Girls in the Moon

Girls in the Moon

by Janet McNally


$16.68 $17.99 Save 7% Current price is $16.68, Original price is $17.99. You Save 7%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Usually ships within 6 days
50 New & Used Starting at $1.99


Everyone in Phoebe Ferris’s life tells a different version of the truth.

Her mother, Meg, ex-rock star and professional question evader, shares only the end of the story—the post-fame calm that Phoebe’s always known. Her sister Luna, indie rock darling of Brooklyn, preaches a stormy truth of her own making, selectively ignoring the facts she doesn’t like. And her father, Kieran, the co-founder of Meg’s beloved band, hasn’t said anything at all since he stopped calling three years ago.

But Phoebe, a budding poet in search of an identity to call her own, is tired of half-truths and vague explanations. When she visits Luna in New York, she’s determined to find out how she fits in to this family of storytellers, and maybe even to continue her own tale—the one with the musician boy she’s been secretly writing for months.

This soul-searching, authentic debut weaves together Phoebe’s story with scenes from the romance between Meg and Kieran that started it all—leaving behind a heartfelt reflection on family, fame, and finding your own way.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062436245
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 11/29/2016
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 924,465
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Janet McNally has an MFA from the University of Notre Dame, and her stories and poems have been published widely in magazines. She has twice been a fiction fellow with the New York Foundation for the Arts. Janet lives in Buffalo with her husband and three little girls in a house full of records and books, and teaches creative writing at Canisius College. Girls in the Moon is her first novel, but she’s also the author of a prizewinning collection of poems, Some Girls. You can visit her online at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Girls in the Moon 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
A-Smith More than 1 year ago
I was hooked into this story from the first page to the last. This is one of those books that makes you feel like you're a part of the story too, and you come to know each of the characters as if they were real, living, breathing people. Family is dealt with in such an honest way in this book, revealing its love and beauty through all its imperfection and flaws, and the feeling that sometimes there are many truths that coexist and overlap. It's got it all: music, art, inspiration, the pulse of two different cities and two different times...and, as a bonus, the writing is so unbelievably gorgeous! One of my favorite books this year -- a must-read!
QuinnenDonnelly More than 1 year ago
A beautiful story about music, family, and sisterhood. Phoebe's mom and dad were 90s rock royalty, but in the years since their split, Mom has forged a new life as a sculpture artist and professor, while Dad's still living the rockstar life in NYC and retreated from his parenting duties. But Phoebe's older sister college-aged, Luna, is now in an indie band that's breaking out, and Mom's tasked Phoebe with trying to keep Luna from repeating her own mistakes. Easier said than done, of course. Especially in New York City. Phoebe is such a relatable window into this story, unassuming and unaware of her own gifts, crushing on one of the guys in her sister's band, and trying to figure out her family's story. McNally makes an interesting choice of including chapters from Mom's backstory, in the 90s, as her band rises into prominence and she has to reckon with the opportunities and challenges that come with fame. For anyone who came into their teenage (or young adulthood) in the 90s, this one hits on all the nostalgic sweet spots. Kim Gordon-worshipping teenage me would've picked up this book and devoured it in a heartbeat. Perhaps what I appreciate most is that it is *not* a cliched sex drugs and rock'n'roll tale. McNally circumvents that familiar narrative and instead offers something so much deeper. A story about identity and what we inherit from our parents, about how the choices made more than a decade ago cast ripples into today.
SMParker More than 1 year ago
Okay, I DEVOURED THIS BOOK. This debut is a gorgeous triumph of love, sisters, mothers and daughters. And music!! I loved every sentence in this lyrical, lovely story and basically fell head over heels for Phoebe, the fantastic MC. And the sister love is divine; Phoebe and Luna—and their choices—made me fall hard for this novel. Janet McNally has some serious rock star talent when it comes to crafting a nuanced story about the secrets we keep and how far a person will go to protect them. And how far a young girl will go to expose a secret to the light (of the moon). This is a phenomenal debut that is not to be missed!
EllenRozek More than 1 year ago
There were so many awesome things packed into this book, but the one that I keep coming back to is the atmosphere. I'm a huge sucker for books set in big cities in the summertime, but reading GIRLS IN THE MOON felt like taking a trip to NYC. I swear I could feel the oppressive summer heat on my skin as Phoebe walked the streets with Luna. I learned Luna's neighborhood as Phoebe learned it--in fits and starts and incremental landmarks that gradually merged together into a detailed mental map. One particular description of rain through an open window made me gasp because it was so accurate, and so true to my own experiences. Descriptions aside, one of the things Janet McNally does extraordinarily well is play with both Phoebe's and the reader's expectations of truth. When she first joins her sister in New York City, Phoebe is convinced that she's going to unravel the mystery of why her mother left music and why her father stopped contacting their family. Honestly, I expected that there would be a mystery to unravel, just like I expected there to be a couple of tidy, obvious answers to the questions Phoebe's struggling with regarding her family's history. But there weren't, and the story gained an added element of realism as a result. More often than not, fiction enforces the idea that there's a linear path from the events of the past to the state of the present, but GIRLS IN THE MOON makes no such promises. It embraces the ambiguity of the relationships between Phoebe and her parents, as well as the ambiguity of what Phoebe's future might look like. It forces both Phoebe and the reader to accept the idea of not having all the answers, and it does so in a way that still manages to be satisfying. Beautifully written and highly recommended.
