The Ghost Moth

A tragic tale of the Spirit versus the Flesh.

Fiction - Literary
324 Pages
Reviewed on 04/08/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite

The Ghost Moth by Leslie Garland is a stirring novel about faith, temptation, and the nature of evil. Set in 1535, Master Adam Callow joins the Black Acres Monastery as a novice monk. He comes from a middle-class family and so has a relatively privileged and sheltered upbringing, but very little knowledge of the outside world. The head of the monastery, the Prior Obscurant, applies his rigid moral philosophy to all men, including the belief that the Almighty God didn’t put man upon this earth to do frivolous things. Adam will find himself questioning this belief as he goes to the market one day and is drawn to a beautiful woman. The Prior Obscurant is openly disdainful toward the monastery’s tenant farmers and tradespeople who do anything to bring color into their life of abstinence, penance, and mortification of the body.

I had many reasons to love this work of fiction. Growing up in a country where religion wields a considerable influence, Adam is a character that I find taking a step with me toward common ground. Adam is earnest in learning and discovering, but he is also a critical thinker, a man who is ahead of his time when it comes to personal philosophy, and how this translates and impacts the people around him. Joe, as the narrator, reads Adam’s story with deep fascination, and the experience shapes him the way it will shape you. Anyone who is not familiar with the period in which The Ghost Moth is set will not get lost, as Leslie Garland’s pristine narrative and crisp details give this story a strong three-dimensional feel. It is an intriguing story about the fallibility of age-old dogmas that will challenge you to think while you are entertained at the same time. I highly recommended this story for its intelligence and honesty.