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becke_davis
Posts: 35,681
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Have you finished the book?

Now that most have you have had time to read this book, I'm curious about your reactions. We've read what the reviewers say -- now let's hear YOUR opinions!
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suetu
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎08-10-2007
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Re: Have you finished the book?

Well, by now everyone knows I've finished this novel, and has heard many opinions from me. I mentioned earlier that I'd written a review of The Almost Moon. It's redundant after many of my comments here, but this is what I said:


Alice Sebold is dark. Her first wildly bestselling novel dealt with the murder of a child. This novel deals with matricide. It's laid out plainly in the opening line, "When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily." Me, personally, I've never thought about murdering my mother. And yet, I totally understood how this previously law-abiding citizen wound up in the situation she was in. Sebold had me with her every step of the way.

The entire novel actually takes place in just about 24 hours. Forty-nine-year-old Helen is paying a visit to her difficult and declining 88-year-old mother Claire. In a moment of weakness (Or is it mercy?) Helen snaps. She suffocates her mother. This is horrible, but I believe most readers will understand why it happened. Helen had been a virtual slave to her mother for years. Their love/hate relationship is as complex as they come. Although the events of the novel unfold in the course of a day, through flashbacks and memories we really get the story of Helen's relationship with both of her parents as well as her ex-husband, friends, and now adult daughters. Helen is a product of her upbringing. She's become what she had to become. So, when she snaps and kills her mother, I understood it.

But from that one pivotal event, she does everything wrong. She compounds her mistake in truly horrible ways. It is the ultimate downward spiral, and watching it is like watching a train wreck--you can't look away. And I couldn't stop turning pages fast enough. You know it will end badly as she pulls others into her nightmare, but you just have to see how it ends. Now I know, and I find it a bit haunting.

This is that rare and most wonderful of things, a literary page-turner. The writing is fantastic and the plot compulsive. I saw Sebold speak to a room full of booksellers in June. She said, "This is what you're all wanting to know: Does the follow-up to The Lovely Bones suck?" Let me tell you, it does not suck. Sebold's sophomore effort is a triumph. Read it.
Susan
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teenyo04
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Registered: ‎11-16-2007
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Re: Have you finished the book?

I hated the ending. Maybe because I didn't understand it. The way I took it is that since she was not discovered she could continue writing her suicide letters and then kill herself.
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ploabhawes
Posts: 69
Registered: ‎12-10-2007
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Re: Have you finished the book? Spoiler!

[ Edited ]
I finished The Almost Moon last night and have mixed feelings. I really enjoyed Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones and was so-so with Lucky so I was curious to read her latest book. The first 100 or so pages I keep thinking "why am I reading this?" Like someone mentioned above, the main character, Helen does about everything wrong that one can possibly do in her situation and I kept wanting to just stop. After awhile I finally warmed up to the story content (albeit somewhat comfortable!)and Sebold's writing style. I was slowly drawn into it but in an odd sort of way. I felt like I was reading "outside of the box"; trying to get a grasp of understanding of one living the life that Helen had. While she made many poor choices, I still wanted to know more and pull for her.

As for the ending, I actually was OK with it. I took it to mean that she had accepted her fate with killing her mother and knew that they would eventually find her; it was only a matter of time. She envisioned life both in and after prison and appeared more comfortable with it's possibilites once she thought it through. Now I need to go back and check that she didn't change her mind.......!!??

All in all, I think I would give it 3 out of five stars but would be hesitant to recommend it everyone that I know.

Message Edited by ploabhawes on 01-24-2008 06:28 PM
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becke_davis
Posts: 35,681
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Have you finished the book? Spoiler!



ploabhawes wrote:
I finished The Almost Moon last night and have mixed feelings. I really enjoyed Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones and was so-so with Lucky so I was curious to read her latest book. The first 100 or so pages I keep thinking "why am I reading this?" Like someone mentioned above, the main character, Helen does about everything wrong that one can possibly do in her situation and I kept wanting to just stop. After awhile I finally warmed up to the story content (albeit somewhat comfortable!)and Sebold's writing style. I was slowly drawn into it but in an odd sort of way. I felt like I was reading "outside of the box"; trying to get a grasp of understanding of one living the life that Helen had. While she made many poor choices, I still wanted to know more and pull for her.

As for the ending, I actually was OK with it. I took it to mean that she had accepted her fate with killing her mother and knew that they would eventually find her; it was only a matter of time. She envisioned life both in and after prison and appeared more comfortable with it's possibilites once she thought it through. Now I need to go back and check that she didn't change her mind.......!!??

All in all, I think I would give it 3 out of five stars but would be hesitant to recommend it everyone that I know.

Message Edited by ploabhawes on 01-24-2008 06:28 PM




I know how you feel, this book left me with very mixed feelings, too. I thought my feelings might change with a little distance, but I don't know. I definitely wouldn't reread it, and that's usually how I determine how much I like/dislike a book.
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