The Hunger Moon


•A Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection

Publishers Weekly starred review

•A Literary Guild selection

A waitress and now a single mother, Renata wants only to give her baby boy, Charlie, a better start. So she packs up her spare life, leaves her boyfriend behind, and heads across the country in search of a new place to begin. She settles in Boston, and her life is suddenly changed by her chance meeting of two unlikely women: Eleanor, a seventy-eight-year-old widow who is stripping away the layers of her past, and June, an ambitious dance student who relies on a psychic to help her manage her estranged relationships—all the while keeping a shocking secret.


W. W. Norton, 1997 (Hardcover), 252 pp., ISBN 0-393-04099-2

Ballantine, 1999 (Paperback), 252 pp., ISBN 0-345-42553-7

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“Crisp, clean writing. . . . Compassionately drawn characters. . . . Matson examines the full sweep of women’s lives.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Delicately lyrical. . . [Matson’s] gifts for nuance and vivid detail emerge in the complexities and richness of each woman’s sensibility. Each of the main characters has had man trouble, but Matson subtly shows how, with time, space and attentive friendship, a woman’s heart can heal enough to open to a man again.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Excellent. . . . Rings especially true. . . . Capture[s] that particularly female way we weave new friends into our lives from young womanhood until the end of our days.” —The Seattle Times

“A contemporary novel that’s as fresh as bread just out of the oven.” —Atlanta Journal & Constitution

“You have to read it. . . . A paean to the intimacy friendship makes possible.” —Oregonian

“Each character stands on her own, not as a symbol for what women want, but as an example of what women are.” —The Courier-Gazette

“Relationships, even unplanned and unexpected ones. . . form the core of this, her first novel. For a book whose language is so gentle and luminous, the plot is spare and immensely satisfying, with a classic build-up, climax, and denouement. Matson has given us a poet’s-eye view—not just the behaviors but the emotional map as well.” —Harvard Review

“In this fast-moving, elegantly crafted novel, Suzanne Matson traces the arch and swoop of women moving through each others’ lives. The unforgettable characters in The Hunger Moon struggle against the disconnection and isolation of 1990s America; each learns how to invent his or her own family.” —Pagan Kennedy, author of Spinsters

“With a poet’s ear and a novelist’s keen sense of story, Suzanne Matson writes wisely about fear and longing, hunger and nourishment. The Hunger Moon is a moving, generous novel about the ways lives separate and intertwine.” —Elizabeth Graver, author of Unraveling