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Valley of the Moon: A Novel by Melanie…
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Valley of the Moon: A Novel

by Melanie Gideon

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Loved this book! It was unusual in all of the right ways, kept you reading to find out when or if Lux would make it back to Greengage. How she settles the dilemma of where she is happiest and where her life should be lived is a true battle between heart and mind. ( )
  barb_heck | Jun 6, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
This was a great fantasy, time travel story. I didn't want to put it down. The main characters were well developed and showed true characteristics of their time period. Family situations of estrangement and reconciliation with parent/child were carefully written. I would love to read more by Melanie Gideon. ( )
  kibosa | Apr 13, 2017 |
A special thank you to NetGalley and Random House for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This book is told from the perspective of two narrators who are separated by nearly a century. It is 1975, and we meet single mother Lux Lysander, who lives paycheque to paycheque on one floor of a a three-story house with her son, Benno, and roommate Rhonda. Lux goes on a solo camping trip to Sonoma, also know as the Valley of the Moon and is transported through time during a full moon to 1906 by way of a dense fog. She ends up in a small, well-run farming community led by our second narrator, Joseph Bell. Bell is a Londoner that values men and women alike and has deemed all jobs as equal. He founded "Greengage Farm" in honour of his late mother who committed suicide after his father has her committed the second time. This community is stuck in time after an earthquake hits and leaves it behind a dense fog that you cannot pass through. Lux seems to be the only one who can pass through the fog and time and does so whenever there is a full moon.

Sounds hokey, right? Well it is, a bit. Some of the narrative really grabbed me, there was some great writing there. I loved the backstory of Lux and her father and wished that that was a standalone book. There were also many unanswered questions which as the reader, you must suspend your disbelief. ( )
  GirlWellRead | Feb 25, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I loved every minute of this book. From the past to the future, the romance to the supernatural, every character and aspect of this novel is perfection. I fell in love with the characters and the concept and in the end all I wanted was to be able to dive back in again from the beginning. ( )
  Gwnfkt12 | Feb 19, 2017 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Lux is a single mother of a young child living in San Francisco in the early 1970's. Her boyfriend, the child's father, was killed in Vietnam before she knew she was pregnant. Working as a waitress and without much money to support herself or her son, she is thrilled when her roommate agrees to watch her son for the weekend so she can take a break and go camping. Upon awakening in the middle of the night, Lux stumbles through a deep fog to find herself in a communal community in the early 1900's. This agrarian society, socially advanced for it's time, is called Greengage. The individuals living there were separated in time during a cataclysmic earthquake, only connecting with the present during the full moon. Lux is the first person to cross over to Greengage since the earthquake occurred and the residents are shocked but also pleased to have her join them temporarily when she is able to cross over. However, Lux's time in Greengage has real world consequences when she returns, as her passages back to modern society are unpredictable, placing her at unexpected points of time in the future when she expects to return only a day later. After falling in love with Joseph, Greengage's leader, Lux finds it almost impossible to maintain her role as a parent in the present time and stay in touch with Joseph and the people she loves in Greengage at the same time. In alternating chapters told by Lux and Joseph, the story emerges of two different worlds with Lux caught in the middle.

This book reminded me of the musical, Brigadoon, with a town trapped in time that emerges out of the mist every hundred years. This story was interesting enough to read until the end but I thought that some of the details were not consistent with the time periods. For example, I was confused why Joseph in Greengage spoke with modern language. Why were technological advances put in the wrong years? These and other inconsistencies seemed to fall flat and they distracted from the storyline. Otherwise, it was an interesting time-travel story, particularly good for a book club discussion. ( )
  voracious | Dec 13, 2016 |
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Epigraph
Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.
 —Soren Kierkegaard
Dedication
For Sarah and Vasant Gideon
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The smell of buttered toast was a time machine.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345539281, Hardcover)

The author of the critically acclaimed Wife 22 has written a captivating novel about a love that transcends time—perfect for readers of The Time Traveler’s Wife, Time and Again, and the novels of Sarah Addison Allen.
 
San Francisco, 1975. A single mother, Lux Lysander is overwhelmed, underpaid, and living on the edge of an emotional precipice. When her adored five-year-old son is away visiting his grandparents, Lux takes a solo trip to Sonoma Valley—a chance to both lose herself and find herself again.
 
Awakened at midnight, Lux steps outside to see a fog settled over the Sonoma landscape. Wandering toward a point of light in the distance, she emerges into a meadow on a sunny day. There she meets a group of people whose sweetly simple clothing, speech, and manners almost make them feel like they are from another time.
 
And then she realizes they are.
 
Lux has stumbled upon an idyllic community cut off not only from the rest of the world but from time itself. The residents of Greengage tell a stunned and disoriented Lux that they’ve somehow been marooned in the early twentieth century. Having inexplicably stepped into the past, it is not long before Lux is drawn in by its peace and beauty.
 
Unlike the people of Greengage, Lux discovers that she is able to come and go. And over the years, Lux finds herself increasingly torn between her two lives. Her beloved son is very much a child of the modern world, but she feels continually pulled back to the only place she has ever truly felt at home.
 
A gorgeous, original, and deeply moving novel about love and longing and the power that time holds over all of us, Valley of the Moon is unforgettable.
 
Praise for Melanie Gideon’s Wife 22
 
“This modern-day, mixed-media comedy of manner is as up-to-the-minute as your favorite Twitter feed.”The Washington Post
 
“An LOL Instagram about love in a wired world.”People
 
“Vibrant, au courant, and hilarious . . . brilliant!”—Adriana Trigiani
 
“Channels the playful but incisive vibe of Nora Ephron’s You’ve Got Mail.”—NPR
 
“Fresh and funny . . . a delightful, thoroughly modern, guilty pleasure of a read.”San Francisco Chronicle
 
“A skillful blend of pop-culture references, acidic humor, and emotional moments. It will take its rightful place . . . alongside Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones’s Diary, Anna Maxted’s Getting Over It, and Allison Pearson’s I Don’t Know How She Does It.”Library Journal (starred review)
 
“I loved it, loved it, loved it. It’s so funny and true and sad and real and clever . . . also so hopeful and wise and ultimately heartwarming.”—Marian Keyes

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 02 May 2016 02:50:47 -0400)

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