from Reba Leiding Library Journal -- a review of The Vanishing Moon
Written in lyrical yet quickly paced prose that carries the reader from the Great Depression through the Nixon presidency, this first novel follows a working-class family as the hapless father loses his job, forcing a move into a tent in rural Ohio. The mother gradually goes blind, her condition untreated because the family can't afford medical care. Burdened by guilt, the father disappears. These events and more are narrated in four sections, the first and last compassionately told by second-oldest son Stephen. As children, Stephen and older brother Phil are inseparable, but Phil's festering bitterness lends the novel an increasingly dark and brooding tone. The story continues in the voice of Katherine, a young woman who becomes involved with both Stephen and Phil; the story is then taken up in the turbulent Sixties by Phil's son, James, who witnesses his father's descent into alcoholism. The narrative is uneven but rich in historical context; Coulson movingly evokes the feel of Rust Belt cities in hard times. Recommended for larger fiction collections.