The Almost Moon

The Almost Moon A Woman Steps Over The Line Into The Unthinkable In This Brilliant, Powerful, And Unforgettable New Novel By The Author Of The Lovely Bones And LuckyFor Years Helen Knightly Has Given Her Life To Others To Her Haunted Mother, To Her Enigmatic Father, To Her Husband And Now Grown Children When She Finally Crosses A Terrible Boundary, Her Life Comes Rushing In At Her In A Way She Never Could Have Imagined Unfolding Over The Next Twenty Four Hours, This Searing, Fast Paced Novel Explores The Complex Ties Between Mothers And Daughters, Wives And Lovers, The Meaning Of Devotion, And The Line Between Love And Hate It Is A Challenging, Moving, Gripping Story, Written With The Fluidity And Strength Of Voice That Only Alice Sebold Can Bring To The Page

Alice Sebold is the author of three 1 bestselling books, including Lucky, and the novels The Lovely Bones and The Almost Moon Her work has been translated into than fifty languages and has appeared in The New York Times and The Guardian, among other publications She is a member of the National Leadership Council for Rape, Abuse Incest National Network She lives in

❰Reading❯ ➶ The Almost Moon Author Alice Sebold –
  • Hardcover
  • 295 pages
  • The Almost Moon
  • Alice Sebold
  • English
  • 18 August 2017
  • 9780316677462

10 thoughts on “The Almost Moon

  1. says:

    I wanted to believe that the backlash against this book could be explained by general disappointment about Sebold s second novel not living up to The Lovely Bones. Um, yeah Not only did it not measure up, but I don t even want this book in the same ROOM with my other books It really and truly is that bad I tried, people I tried But when I spent 4 hours on a plane learning how to do Sodoku just so I wouldn t have to read one heinous word of this novel, I knew that I was going to have to throw in the towel and say some terrible things about Sebold s latest effort.We all know she can write Even when her words are polluting my air, it s obvious she can write Why she chose to write such complete and utter crap this time is just beyond me The entire book centers around Helen killing her mother And, you know, that could have been an interesting theme to run with, but Sebold just mangled and butchered it instead I suspect that maybe I was supposed to feel sorry for Helen, but instead I found her to be thoroughly unpleasant, and I started wishing that she d go ahead and kill herself, too After 87 pages, I no longer even cared enough to skim ahead in order to find out what horrible things had happened in her past In fact, I m surprised that I ever made it past page 44, which as another reviewer already noted, contains some of the absolute worst lines ever written No kidding I don t recommend reading this entire book obviously , but if you re into brief spurts of masochism, mosey on over to the library and pull this book off the shelf just to read page 44.

  2. says:

    Horrible, horrible, horrible Bad in every way terrible sentences, dreadful unbelievable characters, boring story Includes this line, This was not the first time I had been face to face with my mother s genitalia Her genitalia has a FACE Downhill from there.

  3. says:

    I should preface this by saying that I have never read a book with an accumulative star rating this low before It also confirms that star ratings are ridiculous or maybe that one star ratings are compliments in disguise.Can someone explain to me why a story has to have likable characters Why someone who is clearly loosing it should act in a way a sane reader finds believable I m pretty sure when I read Fight Club I didn t think I would act that way but she s a woman, so she has to be in fiction that can be quickly accessed and then resolved with a nice bow on top Let me be clear this book is poisonous It s hits hard, especially to anyone who understand complicated issues between mothers and daughters But that s what it s supposed to be, it s supposed to be poisonous, it s supposed to disturb the reader and make us feel bad and I thought it was very well crafted.To me, the character made perfect sense, and I even liked her as much as that is possible She did the best she could for a long time and then she snapped and did something she couldn t take back I thought the book depicted that situation beautifully.Now, I have thing for Alice Sebold I thought The Lovely Bones was good and entertaining, but my special interest is in those books that were generally described as disappointing, like Lucky and this one Maybe her way of seeing the world just makes sense to me, and maybe that doesn t bode that well, but just because she describes the world out of the viewpoint from characters who may not fit exactly in the nice, uplifting story with a bow on top formula so predominant in so called women s fiction doesn t mean it s bad writing.

