Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review: The Girl Who Chased The Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

Pages: 304
Published: 08/02/2011
Publisher: Random House
I Bought This

Emily Benedict has come to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother’s life. But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew, 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, Julia Winterson, bakes hope in the form of cakes, not only wishing to satisfy the town’s sweet tooth but also dreaming of rekindling the love she fears might be lost forever. 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.

After liking "Garden Spells"(Also by this author) so much I was beginning to think that I may have too high expectations for "The Girl Who Chased The Moon" and would not like it. This is what occurred to me when I was in the process of purchasing the novel. I couldn't make up my mind and then curiosity got the better of me and I bought it. I am so glad that I did buy it, because it was one of the most beautiful stories I had ever read.

Coincidentally the book features a curious character named Emily who much like the reader was learning about her new home town and the secret past therein. Coincidences like these, where you find similarities between a novel and life, only make the novel appear more special and magical in the readers eyes. Throughout the whole novel there was this continuos feeling of wonder and awe within the atmosphere of Allen's writing that could almost equal the feeling of  standing outside in the dark and gazing up at the stars thinking "what if?".

The thing about Magical Realism is that because the Magical elements are weighed down so well by "the real world" they feel more likely to happen in real life, therefore the novel becomes more magical because the sense between real life and make-believe have merged. I'm not going to say that "Sarah Addison Allen is the best Magical Realism writer" because I don't know the genre that well, But I am going to say that her novel is a credit to the genre and was exceptionally well written.

I think this novel had some of the finest "imagery" I have read. The descriptions were flawless and word-perfect. The writer used a lot of Personification which was one of the most magical things about the novel. By giving inanimate objects a "life of their own" the description became magical. The descriptions in the novel really enhanced the story and each feeling or thought felt more easy to understand and in some ways more accurate.

The main characters were all lovable and made understood throughout the duration of the novel. The characters had to deal with some similar issues to each other, so there were a lot of hidden meanings and messages. For example, one character is finding out about her mother's past while another pains over giving her daughter up for adoption. So the importance of both having a mother and knowing her became a large factor in the book.

The significance of the title of the novel is also evident. There are so many instances in the novel where people are get  at something in their lives that they simply can't have or where they recall this. Much like the saying "chasing the moon", because you can't keep up with it or reach it, it is undoable. The Mullaby lights are also moonlike to the eyes. Also the night-time has a large significance in the book for many different reasons.

Overall I think Sarah Addison Allen has depicted a Unique and Magical Tale that many of us would like to live in. I gave this novel 5 stars and have marked it as a favourite. The only bad thing about the book was that it didn't feel long enough. I got through it in less than two days and I loved it so much that I wanted to see more. I reccomend this novel to anyone that likes to learn about hidden pasts, discover magical happenings or who is curious...

Garden spells
The Peach Keeper
The Sugar Queen

The third Angel by Alice Hoffman


Debra's Book Cafe said...

Great review! The only one I have not read of hers is the Peach Keeper... :-)

Debra's Book Cafe said...

Heya! Thanks for your comment on my blog... I could not see a 'follower' tab on your blog, do you have one? :-)