The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Lucy Hatch’s uneventful life is shattered when a tractor accident kills her husband Mitchell. Numb with shock, she can only grieve the loss of her cozy farmhouse and her comfortable routine. Mooney, the town where she grew up, is a mere eighty miles away, but her move back is fraught with uncertainty. Can she find anything there to build a new life for herself, or will it simply bring a replay of childhood hurts and limitations?

She nibbles cautiously at the edge of independence: renting a ramshackle house outside of town, buying an old car, finding a job as a florist’s helper. With her Aunt Dove as a radiant role model, she plans for a self- sufficient life alone.

But life has another surprise in store for Lucy. She meets Ash Farrell—lead guitar player, sexy maverick, and the object of almost every other single woman’s unrequited lust. Lucy is not ready for any new relationship, let alone one with this intense and mildly disreputable musician. As their paths keep colliding, all her ideas about herself, her marriage and her future start to unravel. Ash pursues; she equivocates. When she realizes he is capable of love, that he is in fact a bright steady beacon reaching through her mental fog, she capitulates, and is terrified. Together they fare much better than alone, and sex with Ash brings Lucy to undreamed heights. Still, she has to settle old ghosts before she can accept a happily-ever-after future with Ash.

Lucy’s dilemma could be the stuff of a county & western song, but this story sings its tale in a lyrical and very different voice. From muffled fatalism and apathy to joy is a long journey. Author Marsha Moyer’s style masterfully captures the myriad small shifts by which such a transformation can come about. The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch is an exceptional first novel and a delight to read.