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A memoir turned into thrilling fiction; Moon in Bastet is based on the life of author E. S. Danon. The story follows a fourteen-year-old girl named Eva, an orphan living in the Negev desert of Israel who is working as a custodian of Cirque Du Christianisme. Her life is controlled by a volatile drunk named Bella who favors a group of equally volatile teenage bullies over her and her own safety or sanity.
Bullied, neglected, and alone – Eva’s only friends are an odd, thirteen–year–old Sephardic boy named Jack and a small cohort of Bedouin sister-wives. On the brink of giving up on life, Eva stumbles upon a mysterious cat in the middle of the desert. Or really, did the cat stumble upon her?
Together they must fight to stay alive, win the battles thrown at them, and Eva must learn to not only lean on others but to trust in herself.
Filled with mystery, magic, and symbolism – Moon in Bastet is a story of resilience, survivorship, forgiveness, and women empowerment. This is a work filled with Jewish mysticism that can be enjoyed by people of all races, ages, and religions everywhere.
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IN THE REVIEWS…
“You will find all of the answers you need in the darkest night of your soul. Change is inevitable; everything that happens – happens for a reason. Don’t be afraid of anything, not even death. For death is only the start of another life.”
E.S. Danon has taken her the story of her life and weaved it into an incredible tale of magic and mysticism. The author has created a work of fiction that explores many real world issues; the oppression of women, the complicated nature of friendships, child neglect and abuse, and religious oppression. I could not put this book down and read it in just two sittings. My heart broke for Eva and the injustices she had to endure at the hands of her guardian Bella. I enjoyed watching the evolution of her relationship with her only friend Jack, as she learned what it is to love someone unconditionally regardless of their flaws.
Through her mystical journey, she begins trust herself and find self love. It was an inspiring story that reminds us that no matter the obstacles that are placed on our path, we all have the power of greatness within us. I’m already looking forward to reading the next book in this series.-Tara Torres, Goodreads Reviewer
10/10! What an amazing book to read! Once I started reading, I couldn’t put the book down. While the book is fictitious, the connections to religious discrimination, sexism and the author’s life was eye opening. The character development of Eva is inspiring as she fights societal demands to find her true identity.-Elizabeth Dudley, Goodreads Reviewer
I cannot wait to read the second book, Sun in Anubis, and read how Eva and Jack’s brother-sister relationship blossoms as Eva continues to find herself. I recommend everyone to read this book as we embark on our own journey through life!
I had a very unique experience reading this book. This author deserves many praises for writing a story about inequalities of the Sexes regarding chores, Religion, and freedom too be yourself. Eva cleaned up the circus area while the men were so awful to her and bullied her throughout her daily routine. This within itself is reason enough to read this book.Amirah, Goodreads Reviewer
Eva is only 13 years old, but she managed to always hold on to her religious beliefs. Eva prayed on a continuous basis at some points in the book, it appeared that she and G-d had a love hate relationship.I realized that this story is truly about the strength of finding one’s best self in any situation.
This book is a worthwhile investment in yourself. I definitely did so soul-searching while reading this story.
Love this story! The attention to detail was amazing! It was also very educational and magical at the same time. I am on the edge of my seat for the next book! I look forward to reading it! Highly recommend!Alicia Fadgen, Children’s and YA Author
A very interesting book, I love learning little things that are scattered throughout a book so this was a treat for me. Moon In Bastet is an allegorical memoir. It raises themes of sexism, abuse, social tensions, disability, family, mysticism, and identity. The book is detailed in it’s descriptions. The setting was interesting, I think the book did well in creating it’s intended atmosphere.-Bohdana, Goodreads Reviewer
The struggle of Jack and Eva’s relationship felt complex and real. For teenagers it can be especially hard as they have their own struggles, so even though it frustrated me, it was just a reminder that human beings are very complex and we all need compassion and wish to be understood.
Also can we just appreciate for a moment how pretty the cover is: The merch for this is going to be so pretty.
On to the characters, they felt raw to me. As a personal preference I like books where the emotions are dissented over a long period of time, and since I’m more of a stoic so for me the emotions were a lot to handle (I’ve read some pretty intense classics and I’ve noticed that it’s just a bit too much for me to read about). But that’s just a bit of a personal preference of mine.
The book gave me a different perspective on some things. The book was not what I expected, after a certain point it felt a bit like Alice-in-Wonderland but with addition of mysticism and religion. I was expecting mythology, I think this book goes under mysticism so this book added some variety to my bookshelf that I needed.
