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The Almost Moon, by Alice Sebold

The Almost Moon, by Alice Sebold. Sebold is also the author of "The Lovely Bones", the story of a young girl reminiscing from the afterlife on her rape and murder. Aside from the ending (which I thought contrived and out of character with the rest of the story), I enjoyed that book very much.

"The Almost Moon", no. This was a book I wished I could stop reading because the story and the main character repelled me so much, but kept right on reading anyway, compelled to see how it ended. On the whole, it was like a traffic accident -- I wanted to look away but I couldn't.

The story starts off on the first page with Helen Knightly's announcement that she's just killed her mother. The rest of the story takes place in a single 24-hour period as her day goes steadily downhill, as much from her own foolishness as anything else. The story treats us to the inner workings of Knightly's mind and to her reflections on growing up with a mother who was seriously emotionally unbalanced (agoraphobia was the least of Ma Knightly's problems) when young and is now in old age vicious and incontinent as well as crazy.

In all the disagreeable spectacle of Helen running around like a chicken with her head cut off, the only thing in the whole story that rang true for me was this thought she has toward the end: "Had I killed the only person who, in comparison, made me appear sane?"

Yes. Yes, indeed, that is exactly what she had done. I had bought this book based entirely on my fond memories of "The Lovely Bones"; if I'd read a few reviews first I would have never bothered with it. That's a lesson to me.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jan. 8th, 2014 03:37 pm (UTC)
You are not alone! #bookdisappointment ?
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )



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