July 2, 2024

THE MOONLIGHT MARKET

Joanne Harris

Pegasus

7/2/24

Fantasy

Hardcover, 288 pages

"... Harris delivers a sweetly upbeat urban fantasy in which––unbeknownst to humans or the supernatural Sightless Folk with whom they coexist––the Butterfly and Moth Kingdoms wage an ancient war. The combination of epic story and fairy tale prose captivates, and Harris builds an enchanting world. Urban fantasy readers seeking a lighthearted treat with find plenty to enjoy."

– Publishers Weekly

Deep in the heart of London, a young photographer named Tom Argent walks the streets and captures whatever catches his eye: an old man drinking coffee; a striking woman sipping champagne in St. Pancras station; a cloud of moths taking flight across the sky. He’s orphaned, lonely, and lost in his work. He certainly has no intention of falling in love.


And yet, love finds him in the shape of beautiful Vanessa, who lives a dangerous double life in the heart of the city. Tom’s pursuit of Vanessa leads him to discover an alternate world, hiding in plain sight among the streets and rooftops of London. A world unseen by common folk and inhabited by strange and colorful beings, in which two warring factions—one nocturnal, one in the light—wage war for the sake of a long-lost love, which can only end with one side’s total annihilation.


The Moonlight Market will enchant readers with new worlds and epic romance and in this captivating modern fairytale about what could be hiding in the corner of your eye.

Dear Reader,


This story has been around for a while. A snapshot of it exists in Honeycomb, and there are nods in it to Orfeia and in my other novellas. It stands alone and yet it is very much part In my Honeycomb world, a world in which magic co-exists alongside our reality, and sometimes crosses over. It’s also the first love story I’ve ever written: although there are love stories in some of my other books, this book places the romance solidly in the foreground of the action. It’s an exploration of first love, last love, and all the spaces in between; a story of magic, both traditional and everyday; and of how we perceive the world around us; its hidden perils; its secrets. It’s also the first time I’ve written like this in an urban location: even Orfeia only began its journey in modern-day London. But magic can reveal itself in unexpected places, and this story came to me on a Tube train to King’s Cross, where my son I chanced to see a moth against the window. Butterflies and moths adapt to suit their surroundings: in cities, they develop a camouflage that reflects an urban environment. What if magical beings did the same? What if the beings we call fairies were governed by the same principle?


And so I wrote this story; first as a novella, and then, at my editor’s request, as a full-length novel. It’s set in a London of many layers; past, present, mythic, mundane. It’s about our perception of what is real; the illusions we cherish and those we reject; the things we hide even from ourselves; the magic and the science. And it’s about the stories we tell; and their quiet power to change our world. But most of all, it’s about love: new love; old love; unrequited love; predatory love; and the love of a person for their world. A love that endures, and goes beyond race, or age, or gender. Love is the engine that drives this tale, and love traveled with me all the way. On one level, it’s a fairytale. On the other, it’s an exploration of myth, perception, and memory.


Take from it what you need, but consider this: in a world in which butterflies exist, why would you find it so difficult to believe in fairies?


Joanne Harrris

Book Club Menu and Recipe

Food and fiction in fairytales have long since been co-conspirators. Food brings us together; it helps us understand our world. It helps us understand other worlds, too, through culture and tradition. Most of all, as readers, it gives a context for what we read, and the preparation of food provides a sociable, safe space through which to expand the experience. Food provides a connection between even the most distant of worlds; I hope you’ll try these simple dishes and drinks from The Moonlight Market. They’re recipes anyone can make, and of course, meant for sharing; just as stories are meant for sharing and enjoying. Take from them what you need, and welcome to the world of The Moonlight Market


Midnight Mimosa: "He waited two hours at a table and bought a glass of champagne that tasted like pulverized starlight (and which, of course, went straight to his head). Then, as he was starting to think Vanessa would never appear, he saw her, with a group of friends, standing at the bar…”


Tom’s Fancy Cheese on Toast: Toast,’ said Tom Argent longingly, realizing how long it had been since he’d had anything to eat. ‘What I’d give for a piece of toast, with smashed avocado and chili and lime. Or hot buttered crumpets, with strawberry jam . . .’

 

Or, if you’re craving something sweet:


Fat Boys: "Here there were pastries, cooked on the spot, deep-fried and rolled in sugar; and there were displays of spices laid out on brightly colored mats.”



Joanne Harris

Joanne's Midnight Mimosa Recipe

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