Book 8: The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold
Title: The Almost Moon
Author: Alice Sebold
Page Count: 291
Genre: Literary fiction
Helen Knightly has never had a normal relationship with her mother. While other kids’ parents hug them and tell them how much they love them, Helen’s mother taught her to keep to herself and made her doubt herself. She longed for the day when she would be able to break free of her mother’s grasp, but that day never came. Even now, as she’s standing over her mother’s dead body, she’s held captive by her mother.
Helen used to dream about killing her mother, but now that she’s done it, she doesn’t quite know what to do with herself. The Almost Moon follows forty-nine-year-old Helen Knighly through the twenty four hours following the death of her mother, exploring current and past relationships that have helped shaped the woman Helen has grown to become.
I remember loving The Lovely Bones when I read it in nineth grade, so when I found another book by that author on sale at Borders for four bucks, I was ecstatic. It’s taken me a while to get around to reading it, but I’m definitely glad I did. I’ve always been fascinated by mother/daughter relationships, and this book definitely does a great job at showing one. It’s easy to say that we hate our parents, but it’s another thing to actually stick with that hate, and Alice Sebold does a great job at showing how sometimes love and hate are so intertwined it’s hard to tell them apart. I also enjoyed the way she wove together present and past scenes. We see her murder her mother before we really know anything about the woman, and I love the way we slowly get to learn about what Helen’s life was like growing up. It’s also really interesting how reasonable Helen views her actions, even thought the rest of us can see how crazy she is at times.
I didn’t enjoy this book as much as I thought I would, but it was still an interesting read.