I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to receive an advance reader edition of: The Girl Who Chased the Moon. I was a big fan of the author's two earlier books: Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen. I am happy to report this book was another magical treat.
After the loss of her mother, seventeen year old Emily Benedict returns to her mother's hometown of Mullaby, NC. Emily is determined to find out more about her mother's past, and why she vowed never to return to her childhood home. From the moment she arrives, she learns that perhaps unraveling her mother's past will not be an easy task. Why didn't Emily's mother tell her that she had a grandfather, Vance, (eight feet tall) who still resides in Mullaby? Vance, a quiet and gentle man, begins to shed some light on Emily's mother, who also lost her own mother when she was only twelve years old. Those who do talk about her mother Dulcie Shelby, have negative things to say about her. Emily learns that her mother was very popular in high school, was given everything she wanted, and that others followed her lead. Her directives to others, however, were often acts that hurt other classmates, and for that reason Emily is resented in this town.
Julia Winterson is another character who returns to Mullaby after 18 years. Her father has passed away, and Julie needs to get his affairs in order. She spends her time baking beautiful and sometimes magical cakes and sweets. However, behind this facade Julie is haunted by decisions she made in the past when she was a young girl, and she quickly learns that it is not always possible to leave the past behind. Julie was one of the victims of Dulcie's hurtful pranks, but yet she finds it in her heart to befriend Emily.
Both stories are magical, and cleverly woven together. There is a family that never goes out after dark, wallpaper changes from lilacs to butterflies, and unexplained lights that dance in the dark at midnight.
MY THOUGHTS: This book was very good, magical yes, silly no. The authors skillful use of imagery, creates a fast moving and sometimes poignant tale about how complicated life and love can sometimes be. The ending led me to believe a sequel might be possible.
RECOMMENDED (4/5 stars)
(Review copy was received free through the Amazon Vine program)