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            Dancing at the Harvest Moon
            By K.C. McKinnon
            Review posted: 7/20/03

            Everyone has a memory of the past that they cherish. In Dancing at the Harvest Moon McKinnon taks the theme of lost love and spins a tale of what might have been.

            She does it well, and her words are lyrical and as warm and comforting as a fire on a cold fall night. No one knows better than Maggie, the novels main character, that things change and people change. She's reached an uncertain middle age. Her husband is living the cliche, and and has left her for his secretary. Rather than letting the changes defeat her, however, Maggie decides to take advantage of the changes to find out what she wants to do with the rest of her life.

            When she's going through the boxes in her parents attic she finds letters from her summer sweetheart. She lost touch with him over the years, and the letters remind her of her lost love and the wonderful summers they spent together. She makes up her mind to go back to Little Bear Lake and see if she can find the girl she was in those long ago summers.

            Maddie finds the town little changed. The place she worked over those summers has closed, and she buys it. As she rejuvenates the Harvest Moon she finds herself rejuvenated as well. She finds herself able to lay the past to rest. She also comes to understand why her marriage fell apart. She begins to grow and change and as she does she finds new loves, old friends and a new sense of self.

            McKinnon has combined several traditional themes - mid-life crisis, lost love, and unhappy marriage to create a new story. Dancing at the Harvest Moon is a coming of age story for a new age. Maggie comes to middle age with a struggle, but acedes with grace and at last finds peace.