The Almost Moon

The Almost Moon

2.6 233
by Alice Sebold
     
 

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"When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily."

So begins The Almost Moon, Alice Sebold's astonishing, brilliant, and daring new novel. A woman steps over the line into the unthinkable in this unforgettable work by the author of The Lovely Bones and Lucky.

For years Helen Knightly has given her life to others: to her haunted mother, to her

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Overview

"When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily."

So begins The Almost Moon, Alice Sebold's astonishing, brilliant, and daring new novel. A woman steps over the line into the unthinkable in this unforgettable work by the author of The Lovely Bones and Lucky.

For years Helen Knightly has given her life to others: to her haunted mother, to her enigmatic father, to her husband and now grown children. When she finally crosses a terrible boundary, her life comes rushing in at her in a way she never could have imagined.

Unfolding over the next twenty-four hours, this searing, fast-paced novel explores the complex ties between mothers and daughters, wives and lovers; the meaning of devotion; and the line between love and hate. It is a challenging, moving, gripping story, written with the fluidity and strength of voice that only Alice Sebold can bring to the page.

About the Author
Alice Sebold is the bestselling author of The Lovely Bones and Lucky: A Memoir. She lives in California with her husband, the novelist Glen David Gold.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Joan Allen fails to breathe sufficient life into Alice Sebold's second novel to make it worth the listen, but she really doesn't have much to work with. Helen Knightly, a divorced mother of two grown daughters, impulsively murders her 88-year-old mother, Claire. The story then flips back and forth between Helen's response to her present-day act and long flashbacks exploring her love/hate relationships with her emotionally volatile, agoraphobic mother and her suicidal, peculiarly obsessed father. Allen's calm, even voice makes Helen's most irrational actions (smothering her mother, cutting her clothes off, bathing her dead body and dragging it down to the basement) sound nearly as reasonable to listeners as they do to Helen. Allen also marvelously evokes the cracked, demented tones of Helen's aged mother. Unfortunately, the older Claire Knightly appears in only the smallest portion of the book, and Allen barely troubles to distinguish the voices of the other characters. Her unvarying voice, combined with the tediously introspective text, make this audio a real slog. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 27). (Sept.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

Much has been made of Sebold's opening line to her new novel, but it immediately sets the listener up for a roller-coaster journey into ethics and family relationships that may seem too familiar to some and too discomforting to others. Helen Knightly's climactic decision opens the book, but her history with her mother, Clair, and her deceased father are brutally explored through the skillful weaving of memories and haunted immediacy. Almost Moonis very different from The Lovely Bones, and yet the strength of the author's sense of danger told rather matter-of-factly is highly compelling. Joan Allen's reading is almost hypnotic. Highly recommended.
—Joyce Kessel

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316034128
Publisher:
Hachette Book Group USA
Publication date:
10/01/2008

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