Ellonkah More than 1 year ago
Rarely do I give up on a book, but I gave up on this book after about 150 pages (I gave it a fair shot). Nothing happens. Sometimes, that's okay if the characters are engaging enough, but I didn't find that to be the case with this book. It was like a reality show that follows people around in their daily lives...but less interesting. Less interesting than the Kardashian girls eating that salad in the big clear bowl for the 300th time. Less interesting than the beautiful but hollow MTV-house residents crying over another two-week failed relationship. And somehow even less interesting than watching how many grocery carts the fertile Duggar family can fill up preparing for their Thanksgiving meal. Harsh, but true, this one was just paper to me.
KathyMacMillan More than 1 year ago
On the surface this is the story of Phoebe’s trip to New York to visit her sister Luna, who has just dropped out of college to tour with her band. The shadow of their parents’ past looms large, as Luna seems to be making the same choices as her mother at every turn, even as she resents the musician father who walked out on them. But as Phoebe confronts her sister and the secrets she has kept, she also comes to learn truths about her parents and their past, and gains the clarity to make her own choices, despite her fear of repeating their mistakes. As Phoebe comes to understand emotional truths about her parents’ relationship, it is fitting that her mother’s story unfolds in reverse between the chapters of Phoebe’s story, taking us a little further back in time with each appearance, until we see her mother where Phoebe is now, a young woman choosing between fear and hope. A compelling and lyrical exploration of female relationships and choices.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
" 'I need to go someplace,' I say... 'It has to be today. Will you come with me?' " This request, from Phoebe Ferris to her friend Archer, encapsulates the reader's relationship with the book and its characters. Ms. McNally's book poetically tells the story of three interconnected journeys of Phoebe, her sister Luna, and their mother, Meg. Phoebe searchers for answers about her family, Luna looks for fame and freedom in New York City, and Meg navigates her own identity, single motherhood, and a secretive history. As the daughters of two acclaimed musicians, Phoebe and Luna pursue their own lives, though they are marked by the same artistry and beauty of their parents' talents. Mixed in with their journeys are the tales of new love and old love, wrapped in revelations about life and true happiness. The story is one of empowerment, as these "girls in the moon discover their true grace lies within themselves and within their bond as sisters and mothers. This is a powerful book written in exceptional prose that still connects with readers of all ages. Ms. McNally has crafted a truly masterful work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not want this story to end - that's how much I loved it! Phoebe's trying to figure out her place in her family and it's no easy task given her parents are rock star royalty - well, that was before her mom bowed out of both the limelight and the marriage. The collapse of both has remained two of the greatest mysteries in Phoebe's life. Her mom, Meg, refuses to discuss it and Phoebe's dad has been incommunicado for the past three years. Phoebe's older sister Luna is forging her own path to music stardom. During a momentous week-long visit to Brooklyn to see Luna, Phoebe begins to move towards a better understanding of herself and her family and where she fits in. What elevates this phenomenal premise is McNally's magnificent writing. It is simply gorgeous and lyrical and rich as Phoebe probes the complex ties that bind mother and daughter and sisters. There were many sentences that I had to stop and read a couple times for the sheer enjoyment of such beautiful language. This story has everything and is one that cannot be missed! It's going to be big! Highly, highly, highly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is such a beautiful book! It's the story of a family told past and present, from the points of view of both a daughter and a mother, It's like being invited to spend one dreamy, lyrical week with this family of poets and musicians. They're a complicated, fractured family, sure, with problems and rifts pushing them apart, with secrets and misunderstandings, and they all feel so incredibly REAL. The way McNally writes them and their relationships with each other is stunning. I love the different versions of each person they see, the different stories they all remember and cling to, and the fact that they're all carrying their own version of the truth. They're people who have hurt and disappointed each other, but there is so much love and hope and understanding here too. I don't even know how to explain it except to say that reading this book feels good. It feels like wandering through a beloved city on a summer afternoon, or listening to a favorite record on scratchy vinyl, or sharing a starlit walk with a loved one. It's that kind of feeling, warm and so full of life, and I am in awe of Janet McNally for capturing it so well.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Girls in the Moon is a beautifully poetic book! Phoebe Ferris is a typical American teenager who's trying to find her path in life while negotiating the drama of a broken family. But there's a catch: her parents were famous 90's rock stars, and her sister is on the way to following in their footsteps. I loved all of the 90's references (definitely think this book needs an accompanying soundtrack) and the quiet realness of Phoebe's journey. McNally paints sweet, subtle images throughout the book that make you feel as if you are right there with the characters, experiencing their passion, excitement, and heartache.