Thursday, February 21, 2013

Review of The Girl Who Chased the Moon

The Girl Who Chased the Moon
by Sarah Addison Allen

"Emily Benedict came to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother’s life. Such as, why did Dulcie Shelby leave her hometown so suddenly? And 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—which is a good thing, because Julia can’t seem to stop baking them. She offers them to satisfy the town’s sweet tooth but also in the hope of rekindling the love she fears might be lost forever. Flour, eggs, milk, and sugar . . . Baking is the only language the proud but vulnerable Julia has to communicate what is truly in her heart. But is it enough to call back to her those she’s hurt in the past?

Can a hummingbird cake really bring back a lost love? Is there really a ghost dancing in Emily’s backyard? The answers are never what you expect. But in this town of lovable misfits, the unexpected fits right in."

Pleasant. This is what I would say if I were asked to desribe this book in one word. It was a really enjoyable read, and it's made me a fan of Sarah Addison Allen. (...Aaaaand the neverending tbr mountain pile grows yet again. *sigh*) The Girl Who Chased the Moon takes place in the comfortable southern town of Mullaby, North Carolina. I think the setting really set the pace for this book; nothing about it felt hurried or rushed. Even the characters moved (for the most part) at an easy-going pace, strolling through town for breakfast or some "real barbeque!" The way that the author told each character's story in bits and pieces, like a pattern of flashbacks, was such a good way for me to get to know them. She didn't just introduce the characters, like "here's this person, here's their problem, this is the way they are and everyone just deals with it."  She uses their pasts to show the reader the reasons behind each characters actions and traits. I loved it!

There was pretty much no "action" in this book, and you know what? It's better off without it. I'm pretty sure that the author didn't write this book to give readers an adrenaline rush. (In a small, history-rich NC town? By all means, please keep the murders and other various crimes outta there. I think that the ghost lights appearing in Emily's backyard at night provide enough action for Mullaby. :D) Instead, this book tackled a boatload of emotional issues. It was about people dealing with the past: their pasts, their family's pasts, their friends' and neighbors' pasts. Facing the consequences of your own actions, and the actions of others. It was about learning from mistakes, and using that knowledge to make new choices. The thing is, I didn't even realize all of this until after I finished the book. There are like ten different moral themes in The Girl Who Chased the Moon, and the author disguised them with a scoop of romance, a handful of humid summer weather, a pinch of mystery, and a sprinkling of magic. The ingredients blended together perfectly. Sarah Addison Allen, you are a sneaky sneaky author and an excellent book chef.

My favorite part of the book? The end. No, not the ending. The pages that come after you're hit with the realization that yes, the story has just ended. You have that weird, stunned feeling you get after emotionally investing yourself in a story and the words have stopped. Kinda sad, slightly confused...this author must know the feeling, and that it's not easily gotten rid of. She provides a fitting solution... you get to read CAKE RECIPES AT THE END! How much happier can you possibly make what could be the saddest part of a reading experience?!?! Obviously I'm not going to list the recipes here (-duh. Go read the book!!!) but I will most certainly be using them to attempt making something edible. Thus, I will end my review with three words to inspire you: Milky. Way. Cake.

Lia's Rating: A Remarkable Read :)


No comments:

Post a Comment