  4. says:

    SpoilersThe subject matter was hard at the start, but it got easier as the book progressed, because I started to really dislike the main character.Yes, I understand and appreciate the dichotomy of the mother daughter relationship, especially a dysfunctional one I get the love hate thing I really, really do But, the fact that she owned her hatred of her mother at such an early age she acknowledged it and expressed it, I mean she OWNED it, but then she only acted out the loving daughter part, was so disingenuous But, if we re to accept that this is who that character was, then she was just weak and sick And continued to be weak and sick, all through her marriage, hurting her husband and her children all while openly hating the mother that she insisted on caring for, and then finally killing that mother The character was 49 at the time of the story, and in all those years, from the first spark of hatred of her mother when she was little, did she ever think that this was all unhealthy and wrong She was closed off, cold, cruel, pushing everyone away, even her children which I found so hard to read, that she went on and on about her dislike of her older child and never had any inkling to change Oh, she saw the one therapist once, who was apparently just as nuts as she was, and talked about her hostility towards his probing It was all just too weird to accept.Then her having sex with her best friend s son was even hard to stomach than her killing her mother I mean, that feels almost incestuous, doesn t it The son was grown, and apparently had a crush on this woman for a long time, but still, I don t understand how you can have sex with someone who is the child of your best friend Someone you ve had an adult role in raising since birth It was, as I said, worse than the murder she d just committed, IMO After I realized that I truly did not like this woman, anything about her, it was even harder to plod through her narcissism over her figure realizing that if she had not taken such good care of her figure she wouldn t have had the strength to murder her mother, nor be attractive to her friend s son oh GAG me and her going on and on about how plump her friend was, in a not nice way again, who is SHE to put down anyone See, the book wasn t presented as maybe the diary of Charles Manson would be, like it s supposed to be a spectacle of horrors, hard to get through because that level of sickness is just so out of our understanding It was presented kind of like we were supposed to maybe sympathize with her and root for her I think she was supposed to come across as weak and having made bad decisions, but damaged by her upbringing I think we were supposed to recognize that she made bad choices, but also feel compassion for her because of what she d gone through, and her conflicting emotions I didn t though At first I did But, then the stuff with the friend s son came in and the stuff about the kind of mother she was, and that she just never even tried to stop wallowing in her own illness I just thought she was selfish and a horrible person The end was mildly redeeming Yes, she was going to take responsibility for it, finally, and try to repair her broken relationships from prison, or a mental institution, likely But, it was too little too late.What I truly hated about the book was that it is the opposite of what I like and what I hope to achieve in my own writing I am all about stories of people who come from sickness and bad luck and through whatever the unexpected love from others, their own strength, some luck that graces them, assistance from doctors, teachers, mentors , they are able to get out of the muck and make something of themselves I m not even talking big success stories like The Persuit of Happyness Even just little ones like Dead Poets Society, where the big prize is having the courage to ask out a girl, or tell your parents you don t want to be a lawyer Just to get over the negative weight and live a normal life I am all about stories of rising above whatever handicaps you were born with or dealt early on I like to see stories where people were born freaks and then somehow normalized that title, made it work FOR them, taking what they ve been given and gaining strength from it.This was the opposite of that This took a person, put her in a bad situation yes, her childhood was bad, but it wasn t the worst I ve seen by any measure and then held her head under its water until she drowned in it It took what could have been a quirky person from a less than ideal upbringing, spun her around and turned her into a freak, instead of taking a person out of a horrible place and turning her into a hero I just don t like those kinds of books, I guess I just had a really, really hard time with this woman s lifetime of submission to weakness and selfishness and felt that there shouldn t even be a book written about this kind of person unless it is clearly stated that we are supposed to genuinely dislike her And, well, I genuinely dislike plenty of selfish and weak people who have done real life bad things to me and others, so I just don t want to invest my recreation time to it, too.

  5. says:

    I couldn t put this book down so I read it in two days What I especially liked about the book was how the author used stream of consciousness thinking flash backs to explain the thoughts and actions of the main character during a 24 hour period just before and after she kills her demented mother Also, as unreal as the events seem in the this story, they stem from the main character who grew up in a disturbed family making some minor poor choices under stress, then making a major poor choice she killed her mother which put her on a path of no return I think this happens to us all the time, but not on such a major scale If you haven t read The Lovely Bones, then I recommend that book as well.NOTE It s interesting that most people who read or starting reading this book didn t like it Nevertheless, I think it s a good read.

