Troubador When the Moon was White

Released: 28/09/2022

ISBN: 9781803132365

Format: Paperback

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When the Moon was White


In 1965, Samuel Thwaite is looking for a place to put his stamp on. He chooses Goodmews, a laid-back American town known for its bright moon. As it’s now the decade of the Space Race, he persuades Goodmews to let him establish the world’s first Moon Centre there. He hires three people: Banno, a guard; Tris, a proofreader; and Francine, an astro-geologist and colour scientist. NASA takes the Moon Centre under its wing and Goodmews thrives, but Thwaite is driven to achieve something grander. He contacts a rogue NASA engineer who devises a way to realise Thwaite’s obsession: to ‘paint’ the moon. Francine, the colour scientist, unwittingly creates the paint that will be used, which the NASA engineer then compresses and conceals in a NASA rocket about to launch.

Unaware of this plot, Tris, the proofreader, works on a press release for the Centre that obliquely refers to a classified report. He asks Banno, the guard, if he knows about it. Both are stunned to discover it’s Thwaite’s plan to paint the moon. Banno knows he should tell someone, but he has signed NASA’s oath of secrecy and prides himself on keeping his word. He can’t even tell NASA, as he fears they may be in on the plan. He hides the report and quits his job, before retrieving his guitar and busking cryptic songs about the moon. Banno retreats into the Goodmews hills. Francine and Tris are worried about him, and they wonder if his strange lyrics had something to do with the rocket that’s now heading for the moon. Was Banno trying to get a message to them?

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