I also love that the book has a glossary of words in case the readers may not know a certain word or custom. I find that books feel more authentic when I just plunge into a book without the author explaining every little thing when it’s in the glossary or can be inferred. It helps keep the atmosphere and maintain the narrative flow of the book.
I would think this is for those that love allegorical memoirs, or religion, or mythology, or mysticism. It would be interesting to see how the worldbuilding in the book is developed in the next book. Even though it is very much mysticism, it also had a sci-fi feel to it (I love those kinds of myth/sci-fi books). Overall a good book with something for everyone to learn and think about.
Moon In Bastet Gear
“When you’re dead, they really fix you up. I hope to hell when I do die somebody has sense enough to just dump me in the river or something. Anything except sticking me in a goddam cemetery. People coming and putting a bunch of flowers on your stomach on Sunday, and all that crap. Who wants flowers when you’re dead? Nobody.”J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
About the Author
Elizabeth Danon received her B.S. in Marine Science from Stony Brook University before working as a Marine Biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service. She traveled the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and Gulf of Mexico: collecting data aboard commercial fishing vessels and dredges.
When that didn’t pan out to be the glorified job that she expected, finding herself covered in shark snot and fish scales daily, Elizabeth became a technical writer. In her spare time, she began doing standup comedy after taking comedy bootcamp with the Armed Services Arts Partnership. At this time, she married the most wonderful man who also provides most of her joke writing material. Unfortunately, because he’s Indian he has also enabled her Maggi addiction… Like she needed that on top of her already long-standing iced coffee issues.
Her favorite show is Schitt’s Creek, as she feels a special bond to her fellow comedians – and Sephardic brethren. Growing up half-Jewish herself, Elizabeth eventually converted to being full-Jewish with Temple Israel as a student of Rabbi Panitz.
Her enriched, but complicated, heritage has been an inspiration for most of her creative writing. Being an Aries, she has always felt like a leader and has therefore integrated her feminist beliefs into her work, albeit dropping every women’s studies course that she ever elected in college. Additionally, her writing has an unmistakable international presence. Elizabeth wanted to discover as much as she could about her Sephardic Heritage and went on Birthright, followed by her independent travels to over ten other countries… carrying nothing but a red bookbag.
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Interview With The Author
Elizabeth, thanks for being with us today. Congratulations on your upcoming novel! We’re excited to jump into this interview, so let’s get to it!
Can you give us a few autobiographical words:
Thanks so much! I’m really excited to see my book baby go out into the world. Let’s see, I’m an anxious mess living on edge with my iced coffee. I’m a native New Yorker who is also an Aries, so patience has been a learned virtue that I still struggle with. I’ve been described as loud, but in a good way.
Do you have any formal education, credentials or honors you’d like to share? We love giving authors an opportunity to show off.
- B. S. in Marine Science from Stony Brook University (SUNY)
- I made honors several semesters
- I have my ITIL Foundations cert
- I have a bunch of marine biologist certs from NOAA that I don’t use anymore
- I won a writing scholarship in high school for winning an essay competition (got to go on TV and everything)
- I wrote the graduation poem for my high school
Speaking of showing off, do you have bragging rights on anything that you’d like to share?
I touched a live great white shark once. It was a juvenile (only five or so feet long) and unconscious but I touched it. It was one of the greatest days of my life.
It happened when I was working on a trawl boat out of Long Island. We were just coming in from a long day of fishing, and it was the last haul when the captain was like, “oh hey – we got a shark.” It was only my fifth trip working at sea as a marine biologist straight out of college, so I was like, “yeah right.” Well – to my surprise JAWS junior was on board. It was a boy. I had to lengthen him and take pics.
Anyway, he came back to life as soon as the captain picked him up to throw him overboard. I still remember watching him swim away with his dorsal fin skimming the surface of the moonlit waves. It was like watching my kid going to school for the first time.
Why do you I write. Is there a philosophy behind the words?
I want to be an advocate for the underdog. I know what it’s like to be nothing and to not have a voice. I’m trying to give the voiceless a say in the world.
Can you share with our readers what your favorite books are and why they’re on your list?
My favorite book of all time is The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger. A beautiful stranger on the LongIsland Railroad once recommended it to me. I was 19 at the time and living in New York and really needed Holden in my life: I was wanderlust and still am. But there’s something magical about being 19. That whole book just inspires me to go out and explore, even in a mundane world.
My second favorite book is The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. It used to be The Portrait of a Young Artist as a Man ( I just love James Joyce’s prose) but I cried like ten times while reading the former. Hearing that story of Lale just blew me away. I have family who died in the concentration camps so it touched more than one nerve for me.
