Title: The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Release Date: March 16, 2010
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Amazon Vine
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
When seventeen-year-old Emily arrives in Mullaby, North Carolina, she has no idea what to expect. Her mother recently passed away and she’s been sent to live with her grandfather, a man she didn’t even know existed. As Emily tries to adjust to life in Mullaby, she realizes that the town has secrets and her mother played a big part in them. With the help of Julia, Emily’s next door neighbor with problems of her own, Emily comes to terms with these secrets and discovers a side of her mother she never knew.
I really enjoyed Sarah Addison Allen’s novels Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen, so when I heard she had a new book coming out, I immediately knew I wanted to read it. Allen utilizes an amazing blend of real-life and magic that makes her novels unique and a real joy to read. I was very glad to discover that The Girl Who Chased the Moon was no exception. It was charming, sweet, and wonderful to read.
The main characters, Emily and Julia, are both well-written and expertly developed. Emily is a lost teenager when this novel starts. She knows nothing about Mullaby when she arrives, and as a result, she has no idea how much the town still resents her mother, and how she will be ostracized for it. It’s heartbreaking when she discovers that she won’t be able to fit in, despite her best intentions.
Emily’s sadness makes Julia all the more lovable, as she reaches out to Emily and is a friend to her. Despite the fact that Julia had every reason to dislike Emily’s mother, she doesn’t blame Emily for that. Julia is refreshing, though she is damaged in her own way. Though I did enjoy reading about Emily, it was Julia that captured my heart. When the book ended, I cried out because I wanted more of her story. Though I knew she would eventually find happiness and contentment, I wanted to see it spelled out on the page before me. I really felt like I became involved in her life, as though she was a friend.
The Girl Who Chased the Moon is a sweet book. It’s a short novel, and while I would have loved for it to be longer, that would likely have detracted from its simplicity. The characters are wonderful, the mystery is intriguing, and the Southern setting is so well-described, it’s palpable – what more could a reader want out of a novel?