Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Almost Moon

The Almost Moon, by Alice Sebold.

When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily. Dementia, as it descends, has a way of revealing the core of the person affected by it. My mother's core was rotten like the brackish water at the bottom of a weeks-old vase of flowers. She had been beautiful when my father met her and still capable of love when I became their late-in-life child, but by the time she gazed up at me that day, none of this mattered.

The Almost Moon is Alice Sebold's third novel, one of which being an autobiography, and after really liking The Lovely Bones, and reading a preview chapter of this in that book, I decided to read it. It's definitely not as good as Bones but it is hard to compare the two, as they are drastically different. This novel takes place over 24 hours, whereas The Lovely Bones spans a decade or more. The style of prose, beautifully written by Sebold, is the same - incredibly detailed, with nothing left out, and fairly straightforward - and the plot is simple: Helen has just killed her elderly mother and has no idea of what to do next. The first sentence of the novel definitely grabs the reader, as it grabbed me, and we wonder - why did she do this? What were her reasons? And, of course, what is she going to do now?

2.5 stars out of 5.


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