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The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold

The Almost Moon (edition 2008)

by Alice Sebold

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3,0591541,852 (2.79)89
Title:The Almost Moon
Authors:Alice Sebold
Info:Back Bay Books (2008), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold


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Showing 1-5 of 153 (next | show all)
This is such a difficult book to discuss. I originally picked it up 13/12/2008 and had intended to read it promptly as it had been on my wishlist for some time. Then a month later my Mother passed away and I could no longer face it, 3 years later (to the date - spooky) I finally picked it up and I've found it so harrowing that it's taken me over a month to read and I've read 9 other books between chapters to cheer me up/clear my head.

Helen Knightly is a divorcee, mother of two adult girls, a life model, but most significantly, the daughter of an aging agoraphobic Mother who suffers from altzheimers. Their relationship has been abusive for all her life but she feels an obligation to care for her mother.

In the first chapter, she snaps and (sorry if you didn't realise) kills her mother. The rest of the book deals with the aftermath and her descent into chaos as her life unravels. Throughout there are flashbacks to various points in her life & relationship with her mother, family & friends which helps explain why she is the person she is. The final chapter leaves you with at least three options as to 'what will happen next'.

How to judge it? The fact that I perservered & finished it, rather than abandoning it early on, is testament to the writing. A lot of other reviewers have commented that they can't see how a person could react in the aftermath in the way Helen did, but I can totally see it, a moment of crisis, then numbness and a total lack of control, each event snowballing until she runs out of options.

Worth a read, but be prepared. ( )
  Cassandra2020 | Jan 24, 2016 |
Well written and thoughtful, but too depressing for me, I'm afraid.
  Connie-D | Jan 17, 2016 |
Very disturbing beginning, but a good read. Not as intense as The Lovely Bones. ( )
  Denise.Jenne | Sep 29, 2015 |
Ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous. Terrible book. ( )
  bigorangecat | Aug 22, 2015 |
I know I said "OH!" or something like that during the first chapter---and then you are just plain grabbed by this audio! I'm sure reviews on this are all over the place but I thought it was a fascinating description of thoughts that came true and of mental illness in many dimensions in different characters. It would be wonderful if there was a way to add an epilogue---10 years later....what would really happen over time. Joan Allen was excellent as the reader--you felt that she really was Helen---describing what happened up until the moment when the book stops. ( )
  nyiper | May 22, 2015 |
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Always, Glen
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When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316677469, Hardcover)

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 Lucky.

For 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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:44 -0400)

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"With fierce intelligence and emotional intensity, Alice Sebold brings us a searing portrait of a mother-daughter bond that descends into murder. Clair and Helen Knightly are a parent and child locked in a relationship so unrelenting that they have become the center of each other's worlds. But as this novel opens, Helen crosses a boundary she never thought she would approach. And while her act is almost unconscious, it somehow seems like the fulfillment of a lifetime's unspoken wishes." "Over the next twenty-four hours, Helen's life rushes in at her as she is forced to confront the choices that have brought her to this one riveting crossroad. As a woman who spent years trying to win the love of someone who had none to spare, she now faces an uncertain and dangerous freedom. With her unflinching ability to confront the violence and danger that lurk beneath life's everyday surface, Sebold explores the complex ties within families, the meaning of devotion, and the thin line that separates us from our most haunting impulses. The Almost Moon is a story of passion and redemption written with the strength of voice that only Alice Sebold can bring to the page."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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