Thursday, March 3, 2011

Literary Thursday: The Almost Moon

Yay! I finally finished reading a book since I declared doing Literary Thursday blogs! I apologize for those who were anxiously waiting for me to do a book review, but the book I read took me longer to read than I thought.

The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold

Helen Knightly is a middle aged woman who is taking care of her ailing mother. They have had one of the strangest bonds as mother and daughter, but a strong one. Helen soon finds herself doing the unthinkable. In a moment of anger, she suffocates her mother, leaving her dead. Helen then finds herself doing a lot of unthinkable things for the following twenty-four hours while reflecting on the past with both of her parents.

When I first read The Lovely Bones in 2004, I was amazed at how brilliant Alice Sebold had written the story. I wanted to read more of her works. The Almost Moon came out in 2007 and I read a couple reviews that portrayed that it wasn't very good. As it turns out... the reviews were right.

I normally enjoy all the books I've read, so to finally find one that disappointed me makes me a little sad. The most prominent reason for my disappointment was how the present day to past events were just all over the place. You'll read about how Helen is driving from her mother's to her house and you suddenly are reading about two to three past scenarios that she's reflecting on. I mean, I know that's how the mind works sometimes, but to try to represent that kind of thinking into words were not executed well. There were a few instances where I didn't realize the story transitioned and had to reread parts.

Helen did a lot of things in the 24 hours after killing her mom. She cleans and hides her mother's body, she has sex with Hamish (the adult son of her best friend), she gets her ex-husband to come in town to help her, and other things (hey... I can't spoil all the details of the book to others that want to read it). If I were in that situation (which I don't see that ever happening, murder is one of those things I'd never put on a to-do list), I don't think I would be able to keep my composure, let alone do a bunch of activities.

With all the characters in the story, my favorite was Mr. Forrest. He was the neighbor of Helen and her family while growing up. He was extremely cultured in the arts and photography and Helen was fascinated with his lifestyle. To be honest, I wish the book was about him because that would have been a more interesting and exciting read.

Overall... this was not worth the read. I'm glad I only paid two dollars for the book (at a Borders that was closing their doors). I might give it another try in 10 years or so and see if I connect to it as an older woman. Hey, you never know!

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5 stars

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