Title: The Girl Who Chased the Moon
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Genre: Fiction; Magical Realism
Publisher: Bantam Books (Random House)
Pub. Date: March 16, 2010
This is my second of Sarah Addison Allen's books (the first being Garden Spells) and I have to say that as popular as they seem to be with a lot of readers, the magical realism just isn't for me. Now, I don't have much experience with magical realism in the first place so it could be that it's just that and not these books... but I don't know! I feel like I could deal with magical realism if there were a specific purpose for it. But in this book it was just so random!
In The Girl Who Chased the Moon, 17-year-old Emily moves to Mullaby, North Carolina after her mother's death. Up until recently, Emily never knew anything about this town or that she has any living relatives. Emily moves in with her grandfather who happens to be a giant. She stays in her mother's old room that has wallpaper that randomly changes. (That's one of the things I just couldn't get). There's a big secret about why her mother left and never moved back and why the whole town essentially hates her mother. Then Emily meets Win Coffey who dresses in a white linen suit and red bow tie. Of course, there's a big secret regarding their family as well. (I think I understand why he dressed like that all the time, but the justification wasn't enough for me). There's the mystery of the "Mullaby lights" (which I figured out right away), and there's Julia who bakes cakes from which old flame, Sawyer, can smell from miles away.
As much as I pick on this book, the storyline itself was actually pretty good and flowed well. I thought Allen did a great job with the pacing and the different elements and characters. In all, it was a light and fun read. I liked the characters, the great secret about Emily's mom, and the twist as well. It may just be that the sub-genre is not for me.