Award-winning Canadian writer André Alexis’ newest novel, “Days by Moonlight,” gives glimpses of Ontario, Canada – some real but most exaggerated for poetic reality. 

“Days by Moonlight” is the story of Alfred Homer, a young botanist who is recently heartbroken, and his road trip through Ontario with a family friend, Professor Bruno.

Bruno is searching for small details of a poet’s life postmortem in the rural towns he wrote about. Alfi, though driving, feels he is only along for the ride. However, no one is ever a passenger in their own lives and this trip will expose him to strange traditions still observed in the pockets of his home country. 

Alexis’ novel seems to ruminate on the human experience of heartbreak – how we mourn, cope and heal. Alfi becomes a witness to the stories of people in small towns and big cities. The book leaves us asking whether the collective wisdom can offer something to the individual. This larger question is reinforced by the author’s choice to include illustrations by Linda Watson.  

Light, hopeful and filled with whimsy, “Days by Moonlight” is the perfect book for spring.

“Days by Moonlight” was released April 2. 

Jessey Nickells reviews books for the Leavenworth Times.