You know the old addage, if you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all? That is why I’ve been hesitant to post a review of this book. Not that I refrain from saying bad things, oh heavens no! I do not hesitate to go off on someone, especially if they have done me wrong, but I don’t really just sit around talking smack about innocent people. So, anyway, I kind of hesitate to post negative reviews about books or recipes, but hey, to each his own, and what doesn’t appeal to me, may sound fabulous to you, right?
I’ve read Alice Sebold’s two previous books: The Lovely Bones and Lucky: A Memoir and enjoyed both of them, so I was feeling pretty positive about The Almost Moon. But I have to say there was nothing positive about this book. I almost stopped reading it twice. I really, really, really hated the main character. Isn’t that odd? I mean, I read murder mysteries with simply ghastly main characters, and I still enjoy the book. Maybe it’s because I don’t know any murderers, but I know several people who are like this main character.
I’m not going to tell you the “big event” of the book, though if you read inside the dust jacket, you can pretty much sort it out. Here is the Amazon blurb:
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.
So, yeah, something awful happens between the mother and the daughter, and the daughter is the one telling the story. Now, I don’t know what Ms. Sebold wanted me to feel about these characters, but I ended up hating the daughter and feeling terribly sorry for the mother. The daughter is whiny, complaining, and totally self-centered. I found myself yelling at this character to just shut-up and grow up. Really, I just wanted to smack her.
I give this ** out of ***** stars (only I don’t know how to make real stars, like some people use on their blogs). If you know how, please leave me a comment and I will be your best friend forever.