The Owl & Moon Cafe

The Owl & Moon Cafe Cover

The Owl & Moon Cafe

By Jo-Ann Mapson

Simon & Schuster, Paperback, 9780743266413, 352pp.

Publication Date: July 3, 2006

After losing her teaching position at the local university, Mariah Moon will do anything to keep her gifted twelve-year-old daughter, Lindsay, in a prestigious private school -- which means moving in with her mother and grandmother in an apartment above The Owl & Moon Cafe.
When her mother, Allegra, is diagnosed with leukemia, Mariah rises to the challenge of running the cafe: mastering her mother's famous fudge and chatting up customers -- including a man who might just reawaken her heart. Meanwhile, Lindsay's controversial entry in a major national science contest creates a minor maelstrom in the cosseted Monterey Bay community. And Allegra, with one last great love affair in her, will revisit a man she loved so many years ago, and disclose the biggest secret of the Moon family: the identity of Mariah's father.
Will the Moon women recognize this as the moment to do away with their family history of dubiously fathered children, and learn to forgive others and themselves in order to move forward? In her poignant new novel, bestselling author Jo-Ann Mapson explores the complexities of love and family with the keen eye and stylistic grace that have made her books perennial favorites.

About the Author
Jo-Ann Mapson, a third generation Californian, grew up in Fullerton as a middle child with four siblings. She dropped out of college to marry, but later finished a creative writing degree at California State University, Long Beach. Following her son's birth in 1978, Mapson worked an assortment of odd jobs teaching horseback riding, cleaning houses, typing resumes, and working retail. After earning a graduate degree from Vermont College's low residency program, she taught at Orange Coast College for six years before turning to full-time writing in 1996. Mapson is the author of the acclaimed novels Shadow Ranch, Blue Rodeo, Hank Chloe, and Loving Chloe."The land is as much a character as the people," Mapson has said. Whether writing about the stark beauty of a California canyon or the poverty of an Arizona reservation, Mapson's landscapes are imbued with life. Setting her fiction in the Southwest, Mapson writes about a region that she knows well; after growing up in California and living for a time in Arizona and New Mexico, Mapson lives today in Cosa Mesa, California. She attributes her focus on setting to the influence of Wallace Stegner.Like many of her characters, Mapson has ridden horses since she was a child. She owns a 35-year-old Appaloosa and has said that she learned about writing from learning to jump her horse, Tonto. "I realized," she said, "that the same thing that had been wrong with my riding was the same thing that had been wrong with my writing. In riding there is a term called the moment of suspension, ' when you're over the fence, just hanging in the air. I had to give myself up to it, let go, trust the motion. Once I got that right, everything fell into place."

Praise For The Owl & Moon Cafe

"A wonderful, engaging story about four generations of Western women. As always, Jo-Ann Mapson creates a quirky, lovable cast of characters as real as your next-door neighbors. Every woman will see someone she knows in this heartfelt, fast-paced slice-of-life novel."

-- Kristin Hannah, author of Magic Hour

"If you haven't discovered Jo-Ann Mapson yet, you're in for the finest of treats -- her books will move you from out-loud laughter to bittersweet tears, and leave you wondering when the next novel will come out. The Owl & Moon Café is no exception -- a story of being lost and found again; of love in sickness, health, and everything in between; a fictional world filled with women you will feel like you already know and never want to let leave. I read it in one sitting; my only gripe is that it had to end."

-- Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of The Tenth Circle, Vanishing Acts, and My Sister's Keeper