Can you tell us a little about your writing style?
My writing style is a poetic narrative with a punch of unexpected persuasion. I write to get my point across; I don’t just write to tell a pretty story. Also – I’m not afraid of writing curse words or vulgar scenes. I’m not afraid of expressing each side of a character’s nature either. Nobody is perfect. Ever.
I like to think I’m a mix between J. D. Salinger and Ernest Hemingway. Oh and add some Edgar Allan Poe vibes into that mix for a perfect E. S. Danon.
What’s your writing process like?
So I like to write my thoughts down into outlines and then I keep rewriting them until I get the outline that I want. I mix brainstorming with the outline because it helps me to make sense of the stuff rambling in my head.
Once that’s done I write every day until my MS is done. I have a set goal number of words that I want to write and if I don’t accomplish them one day, I make up for it on another day. This is the same with the revision process too.
In between writing projects I paint and read to keep the creative juices flowing.
Also – I like to write in cafes. It’s hard for me to write in the house because I like being around people. It inspires me. There’s just something about the ambience of a cafe. The iced coffee helps too.
Do you have any Professional & Literary Affiliations:
I’m hosting a writing workshop for the Armed Services Arts Partnership.
Do you have any works in-progress?
Sun in Anubis, the sequel to Moon in Bastet.
Anything else you’d like to let our readers know about you?
My mother was held up at gunpoint when she was 8 months pregnant with me. She and my father were in a New York City train station when they were robbed. The guy took my dad’s cash and left without harming either of them, but that incident pretty much sums up my life. It’s just been one thing after the other for me; I’m always on edge.
Besides that, I’ve been writing since Kindergarten. My teacher read this story I wrote about a monkey and an elephant out loud to the class. It was actually my first book. I made it myself with construction paper and crayons. I’m surprised nobody ever published it: that was my best work.
I’ve also been writing poetry since the age of 14: it helped me to process my emotions. My mentor was Edgar Allan Poe. I was so obsessed with him that I visited his cottage in the Bronx where he wrote Annabel Lee (or maybe he was inspired to write it there?)
Lastly, I’m obsessed with commas. It’s a bad habit that I’m trying to break.
Oh, and I’m a psychic medium. Most of my writing has some sort of spiritual aspect to it. I’ve been seeing dead people since I was a kid. My husband’s a skeptic so I keep saying, “I’ll just prove it to you one day.” I’m chipping away at his skepticism one day at a time. It was actually my birthday two days ago, and because I’m a sensitive, weird shit tends to happen around me. Anyway, the fan shut off by itself in front of me and my husband (two days ago.) The look on my husband’s face was priceless. I said nonchalantly, “somebody is trying to say happy birthday to me.” My husband didn’t say a word but I could see him tensing. So I reached over and hit the power button on the fan…with a roar it started back up, proving that the outage wasn’t due to a tripped breaker. My husband just looked at me with a blank face so I yelled out, “thanks guys.” Fun times.
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Who are the Women of the Wall?
As Women of the Wall, our central mission is to attain social and legal recognition of our right, as women, to wear prayer shawls, pray, and read from the Torah, collectively and aloud, at the Western Wall.
We work to further our mission through social advocacy, education and empowerment.
In our social advocacy work, we aim to change the status-quo that is currently preventing women from being able to pray freely at the Western Wall. This goal has tremendous ramifications for women’s rights in Judaism and in Israel and must be achieved through social advocacy in order to raise awareness and change social perception of these issues.
We take it upon ourselves to educate Jewish women and the public about the social, political and personal ramifications of limiting or eliminating women’s right to pray as a group at a holy site. When the law and society silence women in prayer – literally, publicly and deliberately – it is a violation of civil rights, human rights and religious freedom. Education is the key to changing perspectives, laws and lives.
Every time we meet to pray, we empower and encourage Jewish women to embrace religion freely, in their own way. We stand proudly and strongly in the forefront of the movement for religious pluralism in Israel, with the hope to inspire and empower women from all over the world and across the spectrum of Jewish movements to find their spiritual voices and create meaningful Jewish identities.
With this powerful mission before us, our vision is to strengthen and expand our organization, to reach out and influence policy makers and leaders and to demand full access for women to prayer at the Western Wall. In addition, Women of the Wall works to expand our network of supporters and partners around the world who will advocate and take action with us.
To learn more, read our history, mission or meet with Women of the Wall, please visit: https://www.womenofthewall.org.il/