Friday, February 1, 2008

The Almost Moon

The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold

Helen Knightly had a difficult childhood growing up with a mother (and father) who had their own mental illness and issues with having a child. Now her mother is old and incapable of fully taking care of herself. During one such episode Helen does something she always thought of doing since she “hated” her mother – she kills her. Now she has to examine her thoughts of her childhood and whether she really hated her mother. As well as think about the person she has become.

I really liked Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones, and was very much looking forward to this book. Based on the inner cover it seemed more like a novel of mothers and daughters and how age and history can affect their relationship. Maybe it was my desire to be able to relate but in the first chapter I was excited – this story seemed to take me to a place that I could identify with in my life. My grandmother had been very difficulty when she had reached that age where she couldn’t take care of herself and because of that my mother had a lot of problems dealing with her. In fact a lot of the nastiness in the first chapter was something that I identified, I was hoping that this book looked into the relationship between her and getting old. Instead it was about her killing here mother, dealing with the guilt (which she really didn’t have) and then screwing up the rest of her life by doing totally unconscionable things. You don’t like her, you don’t feel for her mother. Overall it just was a hard book to read.

Romance: None
Sex: Some but it was disturbing – she was only trying to get something or feel something
Mystery: Nope
Violence: Yes but not the gory kind
Overall: D – When you don’t like the characters or the story it is hard to feel for anyone. If you could just like one person, or if more of the background had come first so you could understand what happened before she just freaked out and killed her then I might have liked it.

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