PERSONAL: Female. Education: Attended University of Texas, Austin.
ADDRESSES: Home—TX. Agent—c/o Author Mail, HarperCollins, 10 East 53rd St., 7th Fl., New York, NY 10022.
CAREER: Novelist. Worked as a secretary at Texas A & M University and the University of Texas.
The Last of the Honky-Tonk Angels, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.
SIDELIGHTS: Marsha Moyer grew up in Texas, having moved to Bryan with her family at the age of three when her father took a position as head of the meteorology department at Texas A & M University. Moyer studied radio and television journalism at the University of Texas, Austin, but did not complete her degree. She supported herself for twenty years with secretarial work in both Austin and Bryan-College Station, settling in the state capital in 1990.
Now writing in earnest, Moyer completed a yetunpublished first novel and became part of the Austin writers' community. Her first published novel, The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch, was written during a period of intense personal upheaval. Moyer was living outside Austin in an old doublewide trailer that her brother kept in repair for her. But when he moved away, her home began to fall apart. Snakes found their way into the trailer, and it was burglarized four times. Then she lost her job. It was during this period that her heroine became her focus, leading her out of her personal hole and into a writing career.
Lucy Hatch has been married for fourteen years to Mitchell, a good man who worked their East Texas farm. When he dies in a tractor accident, Lucy, at age thirty-three, realizes that she doesn't really miss him. Now free, she returns to Mooney, where she grew up and where her family still resides. They include her religious mother, her brother Bailey and his wife, and her Aunt Dove, along with various other friends and relatives. There she meets handsome carpenter/musician Ash Farrell, a ladies' man who has great appeal for Lucy, but who may interfere with her plans to learn to live alone and experience some peace.
A reviewer for Southern Scribe online felt that "most of the energy in this charming novel is spent on Lucy's transformation back into a living, breathing human being capable of love and passion. It is enough to carry the reader through the story, although often the detail and imagination that goes into her character is absent in the people around her."
Eventually Lucy realizes that she may have dampened Mitchell's ardor even as he stifled hers and that they had not made each other happy. When Lucy and Ash do become intimate, Lucy experiences everything that was lacking in her marriage, but she is also over-whelmed by guilt and unsure as to whether she should proceed. Anne Morris remarked at BookPage online that "what lifts this book above a formula romance is its occasional sharp humor and the feeling that there was more than one road not taken in Lucy's married life."
A Publishers Weekly contributor observed that Moyer "is capable of sweet and insightful writing about the power of love to transcend grief. The dialogue is sharp and wry, with authentic country twang." Booklist's Michele Leber called The Cecond Coming of Lucy Hatch a story "of unusual depth, full of memorable characters and alternately funny, lusty, and moving."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 2002, Michele Leber, review of TheSecond Coming of Lucy Hatch.
Kirkus Reviews, June 1, 2002, review of The SecondComing of Lucy Hatch, p. 762; April 15, 2003, review of The Last of the Honky-Tonk Angels, p. 563.
Library Journal, August, 2002, Tamara Butler, review of The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch, p. 144.
Publishers Weekly, June 24, 2002, review of TheSecond Coming of Lucy Hatch, p. 35; May 12, 2003, review of The Last of the Honky-Tonk Angels, p. 43.
BookPage,http://www.bookpage.com/ (December 9, 2002), Anne Morris, review of The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch.
Bryan-College Station Eagle Online,http://www.theeagle.com/ (August 15, 2002), Laura Hensley, "Author Marsha Moyer Comes Home to Bryan."
Marsha Moyer Web site,http://www.marshamoyer.com (June 9, 2003).
Southern Scribe,http://www.southernscribe.com/ (December 9, 2002), review of The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch.*