Sarah Addison Allen treats us to another delightful tale in The Girl Who Chased the Moon. I’m a huge fan of Sarah’s, having already read and loved her two previous novels, Garden Spells (my review) and The Sugar Queen (my review). What I love most about her books is that little bit of magical whimsy she weaves into them that just picks you up and engages you fully into the story!
We meet seventeen year old Emily in The Girl Who Chased the Moon. She has just lost her mother and has arrived in Mullaby, North Carolina to live with a grandfather that she’s never even met. Emily is very curious about her grandfather and the town as her mother never told her anything about her life there and would never visit either. Emily is hoping to uncover all the secrets that her mother Dulcie seemed to have kept hidden.
Emily is in for a shock though. It isn’t enough that she’s in a new town with no friends but people keep looking at her strange and nobody seems to want to talk to her about her mother. Emily finally learns that this is because nobody liked her mother. Something happened in this town to cause Emily’s mother to leave and it wasn’t good. Unfortunately for Emily, her mother’s reputation seems to make people have predisposed feelings towards Emily. Emily can’t understand it because her mother was a really good person who did lots of good things for others. What caused everyone to dislike her mother so? Does Emily really want to know – will it change her feelings towards her mother?
Now Emily’s grandfather Vance is a whole other story. He’s eight feet tall but considered a gentle giant. And what about this town of Mullaby? There are strange lights and she’s living in a room where the wallpaper changes on it’s own to suit a person’s mood (who wouldn’t love to have this!). Then there’s the people of the town, particularly the Coffey’s. They’re a strange bunch – they don’t go out after dark! What’s up with that – Emily’s thoughts run rampant thinking about that town secret.
There is, to me, two stories interwoven somewhat in this novel and the other is of Julia who came back to the town a year ago after having left as a teenager. She knows what it’s like to be looked down on and she befriends Emily. Julia had never fit in and got bullied in school and left town for secrets of her own. But now she’s back and running her father’s diner biding her time until she can leave again. Julia is a baker who makes wonderful goodies. Is the reason she makes those fantastic bakery delights somebody in town? Julia didn’t come back to Mullaby to confront her past but ultimately everyone has to.
The Girl Who Chased the Moon is a pure delight to read. It has just the right blend of magic, romance, food, mystery and emotion to make it a great read for me! The characters draw you in quickly and you find yourself loving them and feel so sad when you have to say goodbye. The writing is just what I expect from Sarah Addison Allen; beautiful and magical. She recreates the town of Mullaby so that you feel as though you are walking down Main Street. The only thing I wished for in reading this novel was that it had been much longer. Otherwise it was perfect!
I read The Girl Who Chased the Moon for Sarah Addison Allen’s blog tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion. Be sure to visit Sarah Addison Allen’s website and you can purchase The Girl Who Chased the Moon here in the US and here in Canada. This is one I’d definitely recommend!