November, 1957. The Soviets have just launched the Sputnik, and communism rules in Eastern Europe, but the village of Baia Luna, nestled in the Carpathian mountains, is a world unto itself, populated with gypsy-philosophers and mysterious priests. But for fifteen-year-old Pavel Botev, this world begins to come apart the day teacher asks him to hang a photo of the new party secretary, then whispers a startling directive into his ear.
“Send this man straight to hell. Exterminate him.” The next morning, she has disappeared. Once a priest turns up murdered, Pavel sets out on a journey for answers—one that leads him into the frontiers of a new life. By turns grippingly realist and enchantingly surreal, The Madonna on the Moon announces the arrival of an important new voice in fiction.