Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Book review: The Girl Who Chased The Moon

“Living down your own past was hard enough. You shouldn't have to live down someone else's.”
It's not often I find a book that draws me in and won't let me put it down.  The Girl Who Chased The Moon by the lovely and talented writer, Sarah Addison Allen, did just that!  I read this book over the course of a weekend.  I could not put it down.  I tried not to devour this book with my fast-paced reading.  It was one of those books that I kept trying to read slower so it wouldn't end.  This book isn't serious or heavy, it's light-hearted and enchanting, like a dandelion-filled breezy afternoon laying in the hammock, cold beverage by your side (which I highly recommend you do while reading this book!) or a breezy afternoon spent seaside under an umbrella, waves softly singing their lullaby, cold beverage by your side (either scenario will do!).  I needed a break from all the heavy-handed serious books I've been reading lately and stumbled across this book (the cover drew me in...enchanting!)  I would swear there was a dandelion breeze in the bookstore that day directing me to her book, so I decided to give it a whirl.  It was one of those lightning rod books about adoption, only I didn't know it when I bought it.  I got a first few pages in and SURPRISE! there's an adoption story line.  I hesitated, not wanting to get into an "adoption story", I wanted a break, but something told me to keep reading, set aside all of my "adoption stuff", to just enjoy the ride and hope for the best...I'm so glad I did.  It's not heavy or in your face, but subtle as it weaves itself throughout the story.  It's a fairy tale for all of us that leaves you wanting more...a sequel.  As I read the last page, it was all I could do not to pick up the phone and call Sarah and ask her if she was writing one.  Seems I am not the only one who felt this way as it is a question in her FAQ's on her website, where she replies "I'll never say never!".  I hope she does revisit this story line, but then again, there's also a part of me that thinks it's perfect just the way it is, just the way it ended...where we all have stood before.  I don't want to give away too much of the ending, but I will say it made me smile and made my heart skip a beat.
For anyone who wants to believe in a little magic and escape into a good book, I highly recommend this book, as well as her other books, The Peach Keeper, Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen.  I have now read all of her books.  Truth be told, I ran out the next day and bought ALL of them (and also copies for friends) because I loved her writing style so much and the way she created quirky characters, towns, moods all with a little bit of magic!  Who doesn't love a little magic?  Life is expensive and believing is free.  I have enjoyed all of them, but for obvious reasons, this was my favorite.
I always like to check out authors websites that I admire and see if there is a book signing or an event near me where I can meet and greet, give praise where praise is due. It's not often a book strikes me to that extent, so when it does, I seek out the author for more information, to try and get a glimpse of who the person is behind the writer and to see how they write their wonderful tales.  When I went to Sarah's website, it linked to her facebook page, where I discovered at the time, she was fighting breast cancer and her current book tour for her latest book, The Peachkeeper, had to be postponed while she had rounds of chemo and recuperated.  I'm happy to say from reading her posts it looks like she is well on her way to recovery and is fighting it with grace and tenacity.  She has a wonderful spirit and I'm cheering her on from afar and wishing her a very, very long life full of many more wonderful books!
The below is from Goodreads about The Girl Who Chased The Moon.
xo Two

From Goodreads:
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. 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.

Image courtesy of the author

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