August 13, 2010
With summer drawing to an end, I was looking for a book to help me hold on to the last fleeting moments of firefly-filled nights and long, lazy days. The Girl Who Chased the Moon brought back happy memories of both. Written by Sarah Addison Allen, The Girl Who Chased the Moon is the story of Emily Benedict, who is looking for a new beginning. She finds herself in the small town of Mullaby, living with her maternal grandfather, whom she knew nothing about until after her mother’s death. Emily is met by controversy because of who her mother was, and the mystery of her mother’s life and legacy. As she discovers her history, Emily meets Julia, who is also looking for answers, and together these “two very different women discover how to find their place in the world – no matter how out of place they feel.” (from the publisher)
Allen writes with inventive descriptions and flowing words that brought me into the novel. Her storytelling allowed me to fall into a place where “two giant oaks in the front yard looked like flustered ladies caught in mid-curtsy, their starched green leaf-dresses swaying in the wind”(p. 3). Emily and Julia’s sweet friendship made me feel as though I was part of their group, a friend on the outside looking in. The bittersweet, magical nights they spend learning about themselves as individuals and each other, somehow, had me thinking about the meaning of the “true self” and how it applies in my life.
This story of magic, hope, and forgiveness left me thinking about the important things in life and realizing, as Julia did, that “after all this time, after all the searching and all the waiting, after all the regret (…) happiness was right where she’d left it”(p. 234).
-Jessica S.book review