Turtle Moon

Turtle Moon

4.5 43
by Alice Hoffman
     
 

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Turtle Moon transports the listener to Verity, Florida, a place where anything can happen during the month of May, when migrating sea turtles come to town, mistaking the glow of the streetlights for the moon.

A young single mother is murdered in her apartment and her baby is gone. Keith, a 12-year-old boy in the same apartment building - the self-styled "meanest

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Overview

Turtle Moon transports the listener to Verity, Florida, a place where anything can happen during the month of May, when migrating sea turtles come to town, mistaking the glow of the streetlights for the moon.

A young single mother is murdered in her apartment and her baby is gone. Keith, a 12-year-old boy in the same apartment building - the self-styled "meanest boy" in town - also disappears. In pursuit of the baby, the boy and the killer, are Keith's divorced mother and a cop who himself was once considered the meanest boy in town. Their search leads them down the humid byways of a Florida populated almost exclusively by people from somewhere else; emotional refugees seeking sanctuary along the swampy coast.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Combining aspects of a suspense thriller and a romance, and including such surefire elements as an abandoned baby, a youngster on the verge of juvenile delinquency who is reformed, two dogs and a supernatural character who provides the requisite touch of fantasy, Hoffman's new novel has commercial success written all over it. But some readers will fail to find the enchantment provided in such previous works as Illumination Night and Seventh Heaven . The town of Verity, Fla., starts to steam up in May, when the humidity and temperature soar. (Among the things readers must accept is the dreadful, oppressive May heat; one is tempted to ask, if it's so unbearable in May, how do people live through the summer?) Verity is full of divorcees, and when one of them is murdered, Keith Rosen, ``Verity's meanest 12-year-old,'' finds her baby, who was in fact the object of an aborted kidnapping, and runs away, instinctively hiding the threatened child. This development brings together Keith's divorced mother, Lucy, and the town's surly policeman, Julian Cash, a loner with a tragedy in his past. Despite the murder and a stalking assassin, this is really a fairy tale: Keith bonds with the baby and tames a vicious dog (``No one has ever known him the way this dog does''); a ghost/angel falls in love and brings redemption to Julian, and several people begin new lives. Hoffman lards her slick plot with ponderously sentimental observations, the kind of bromides that could be embroidered on a pillow. But she knows how to manipulate suspense and tug the heartstrings; with its cinematic flow and larger-than-life characters, her novel will make a wonderful movie. BOMC main selection; QPB alternate; film rights to Universal. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
A mix of murder and magic in the Florida sunshine as only Hoffman (Seventh Heaven, 1990, etc.) could conjure it. Verity, Florida, once known for live alligators, is now better known for alligator salads (a mix of spinach, peppers, avocado and chopped eggs, tinted green), as well as for having more divorced women from New York than any other town in the state of Florida. Lucy Rosen is one of those women. She has recently moved to Verity, and what she doesn't know yet is that in May, when the turtles come out and crawl across the roads, anything can happen. People go crazy. Dogs bite. Ficus hedges burst into flame. This particular May, a woman in Lucy's condo complex is murdered, her baby is missing, and Lucy's own son, Keith, has vanished as well. With the assistance of Julian Cash, a reclusive Verity policeman, Lucy sets out to find out who committed the murder and what has become of the missing children. The fact that the ultimate resolution of these mysteries is only partly plausible doesn't really matter in the end. Because Hoffman's strength is that she deals in dreams. She knows all about the everyday things that defy simple explanations—lovers who suddenly turn cold, turtles who mistake streetlights for the moon. The Florida she paints here is not the one promoted by any chamber of commerce. With a climate that is both mesmerizing and malignant, it is a place where dragonflies' wings catch fire and strangler plums drop down from trees, leaving dents in parked cars. It is a place where rattlesnakes crawl into telephone booths and angels lurk outside the Burger King. It's a place where anything might happen. And, naturally, it does. Pure Hoffman: her take on the tropicsis haunting, hypnotic, and hot as a fever dream. (Book-of-the-Month Dual Selection for June)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780425161289
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/01/1997
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
411,386
Product dimensions:
5.45(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.85(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Alice Hoffman is the best-selling author of The Dovekeepers, and several other novels, including,  Blue Diary (2001), The River King (2000), Local Girls (1999), Here On Earth (1997), Practical Magic (1995), Second Nature (1994), Turtle Moon (1992), Seventh Heaven (1990), At Risk (1988), Illumination Night (1987), Fortune’s Daughter (1985), White Horses (1982), Angel Landing (1980), The Drowning Season (1979), and Property Of (1977). She is also the author of three children’s books: Aquamarine (2001), Horsefly (2000), and Fireflies (1997).

Born in New York City, and raised on Long Island, Hoffman graduated from Adelphi University and received an M.A. from Stanford University, where she was Mirrielees Fellow. She currently lives near Boston with her family and her dogs.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Boston, Massachusetts
Date of Birth:
March 16, 1952
Place of Birth:
New York, New York
Education:
B.A., Adelphi University, 1973; M.A., Stanford University, 1974
Website:
http://www.alicehoffman.com

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Turtle Moon 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
cloggiedownunder More than 1 year ago
Turtle Moon is the tenth stand-alone novel by American author, Alice Hoffman. Verity, Florida is a town that is home to an unusual number of divorced women, and Lucy Rosen is just one of them. It is also a place where the heat in May causes a sort of madness that makes people do things they may later regret. When Lucy’s neighbour, Karen Wright is found murdered in her apartment, Lucy soon finds herself involved in the investigation: her twelve-year-old son Keith is missing, along with Karen’s fourteen-month-old daughter. Julian Cash, a forbidding policeman with a fierce German shepherd, sees through Lucy’s attempts to protect her son. But it’s mad May and he also finds it difficult to keep his hands off Lucy. This enchanting Hoffman offering has an original plot that somehow includes a high school reunion, a murder, an apparent kidnapping and tracker dogs; it has a cast of wonderful characters including an angel, a remarkable foster mother, and a troubled teen. Hoffman conveys the feel of this unique town with consummate ease: the Florida heat is almost palpable. Jodi Picoult has said that Alice Hoffman is her favourite writer, and it is easy Hoffman’s influence in her work. Just magical.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My 1st Alice Hoffman novel. Read it again a few years later. Still wonderful. Read several more by Alice Hoffman. She creates amazing characters and sets each scene so well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book based on another author's recommendation. I thought the book was good, but not outstanding. Since reading Turtle Moon, I have read other books by Alice Hoffman that I have enjoyed more, such as Here on Earth and Local Girls.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I enjoyed this story and the characters were well developed for such a short read (185 pages). I definately would not want to live in Varity, FL in May. I could almost feel the heat and smell the swampish stink. A lot of sadness in most eveyone's lives but their coming together will bring out the best in all. I would recommend.
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another great story from Alice Hoffman....enjoyed her free moving story line and reminders of love found and love lost. Am now reading the The Dovekeepers and I think this is the best she has ever done....Bravo !!
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sueleeMT More than 1 year ago
My friend handed me this book 15 years ago and said "this is just the neatest book I ever read!" NEAT?? Well, 15 years later, still one of my favorites! Love this easy read with rich characters and plenty of twists and pace!
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Maertel More than 1 year ago
While the plot is consistently absorbing and the characters intriguing, why couldn't Julian have just shot and wounded Arrow? This scenario suddenly seemed too familiar - OLD YELLER? WHERE THE RED FERN GROWS?