Publication: August 2, 2022
The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab
Elizabeth Musser’s By Way of the Moonlight will gallop away with your heart. This is a story of love and horses and how each can define a life. The dual timeline opens in present-day Atlanta with flashbacks to the 1930’s and 40’s, highlighting the involvement of the U.S. in the Battle of the Atlantic in World War ll. Allie, a physical therapist, is all set to marry the love of her life, veterinarian, Dr. Austin Andrews, and open Hickory Hills Horse Therapy. Her grandmother, known as Nana Dale, recently passed away and had always promised Allie she would inherit the house, barn, acreage and money to open an equine therapy center. Readers saddle up for a wild ride as the trusted family lawyer shares the latest life changing revelations regarding Nana Dale’s property.
In the 1930’s time-line Elizabeth Musser takes readers back to Nana Dale’s idyllic Georgia childhood growing up with horses, competitions with her champion filly, Essie, and the love of her life, Tommy. Through skillful dialogue, intriguing characters and weaving of the two love stories, the time-line alternates back and forth between Dale and Allie. Demolished dreams and letters from Nana Dale send Allie desperately searching for a carved wooden chest that holds the key to possibly saving Hickory Hills and the long-hidden details of Nana Dale’s secret life during World War ll.
Elizabeth Musser’s narrative is laced with defining historical markers. The 1940 Olympics, tankers torpedoed off the coast of Georgia, the building of Liberty ships, and the U.S Coast Guard Mounted Beach Patrol known as Sand Pounders all play key roles in the 1943 Battle of the Atlantic; the backdrop for Dale Butler’s riveting love story.
By Way of the Moonlight is filled with ricocheting emotions, feelings of accomplishment, and plenty of nerve-wracking suspense. Key themes are obsession and its impact on lives, along with pride’s effect on decisions. Elizabeth Musser shares optimism and hope through her emotional and suspenseful tale of two spirited women bound by the love of family, the power of prayer and gratitude, and the indisputable, therapeutic healing of horses. Like Dale’s winning ribbons and trophies for her champion Essie, By Way of the Moonlight is Southern historical fiction worthy of a silver cup in Elizabeth Musser’s own ‘ribbon room.’
ELIZABETH MUSSER writes ‘entertainment with a soul’ from her writing chalet—tool shed—outside Lyon, France. Elizabeth’s highly acclaimed, best-selling novel, The Swan House, was named one of Amazon’s Top Christian Books of the Year and one of Georgia’s Top Ten Novels of the Past 100 Years (Georgia Backroads).
All of Elizabeth’s novels have been translated into multiple languages and have been international best-sellers. Two Destinies, the final novel in The Secrets of the Cross trilogy, was a finalist for the 2013 Christy Award. Her new novel, The Long Highway Home, has already been a bestseller in Europe and was a finalist for the Carol Awards.