With a keen poet’s eye, Julie Paul presents a collection of twelve unsettling short stories that explore the relationships between friends, family, and lovers, and examine what happens when secrets are kept and then revealed.

The Pull of the Moon is laced with surprises and deftly woven moments of wonder.”

— Daniel Griffin, author of Stopping for Strangers

Click the song titles to hear the tracks.

Story: Black Forest | Song: “Amylie” Les Filles

In this kick-off story, we meet Lawrence, who’s left at home in Montreal with his high-maintenance adolescent daughter, Jenny, while his wife tries to find harmony at a rural retreat centre. On the same day his wife returns, with plans for separation, Jenny, age 11, has just, biologically speaking, become a woman. Lawrence tries to weather the storm of changes in the women he loves. This spunky song (and video) is exactly what Jenny would love. Crank the tunes. 

Story: Damage (Read it here) | Song: “Afraid Not Scared” Ryan Adams (Spotify link)

We’re not alone in our suffering. Difficult times may pass, but their effects last, as stated so beautifully in Adams’ lyric: “the momentum is passing but the moment is eating us whole.” This story is a glimpse into the aftermath of a trauma, and how it changes the victim as well as everyone around him.

Story: Crossing Over | Song: “Truly, Madly, Deeply” by Ray Lamontagne

Shortly after golfer Roy’s wife passes away, his sister asks him to transport her dead cat across the US-Canadian border, to be buried at home. He finds himself, unexpectedly, going deeper into his own healing than what golf can provide. This short, instrumental beauty of a song is even more perfect for this story because of its meditative video.

Story: Pilgrim | Song: “Little Fluffy Clouds” The Orb

This song is spacey and lovely and dreamy, all qualities that Lacy, my lunar pilgrim possesses. The singer seems filled with desiderium, a passionate longing for something lost, and I have a feeling that Lacy, once she leaves her world, is going to be feeling this very, very soon.

Story: Adios | Song: “Angel” by Sarah McLachlan

This old chestnut always gets me right in the heart / eyes. A single mother struggles with her conscience when, after neglecting to help her wandering neighbour, she finds out he’s been struck by a car. She needs some beautiful release, some peace tonight. Whether she is angel or less than angelic, you decide.

Story: Flip | Song: “Campina” Afro-Cuban Jazz Project

Librarian Claudia seeks love and affection, two things that have been scarce in her life. When a fellow librarian takes an interest and invites her on a Caribbean vacation, she must decide whether to take the safe route or a leap of faith. Come on Claudia, dance your heart out. Arriba!

Story: Tropical Dreams | Song: “Let Go” Frou Frou

Two Canadian couples travel to Belize to relax, suntan, and see a crocodile. Away from routine, under the influence of rum and the best gelato in the world, both relationships fall under threat, and all kinds of norms and secrets are let go under the equatorial sun.

Story: The King is Dead | Song: “Heal Over” KT Tunstall

Decades-old secrets, kept in order to preserve a family’s sanctity, threaten to tear that same family apart. I want to sit down with Trish at the end of the dock, with our feet in the water, and listen to this song. She might cry, but that’s okay. She’s just had her life turned upside down.

Story: Viable | Song: “One” Talvin Singh

Stavros, a teenaged hockey player, and Juna, his sexy science tutor, are friends. Then, over lunch, he’s asked to consider selling his sperm to Juna’s mother. The idea of travel to India and the potential for love entice the young Stavros, and this song has a seductive quality that he would appreciate, given his amorous job “at hand.”

Story: Weeping Camperdown (Read it here) | Song: “Every Breath You Take” cover by Denmark + Winter

When I was a teenager, I loved Sting. I mean, I really loved him. I could see past the ego, the red-from-cocaine nose, the age gap, and I was pretty sure that if we ever met, he could see fit to love me, too. In this story, Andrew is dating again after a dry spell, but his woman of choice becomes more than he bargained for. I adore The Police’s original song, of course, but this cover brings a sweeter, creepier edge to it—a good match for Joni’s frame of mind.

Story: Her Full Name was Beatrice | Song: “How to Disappear Completely” Radiohead

Two mothers become friends as their children play together. One mother responds to a custody ruling against her by killing her own child; the other mother is caught in the aftermath of having befriended a murderer. How do you recover from such a shock? I imagine Angela’s mother would listen to this song, and in her sadder moments, want to do exactly this.

Story: Squirrel People | Song: “Nicotine and Gravy” Beck

In the collection’s last story, urban living meets the natural world right outside the bedroom window. These zany neighbours may not be as smart as Beck’s lyrics—God, how squirrelly and brilliant is he—but hopefully they will make you laugh. N.B. Includes instructions on how to teach squirrels to smoke.


Purchase THE PULL OF THE MOON from:

Powell’s | Indigo | IndieBound

Read a story from THE PULL OF THE MOON here at Little Fiction:



is eating
us whole

A story-by-story soundtrack for Julie Paul’s fantastic story collection, THE PULL OF THE MOON (Brindle & Glass).

by Julie Paul

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