Eighteen-year-old Ellen Parker had just finished her freshman year. She thought the summer of 1972 was going to be her best. She was going to live with her boyfriend in his fraternity house. But on the day of the big move, she finds herself cruelly deserted by him. On a sudden whim, he has taken off with his friends to drive cross-country, leaving only a note ending their affair.
Rejected and heartbroken, and now homeless, as well as out of work, Ellen searches desperately for a place to stay. Just as time is about to run out, by a strange stroke of luck, Ellen finds a post as the live-in girl Friday to a sixty-five-year-old veteran of the Pacific War.
Tom Harris appears to be a nice enough man, and knows much of the world, especially exotic Japan. But as the summer progresses, Ellen notices things that strike her as odd and even suspicious, like the strange noises she sometimes hears late at night coming from the locked attic turret. Noises that Tom denies exist and refuses to investigate.
Yet at the same time, Ellen finds herself growing more and more attracted to this rather youthful senior who refuses to say just what happened to him in the war, and in Japan as part of the American occupation force.
But before the summer is out, Ellen will learn the answers to her questions, and that even decent people can have deep dark secrets.
The Moon Will Not Rise is the story of a young woman’s education and coming of age in the 1970s. It is the story of Ellen Parker’s fight not to crumble at the cruel betrayal and desertion by her careless boyfriend, but gather her inner strength and come out victorious.
The Moon Will Not Rise is part 70s time capsule, part WWII history, part mystery and romance. It is John King’s third novel. He is also the author of Maid of Honor, The Big Mouth, Blackjack, and The Trophy Wife.