  6. says:

    When I read The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold s bestselling first novel, I thought, now what What does an author write after that How could she possibly top this novel Three short years later Alice follows with a realistic, maybe too real, new novel, The Almost Moon, that promises to ease its way up the bestseller list in a short time In what seems to be Ms Sebold s tradition, The Almost Moon is a dark tale, not a cozy quick read This story voices some of the worst emotions and fears one could imagine Helen Knightly, a middle aged woman looking after her elderly mother, commits an act that most could not fathom In the first sentence of the book, Helen tells the reader in her casual voice as if she were a friend that killing her mother came easily This personal point of view sets the tone of the story and somewhat prepares readers for the emotional ride to come The book only covers a twenty four hour period, but because of the way the story is told readers will hardly notice I must applaud Ms Sebold for the courage to tackle emotions and thoughts that readers will not want to identify with and a subject that will surely generate plenty of criticism The intricate relationship Ms Sebold weaves between mother and daughter brings to the surface what most families fight to bury in their histories The unhealthy bond between Helen and her mother Clair is evident when a young Helen eats a whole cookie sheet of candy Clair has made Helen is punished by having to remain at the kitchen table until her father comes home She becomes quite ill, but manages to stay in place The crazy dance between mother, father, and daughter has a long lasting effect on Helen s reality She helps her father make existence possible for Clair by taking on an adult role with the neighbors and outsiders when Mr Knightly is out of town At one point, Mr Knightly is gone for three months on business, or so says Clair While he is gone, Helen is greeted with sad nods and casseroles from the neighbors, which she hordes in the deep freeze while mother and daughter live off peanut butter crackers and cheese toast Helen fears one day she will be responsible for feeding both herself and Clair She fears her father will never come home Sebold reveals a whole set of legacies passed on from one generation to another Helen grows into a teenager perceiving her family as normal It s not until a neighbor points out the mental illness laced through her parents actions that Helen feels some freedom and validation Her feelings about her mother were given a name insanity Clair Knightly is not the most likeable of characters She came to motherhood late in life only after her lingerie modeling career became nonexistent The simple detail that Helen grew up in a house where the walls and tabletops were covered with framed black and white photos of Clair wearing lingerie was enough to make me sympathize with Helen, especially as of the backstory unfolded But just as I became willing to understand Helen s act, Helen would say or do something that pushed me away Whether intentional or not, this distancing was an excellent technique I believe every book asks a question of its readers With Helen s whole story unfolded, revealed, does this give her the right to take the life of her mother Is her act a punishable offense, or do readers find something about Helen that helps them hope for her freedom I ll leave this for the readers to decide for themselves Alice Sebold s unflinching ability to stare down the everyday violence lurking under the surface deserves both acknowledgment and praise While this book may bring debate, and is not recommended as a casual read, I strongly suggest The Almost Moon to lovers of writing well done.

  7. says:

