Like the Sun Holds the Moon: A Novel
Eighteen-year-old Ava Luna puts her future on hold to care for her mother in the days leading up to a risky surgery. Coinciding with the seasons and cycles of the moon, the four parts of this novel tackle family dynamics and mental and physical health as it follows Ava Luna’s quest for independence, assertiveness, and wholeness.
Writing in her journal, Ava Luna tries to make sense of her life. Her parents split when she was thirteen in a bitter divorce that tore the family apart. She comforted herself by creating her own story for why they could no longer be together, where she likened her mom to the moon and her dad to the sun. In this delicate and magical tale, Mama Moon and Papa Sun are independent forces that remain separate but can briefly exist together in harmony. As her mom’s surgery looms, Ava Luna sees the cycle begin again as her dad lends his support, and her brother, Ray, sets his resentments aside, and they start feeling like a normal family again. Adding to Ava Luna’s renewed hope, she has secretly rekindled a relationship with a past boyfriend, Sol, at the weekly contra dance her parents attended when they dated. She hopes this period of alignment will last forever.
Tensions mount when her mom is not recovering as planned and deep-seated resentments amongst Ava Luna’s family come bubbling to the surface. She tries to hold the remnants of her family together, but a breach of trust threatens to cause a permanent rift between everyone. Ava Luna runs away in an attempt to find clarity from the moon, the ocean, a psychic, and her lingering lost love, only to find the answers in an unexpected place—herself.
220 page softcover
ABOUT THE AUTHOR - J. Eliza Wall (Joy Elisabeth Waldinger)
J. Eliza Wall (Joy Elisabeth Waldinger) is an artist, writer, filmmaker, and art educator from Philadelphia. Her work explores various topics—the human condition, family dynamics, relationships, nostalgia, connection to nature, and mental and physical health—in an attempt to restore connections in a fractured world. She believes that art is a powerful tool that can generate change and healing on a local and global level. Her short films have won awards in national and international film festivals, and she is a volunteer curator for Button Poetry. She has been published in CRED Philly (2012), PhillyVoice (2015), The Sun (2013 and 2017), Scar Tissue Magazine (April 2022), The Ignatian literary magazine (May 2022), and Evening Street Press Review (spring 2022). In 2020, she published Like the Sun Holds the Moon: A Children’s Book, which addresses similar themes of separation and divorce. Her newest children’s book, Trash Crab, will be coming out in summer 2022.