A woman steps over the line into the unthinkable in this searing portrait of a to-the-death struggle between a mother and a daughter. Clair Knightly and her daughter Helen are locked in a relationship so unrelenting that it has sucked the air out of both of their lives. And as this electrifying novel opens, Helen crosses a boundary she never dreamt she would even approach. But while her act is almost unconscious, it also seems like the fulfillment of a lifetime's buried desire. Over the next twenty-four hours, Helen's life ...
A woman steps over the line into the unthinkable in this searing portrait of a to-the-death struggle between a mother and a daughter. Clair Knightly and her daughter Helen are locked in a relationship so unrelenting that it has sucked the air out of both of their lives. And as this electrifying novel opens, Helen crosses a boundary she never dreamt she would even approach. But while her act is almost unconscious, it also seems like the fulfillment of a lifetime's buried desire. Over the next twenty-four hours, Helen's life rushes in at her as she confronts the choices that have brought her to this crossroads. A woman who has spent a lifetime trying to win the love of a mother who had none to spare, she now faces an uncertain and dangerous freedom. In The Almost Moon, Sebold explores the complex ties within families, the meaning of devotion and the fragility of the boundary that separates us from our darkest impulses. This is an unforgettable novel, a raw and powerful story, written with the clarity and insight that only Alice Sebold can bring to the page.
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You would think that a book about a psychopath killing her mother, a book full of sex and violence and insanity, should be interesting. I found myself really bored with this one and had to stop reading it about 80 pages in. The pace is sluggish, with confusing flashbacks that sometimes have nothing to do with the plot. The main character's violent desires are a bit cliche. It was so difficult to pay attention that I suddenly found myself not knowing who some of the minor characters were. This is the first book I have read by Alice Sebold, and I hope her other books aren't this terrible.
Feb 12, 2008
I've read all of Alice Sebold's books. I found Lucky to be honest and interesting. The Lovely Bones was disturbing, but also interesting. Her new book, The Almost Moon, is really over the top. The narrator kills her Mother, who has characteristics that Sebold used to describe her own mother in Lucky. After killing her, she attempts to put her in a freezer, but decides she cannot dismember her. She then has a few sexual encounters with her best friend's much younger son. She plans to commit suicide, but then decides the wait out the police and be arrested. Alice should really seek additional therapy!
Nov 27, 2007
An Almost Success
Alice Sebold, who had a dazzling debut in 'The Lovely Bones', unfortunately seems to have fallen prey to the second-novel syndrome. While both 'Lucky' and 'The Lovely Bones' were masterpieces, showcasing a major new talent who could write heart wrenching brutal and tender prose, she seems to have lost her way somewhat in trying to break new and unfamiliar ground in 'The Almost Moon'. What seemed effortless and heartfelt in her earlier books is almost detached and voyeuristic here, and she seems to be relying more on shock value than on the strength of her narrative. Helen, the first person protagonist, kills her mother in the first line of the book and seduces her best friend's son in the next few pages, but still, one gets the feeling that nothing much is going on.
Nov 1, 2007
A recommendation with reservations
This story describes a family that puts the dys in dysfunctional. It is a dark look at mental illness and the relationship between a mother and daughter and also to her father. It opens with the killing of the mother by her daughter who has been her caretaker in her old age. Do not compare with The Lovely Bones. This is totally different except that both are dark and neither one is uplifting. Well written and compelling.
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