A majority of Moonglow's plot focuses on a Jewish grandfather reminiscing on his deathbed to his grandson Mike, an author.
There are stories about the Holocaust, rockets, the Challenger explosion, hunting a dog-eating snake, and the 18 months the grandfather spent in prison after a fit of rage at his job. As a reader, we aren’t given all the details of every story. We know Mike’s dad is out of the picture, but we can tell what kind of father he was by what he packed in a suitcase for his son when dropping him off at the grandparents’ house: pajama tops, swim trunks, a fake leather vest from a Halloween cowboy costume, 3 pair of underwear and 4 pair of mismatched socks. We know Mike’s grandmother struggled with mental illness, but was she an arsonist, a fortune teller, or just unstable?
Just how much of Moonglow is a memoir or a “pack of lies” is debatable, but no matter how truthful these family anecdotes are, they certainly are memorable.