Navel of the Moon
Navel of the Moon
A freelance writer and journalist, Vicenta (“Vicky”) Lumière has moved beyond her upbringing in the diverse Irish Channel neighborhood of New Orleans. But a visit to her childhood friend Lonnie Cavanaugh in the Louisiana Correctional Institute for Women brings back a flood of memories of shared dreams and a fateful summer long ago.
In Navel of the Moon, the follow-up to her acclaimed debut The Fifth Sun, Mary Helen Lagasse turns to the 1960s, where a young Vicky learns that the complicated people that we become as adults and the complicated world that adults create are shaped by events in childhood. The adults around her, beginning with her Mexican grandmother, Mimy, the family storyteller—who says she is from the “navel of the moon”—often confound and sometimes trouble Vicky. Yet Vicky’s strength of character is profoundly affected by the complexity of life, and in particular that of her troubled childhood friend Lonnie.
—Robert Olen Butler, author of the Pulitzer Prize winner A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
—Lee Meitzen Grue, editor of The New Laurel Review
“In Navel of the Moon, Mary Helen Lagasse triumphantly surpasses the amazing promise of her debut, The Fifth Sun. This earthy and moving tale is set in 1960s New Orleans but resides, as all good literature does, deep within the passionate mysteries of the human heart. Vicky, the young protagonist, guides the reader on an extraordinary trip into the world of the diverse people of the Irish Channel, from her Mexican grandmother, Mimy, to her rebellious best friend, Lonnie, to many others created by the skillful hand of Lagasse. In the grand tradition of the finest Southern writing, Navel of the Moon is filled with luminous characters, crisp, lyrical prose, and powerful human drama.”
—Manuel Ramos, author of The Skull of Pancho Villa and Other Stories