We recently took a vacation to Las Vegas. I always bring several books when we travel, and I had downloaded “The Girl Who Chased the Moon” onto my Kindle before we left, since I loved “The Peach Keeper” (reviewed here a short time ago). I ended up reading the entire novel on our flight from Boston to Nevada!
In “The Girl Who Chased the Moon”, teenager Emily Benedict arrives in her mother’s hometown in North Carolina to live with her aging (and giant) grandfather after her mother is killed in an accident. Emily only knows one side of her mother, Dulcie, and sees her as a driven, conscientious, hard-working woman, who values integrity and helping others above all else. The young Dulcie that Emily starts discovering is very different. Many of the townspeople still hold a grudge against Dulcie, and most remember her as self-centered, self-serving, and downright mean. Neighbor Julia Winterson, herself only back in town for a given time, reaches out to Emily and helps her navigate finding her mother and her own true self (Julia bakes cakes all the time, and has her own issues, too). Emily’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ attraction to a teenage boy, whose uncle once loved Dulcie, and her determination to figure out the mystery of floating lights in her yard at night, threatens to tear her family apart, and secrets are revealed all within the framework of a little bit of magic.
I just loved this book! I loved the characters and Ms. Allen’s portrayal of a small North Carolina town in the summer. Her ability to use magical elements in her books I thought, at first, would pull me out of the story, but instead it enhanced the story for me. There were several subplots to follow in this story, but it all gelled and came together seamlessly. It was a quick read for me, too.
If you enjoyed Ms. Allen’s other novels, I think you’ll like this one, too!