October 07, 2012
The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
After the death of her mother, Emily makes the trip to Mullaby, NC to stay with her grandfather, who to her surprise, turns out to be a giant. But that wasn't the only secret her mother kept from her, as she goes about town meeting people, she discovers that her mother appeared to be running from her past, and that some people blame Emily for her mother's faults. But one boy, who has cause to not like her family, is drawn to her, and Win Coffey has secrets all his own. Meanwhile, Julia has returned to set things in order after father's death and it seems that part of that is taking over his business until she can settle the debts and sell it for a profit. But that plan nearly backfires on her when she encounters someone from her past whom she has had painful memories of all her adult life. But she has other goals in mind, and as she runs the restaurant, she also bakes cakes non-stop, in the hopes that something good will happen from it.
Emily is such a nice girl and a pleasant surprise to read about. Often teenagers are described as bratty non-listening whiny individuals and while I'm not arguing that's true for some, there really are some delightful teenagers out there too. So I'm glad Emily got to be representative of that. Win on the other hand I didn't like. Too mysterious and his motives too weird, he just didn't make sense in the novel, even if you do allow for the magical aspects of it. Julia also was a very good character and while my childhood was nothing like hers growing up, I really felt like I could identify with her. She also had a good match in Sawyer, even if he did stir up feelings in her that she didn't want to think about. Emily's grandfather I thought was vastly under-used in the novel. He had the capacity to be such a bigger part of the story and I was disappointed to not see him appear more.
The plot was somewhat predictable, but that's ok. It was smooth reading and enjoyable and I loved all the magical elements that Allen included. She has a way of working them in seamlessly that makes it seem like something that could actually happen. And her descriptions of food, although not overly wordy, are delicious and part of what I look forward to in her books. So is her description of small town South and the kind people who can inhabit such a place. Part of that use of description though does include a sex scene, so reader, you have been forewarned if that's not to your taste. I was a little disappointed that the ending cut off so short. I can only hope that maybe there's a sequel in the works, but somehow I doubt it. I just didn't want the book to end there.
Another delightful read by Allen. I'll read her books anytime I can get my hands on them.
The Girl Who Chased the Moon