Billie Letts give us another novel full of small-town charm, a little mystery, and some romance in her novel Shoot the Moon. Dr. Mark Albright, a veterinarian to the stars of Hollywood, discovers that he was adopted shortly after the death of his father. He heads to DeClare, Oklahoma in hopes of discovering his birth parents, and quickly discovers that the story of his past is a bit of a mystery.
Gaylene Harjo, the woman Mark knows to be his mother, was murdered when Mark, or Nicky Jack Harjo, was a baby. Most people assumed Nicky Jack had been killed as well, but the body was never found. The wrong man was arrested for the murder, and took his own life while in prison. When Mark returns claiming to be the long lost baby, it causes quite a stir around town.
I don’t want to give too much away but the central characters also include Ivy and Teeve Harjo who take Mark under their wing, helping him in his investigation. Oliver Boyd “O Boy” Daniels is the rather nasty local sheriff. His wife is Carrie and they have a son, Kippy, who is not much older than Mark. O Boy’s half-brother Arthur McFaddon is another not very nice character who runs the local radio with his stepson Kyle. I especially enjoyed the domino boys, a group of four geezers who play domino’s at Teeve’s pool hall. They add humor and character to the novel.
We learn about Gaylene’s life through snippets of her diary, which Letts has woven seamlessly into the fabric of her story. Her childhood friend was Rowena Whitekiller, she worked at Arthur’s radio station with Kyle and she played basketball well enough to get a scholarship for university.
While this novel is another great work of Letts’, I found it somewhat predictable, considering I had the mystery pretty much solved about halfway through the book. Even so, I still took pleasure in the journey and would definitely recommend this story to anyone who likes fast-moving, well-told novels crafted with wit.
What is your opinion of Shoot the Moon?