Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jenn's Review: The Girl Who Chased the Moon

Summary: 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.

Review: I was ecstatic when I learned I would be getting an ARC of Sarah Addison Allen's new book. It is through her work that I've fallen in love with food lit ~and hers are the best of the genre. The Girl Who Chased the Moon does not disappoint. Though I tried to read slow and savour it, I devoured it in a day.

Julia has emotional scars from her teenage years that are still raw, and moving back to the small town where she grew up has, if anything, deepened them. Emily, who doesn't think she'll ever be able to live up to her mother's charitable ways, learns of her clouded past. Allen weaves these two characters together as they learn to face their fears. As always there is a little bit of magic, and a lot of food therapy. Julia's story is not uncommon, but that makes it no less heart breaking. And while I found Emily's story line less captivating, it was still well written.

The fantasy in Allen's books usually takes a less prominent role, than in this novel. Usually it is added whimsy, but here it is at the heart of the mystery surrounding Emily and her mother. Though I enjoyed the story line, there is something about this particular bit of magic that detracted from the story a little bit, making it my third favorite out of Allen's three novels. None the less, I'd rather read Allen than most authors, so it is sure to be one of my favorite books of the year.

Allen's turn of phrase it magnificent and if you've never read one of her books, Julie and I highly recommend you read them ~ all!

Final take: 4.7/5


Julie February 24, 2010 at 9:38 AM  

Um yeah, can't wait to get this one in March. I'll be diving right in.

Stephanie February 24, 2010 at 10:24 PM  

I'm so jealous - I would have given my right arm for an ARC of this one!

Kelly April 9, 2010 at 4:05 PM  

I just loved this book and I did a review on it on my new book blog site.

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