Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Review of "The Girl Who Chased the Moon"

In her latest enchanting novel, New York Times bestselling author Sarah Addison Allen invites you to a quirky little Southern town with more magic than a full Carolina moon. Here two very different women discover how to find their place in the world…no matter how out of place they feel.

Emily Benedict came to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother’s life. For instance, why did Dulcie Shelby leave her hometown so suddenly? Why did she vow never to return? But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew—a reclusive, real-life gentle giant—she realizes that mysteries aren’t solved in Mullaby, they’re a way of life.
Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbor bakes hope in the form of cakes.

Everyone in Mullaby adores Julia Winterson’s cakes. She offers them to satisfy the town’s sweet tooth and in the hope of bringing back the love she fears she’s lost forever. In Julia, Emily may have found a link to her mother’s past. But why is everyone trying to discourage Emily’s growing relationship with the handsome and mysterious son of Mullaby’s most prominent family? Emily came to Mullaby to get answers, but all she’s found so far are more questions.
Is there really a ghost dancing in her backyard? Can a cake really bring back a lost love?
In this town of lovable misfits, maybe the right answer is the one that just feels…different

About a week ago I was looking at the new arrival books in my local library.  The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen jumped out at me.  I loved the title and the cover is beautiful.

The story revolves around two women.  One in her mid thirties and one a teen.  The teen is Emily. She has come to a small southern town named Mullaby.  Her mother has recently passed away from an accident.  She has come to live with her "giant" grandfather, a man until after her mother's death, she did not know existed.  Her mother left Mullaby in disgrace, and never mentioned it, or her life there to her daughter.

Emily has to find a place for herself.  She is trying to fit in to a town who many of the residents hold a prejudice against her, because she is Dulcie's daughter.  One of the first people she meets is a young man named Win.  They become friends, despite the wishes of their families that they stay away from each other.  Together they must heal the wounds of the past.

The second woman is Julia.  She was a troubled young woman when she left Mullaby.  She ran, planning to never return until she came for her father's funeral.  She found a home and restaurant heavily mortgaged.  She decide to reside there temporarily until she could pay off the mortgage of the restaurant.

Julia must come to terms with the decisions of her past, the love she felt betrayed by when she left.  Her journey is to find peace and move ahead.

To me this story is one of forgiveness, determination and finding the inner strength to deal with the hard things that happen to us in life.

There was one passage that I found very entertaining and very true.  "It was natural, she supposed, to be tense around him.  Your peers when you're a teenager will always be the keepers of your embarrassment and regret.  Ir was one of life's great injustices, that you can move on and be accomplished and happy, but the moment you see someone from high school you immediately become the person you were then, not the person you are now."

There is a bit of mature content in this book.  I would say that this a book for adults and not young adults.  I gave it four stars.

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