Loose in the Bright Fantastic | Critical Book Review

E.B. Moore’s latest endeavor, Loose in the Bright Fantastic, takes readers on a captivating journey through the complexities of family dynamics, deftly examining the delicate balance between love and freedom. Here’s a closer look at this Frayed Edge Press novel.


A Tight Grip on Autonomy

Maggie Helmsworth Colton, at seventy-nine, decides she’s had enough of living by other people’s rules. From childhood to marriage, she’s obediently followed others’ guidance. However, when her cherished home is sold against her wishes by her children, Clair and Roger, Maggie resolves to spend her remaining years on her own terms. This sets off a chain of events that unravels the intricacies of familial bonds.


Family Struggles Unveiled

Clair and Roger, grappling with their own challenges, find themselves thrust into the forefront of their mother’s life. Clair, facing turmoil within her own family, and Roger, navigating the ambiguous terrain between love and societal norms, must confront the unexpected disappearance of their mother from the hospital. As they embark on the search for Maggie, the narrative unveils a compelling exploration of familial responsibilities and the inevitable challenges that come with aging.


Shiny Humor Amidst Profound Themes

Loose in the Bright Fantastic is, as the title implies, a brilliantly shiny narrative that delves into serious themes with a lighthearted touch. E.B. Moore injects irreverent and at times slapstick humor into the family drama, creating a story that resonates with authenticity. The levity employed throughout the novel emanates from the author’s personal experiences, evident in the genuine love and care the characters display for each other.


Navigating the Aging Journey

The novel artfully explores the universal theme of aging parents and the intricate dance between generations. It plunges into the fears and sense of loss experienced by adult children, juxtaposed with the poignant loss of autonomy suffered by Maggie. The narrative captures the weight of responsibility and the delicate balance required to navigate the changing dynamics within a family.


Engaging Characters in a Whimsical Dance

Loose in the Bright Fantastic maintains a charming silliness that prevents it from descending into despair. The escapades of Maggie and her superhero-obsessed grandson, Hank, infuse the story with humor and momentum. The characters, despite their struggles, strive to do the right thing in the face of challenging circumstances, creating a delightful dynamic that keeps readers engaged.


A Few Shadows in the Bright Light

While the novel successfully balances humor and profound themes, some scenes lack detailed descriptions, leaving elements up in the air. Although intentional, this approach may leave readers wishing for a deeper exploration of certain aspects, allowing for a more nuanced understanding of the characters’ emotions.


Final Verdict: A Bright Edge of Humor in the Shadows

Loose in the Bright Fantastic is a delightful adventure that skillfully blends humor and depth. The novel reflects the complexities of reality, maintaining a bright edge of humor while acknowledging the shadows that accompany it. E.B. Moore’s latest offering is a poignant exploration of family ties, autonomy, and the ever-changing dynamics that come with the passage of time.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, ISBN

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
Frayed Edge PressLiterary Fiction / Women’s228 pages9781642510478

E.B. Moore’s latest endeavor, Loose in the Bright Fantastic, takes readers on a captivating journey through the complexities of family dynamics, deftly examining the delicate balance between love and freedom. Here’s a closer look at this Frayed Edge Press novel. A Tight Grip on Autonomy Maggie Helmsworth Colton, at seventy-nine, decides she’s had enough of…