cover that initially grabbed my attention. In this situation, judging a book by the cover worked out for me, because I absolutely loved the story as well!

Georgia Grayson lives in London, and works as a neurosurgeon. On the outside, she has the perfect life...a loving and supportive husband Adam, a fifteen year old daughter Lara, an eleven year old son Finbar, and she just might become the first female Director of Neurosurgery at the hospital she works at. However, on the inside, she suffers from panic attacks that only Adam knows about...and they are now affecting every part of her life.

One Sunday afternoon while gardening, Georgia is confronted by an angry Lara, and she wants answers about her biological father. Sixteen years ago, Georgia was in love with Danny, a jazz singer from New Orleans. They were supposed to get married, but Danny suddenly decided he was not ready for marriage. Of course, they had an argument that lead to Danny leaving, and later that day, Danny died. Georgia has no memory of the circumstances surrounding Danny's death, so when her daughter wants answers about her biological father, Georgia struggles to give them to her. 

The story that unfolds is extremely well-written, with a storyline that will hold your attention from beginning to end. The characters are well-developed, and the author tells each character's story in a realistic manner that the reader is able to relate to. The setting of the story also changes throughout, and the author relays the events of Hurricane Katrina with vivid and heartbreaking detail. Overall, this was just a beautifully written story about secrets, family, love, and relationships. It was wonderful to see the changes between Georgia and Lara, and while on their search for answers to the past, their relationship blossoms. 

I would like to thank Sea Dragon Press and NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to read and review an ARC of The Moon is Missing. My views are my own, and are in no way influenced by anyone else.
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I enjoyed Ogden’s A Drop in the Ocean and was excited to pick up this novel featuring a neurosurgeon in London forced to take a leave from her practice thanks to panic attacks related to events from her past. Her teenage daughter Lara wants to know about her birth father Danny, a blues singer from New Orleans who died before she was born. When Georgia is offered the chance to attend a neurosurgery conference in New Orleans she decides to take Lara with her hoping they might find some answers for Lara and some memories of her relationship with Danny. They arrive four days before Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans.

The opening chapters of this novel are interesting and necessary but I found them to be the most challenging to read. Georgia and her husband Adam, kids Lara and Finbar are leading busy lives in London. Georgia is struggling between her desire to take over as head of Neurosurgery and being present with her family. Her husband has been picking up the slack on her long days at the office and their relationship is straining. There is a lot of navel gazing and I found I was getting frustrated with Georgia and her issues which seems to be in a continuous loop of anxiety, uncertainty and regret.

Jump to their visit to New Orleans and the story springs to life. I’ve not read many stories featuring characters involved in such a devastating event as Hurricane Katrina and the author had me turning pages and fully engaged.. Hooray for authors who do their research. Georgia’s search for memories of what happened when Danny died eventually sends her back to a remote island off the coast of New Zealand. I was engaged and entertained wanting to understand all that Georgia had gone through as badly as she did.

This was an interesting look at the challenges faced by professional women everywhere, that fine balance between work and homelife. It also deals with family secrets and traumas which can affect even the strongest of men and women. Ogden writes with confidence and her books make for entertaining reads.

ARC received with thanks from publisher via NetGalley for review.
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