    My full review of this book is much longer than GoodReads word count limitations Find the entire essay at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography I freely admit it that as a man, there are sometimes things that women do that utterly baffle me, and will probably continue to baffle me until the day I freaking die, just like it is with women regarding men And that s because, avoiding any kind of qualitative judgment, I think we can all agree that there are fundamentally different ways that men and women sometimes react in different situations, based on a variety of criteria and societal concerns, and that in some cases such actions and behaviors can seem incomprehensible to the other gender You don t hear of too many men, for example, who just lose their marbles one day, drive their kids to a nearby lake and calmly drown them not too many male jilted lovers go on insane cross country drives in the middle of the night, with bizarre weapons in tow and while wearing adult diapers so that they don t have to make bathroom breaks, all in the name of some crazed crackpot scheme thought up in the middle of the night regarding stabbing their lover s new lover then turning the knife on themselves.It is one of these very topics, in fact, that fuels the entire storyline of acclaimed author Alice Sebold s latest brilliantly twisted dark little novel, The Almost Moon in fact, that s what the very first chapter of the book is devoted to, is a real time blow by blow accounting of a middle aged woman suddenly going insane one day and murdering her senile, sh t covered old age mother, just randomly one afternoon while over at her house and preparing to clean her like a baby for the thousandth time in a row now What the rest of this delightfully wicked story is about, then, is a fascinating and detailed look at the decades leading up to this moment, told in a non narrative hyperfiction style that jumps from early childhood to just yesterday at the blink of an eye, painting one of the deepest portraits you ll see in contemporary literature of a dysfunctional mother daughter relationship, and of all the teeny, tiny, strange, entertaining, depressing, hopeless, fascinating ways the relationship affects the way the woman deals with each and every other person in her life too It is utterly a female story, the kind that can only be told by a female author, but told in a way so that I as a male reader can get it too I love such novels, as I ve mentioned here before, and am always glad to come upon another one like I have this week.So why does Sebold s name sound so familiar, you re thinking Well, because she s the mousy dark novelist who seemingly appeared out of nowhere in the early 2000s to write The Lovely Bones, an emotionally devastating crime thriller and meditation on loss that happened to have been written from the standpoint of a murdered teenage girl as she watches the proceedings from heaven I read it too when it first came out, and like many others it made me openly weep in public it became not only a runaway bestseller, but is also slated to be the next movie by Lord of the Rings impresario Peter Jackson Oh yeah, that Alice Sebold This is only her second novel, after taking a break between them to pen the true rape memoir Lucky and it is the best kind of second novel to write, to tell you the truth, one that

  8. says:

    I made it to around 60 pages before I chucked it across the room Horrible horrible horrible all over the place, pathetic writing with sad, unlikeable characters.

  9. says:

    This book was extremely disturbing The main character is introduced as seemly a normal woman whose elderly mother is entering her final years and at the stage of facing a nursing home or care facility Even after she kills her mother, she tells the story as if this is just sort of a bummer day, almost, Oh my gosh, I killed my mother I don t want to be late for work Ironically, I was even lulled into moments where I was not completely horrified at what just happened and continues to happen through the next 24 hours Through the book, we learn about her mother s mental illness, as well as her father s, and we see the domino effect of mental illness A lot of people rated this book very low, and I have to admit I had difficulty getting through it I am a young adult librarian, and I still struggle on whether I want to add it to the collection because it is told in such a real way.In fact, I have seen women like the main character in the newsi.e minister s wife kills husbandand I wondered what happened to her to make her do it This is her story The slow erosion of rationale thinking due to mental illness and emotional strain I think it is a very unique book in its perspective and helpful in analyzing the thought processes of the mentally ill, which is why I recommend it.

  10. says:

    Before I start this, let me just say that Alice Sebold s writing style is not the problem This is a definite example of how good writing does not always equal a good novel The writing was compelling enough that I did not DNF this book But, in my opinion, the plot itself was absurd I am shocked that this is from the same author who wrote The Lovely Bones I ve never read TLB, but I ve known many people who have cited it as a great book, or even their favorite book This book feels like it came from a different planet How can an author who wrote such a critically acclaimed novel also write this As Zac Posen would say on Project Runway, the taste level just isn t there I ve been binging too much PR and I might be the only one to get this reference I like to think that novels are stories that authors feel they need to tell I have no clue why anyone would want to tell this story I m not against dark stories In fact, I loooove dark, fucked up stories But this is just dismal Helen is a miserable person and the only thing this novel does is confirm that she had a terrible childhood and her mother s mental illness went untreated her whole life Her father also suffered from mental illness, but it was skirted around and not as vilified as her mother s There s a point where Helen is confronted with the truth of her father s illness and she makes a conscious decision to never blame him for anything that has gone wrong in their family, and yet she constantly blames her mother and says she s always wanted to kill her It was just confusing The story is told in a stream of consciousness style, and I just wasn t really here for it I really did not like Helen or anything she chose to do, in the past or present Also, usually when the main character of a novel murders someone, I kinda want them to get away with it With Helen, I was was ready to dial 911 myself, if only to end the book I m not sure what I was supposed to feel while reading this Bad for Helen Bad for Helen s mom Bad for the people they both affected All I really felt was annoyed Don t read this book if you enjoy using your time for productive things I m sure you could find a better story that encapsulates a dark family dynamic and how mental illness affects us, personally and as bystanders Honestly, I know you could find a better book with these themes.

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