Monday, August 8, 2016

Julie's Review: Valley of the Moon


Author: Melanie Gideon
Series: None
Publication Date:July 26, 2016
Publisher: Ballatine Books
Pages: 416
Obtained: publisher via NetGalley
Genre:  Historical Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4.75/5
Bottom Line: Time Travel that didn't make me suspend all beliefs
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Summary: San Francisco, 1975. A single mother, Lux Lysander is overwhelmed, underpaid, and living on the edge of an emotional precipice. When her adored five-year-old son goes away to visit his grandparents, Lux takes a solo trip to Sonoma Valley—a chance to both lose herself and find herself again. Awakened at midnight, Lux steps outside to see a fog settled over the Sonoma landscape. Wandering toward a point of light in the distance, she emerges into a meadow on a sunny day. There she meets a group of people whose sweetly simple clothing, speech, and manners almost make them seem as if they are from another time. And then she realizes they are. Lux has stumbled upon an idyllic community cut off not only from the rest of the world but from time itself. The residents of Greengage tell a stunned and disoriented Lux that they’ve somehow been marooned in the early twentieth century. Now that she has inexplicably stepped into the past, it is not long before Lux is drawn in by its peace and beauty. Unlike the people of Greengage, Lux discovers that she is able to come and go. And over the years, Lux finds herself increasingly torn between her two lives. Her beloved son is very much a child of the modern world, but she feels continually pulled back to the only place she has ever truly felt at home. A gorgeous, original, and deeply moving novel about love and longing and the power that time holds over all of us, Valley of the Moon is unforgettable. ~amazon.com  

Review: Valley of the Moon is the kind of novel that envelops you slowly, like the fog that Lux walks into when she happens upon Greengage. It is a story that slowly unwinds but at the same time isn't slow in pace. Like Lux you anticipate when she will make a voyage to Greengage but she does have responsibilities that she needs to attend to in her world.

Lux is an easy character to like but at times you get tired of her flightiness. She and Benno have a great bond and it's evident they are very intune with each other. Lux struggles to provide but Benno doesn't really want for anything. He always has food on the table and clothes on his back.As she gets more involved in Greengage it becomes harder and harder for her to want to go back to her average life. In fact, one of the more pivotal moments comes when she misses a full moon opportunity to go back.

There is so much to discuss with this book and it really is an experience that will be different for every reader. It is lush and beautiful. It is a book that will leave you thinking about it long after you close the back cover. It is also a book that will get compared to The Time Traveler's Wife but in this case, I think it is warranted.

Melanie Gideon really has a special novel that she's shared with us.She has given us a bridge for time travel that doesn't seem as far out there as other mechanisms. Greengage seems to be a wonderful Utopia without seeming too hippish. If you love historical fiction novels with a bit of time travel, then this one is for you.


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