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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Almost Moon: The Title

The title of this book is explained on pages 133/134, in a discussion between Helen and her father:

"I like to think that your mother is almost whole," he said. "So much in life is about almosts, not quites."

"Like the moon," I said.

There it hung, a thin slice still low in the sky.

"Right," he said. "The moon is whole all the time, but we can't always see it. What we see is an almost moon or a not-quite moon. The rest is hiding just out of view, but there's only one moon, so we follow it in the sky. We plan our lives based on its rhythms and tides."


I knew I was supposed to understand something from my father's explanation, but what I came away with was that, just as we were stuck with the moon, so we too were stuck with my mother. Wherever I'd travel, there she'd be.


Often, authors have little control over the final title of the book. They use a working title, and it may or may not end up on the final "product." Alice Sebold would have some clout, after her past success, so I'm assuming this is the title she selected, rather than something the editor/publisher picked. If that is the case, you could take the assumption farther: that if this phrase was important enough to be selected as the title, it follows that the author feels this is a turning point, a moment of epiphany, something of major importance to the book.

I think it is an intriguing title, but I'm not sure I see this as something deeply revealing. What are your thoughts on this?
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