Tanya Parker Mills’ latest book, A Night on Moon Hill, is a finalist for the Whitney Award. This is not surprising, as Ms. Mills is a gifted writer who works over her prose until it’s pared down to an elegant essence.
The main character of this book, Dr. Daphne Lessing, is an English professor and bestselling author. She’s also an outsider who holds herself aloof from emotional entanglements until someone from her past snares her into a tender trap.
Though she fights against it, Daphne finds herself caring for, and learning from, a ten-year-old boy with Asperger’s. As she learns to love, Daphne becomes a more loveable person. It’s part of Ms. Mills’ genius that she is able to teach that lesson without hackneyed situations or author intrusion.
Tanya Parker Mills’ first book, The Reckoning, was also about an outsider who comes to terms with family secrets and what those secrets have done to her. Like Daphne Lessing, she finds love in an odd package, and it transforms her. The Reckoning won several awards, too. Ms. Mills is certainly consistent.
As you will find when you read A Night on Moon Hill, Tanya Parker Mills is also a poet. Don’t let that scare you away, though. There’s a great story line with a little romance, a bit of a mystery, and some marvelously interesting characters. It’s a book that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the last page. I highly recommend it.
I did receive a book from the publisher in order to do this review, but I had already read and enjoyed the book.