There's something about Sarah Addison Allen's novels that draws me right in. It might be the magical characters. The small towns are unusual, secretive places. I know the beautiful turn of phrase doesn't hurt. It might be the happy endings. And, the gorgeous covers on these books don't hurt. Her debut novel, Garden Spells, was wonderful. The Sugar Queen included the same magical qualities, although it couldn't beat that first book, in my opinion. But, The Girl Who Chased the Moon is another stellar story by an author who has become a favorite.
When Emily Benedict showed up at her grandfather's door in Mullaby, North Carolina, she knew nothing about him, or the unusual town. But, her mother had died, and Emily went to her only living relative. She didn't know her grandfather was known as "The Giant of Mullaby." She didn't know her mother's story, that the town shunned her for her own actions as a teenager. And, she didn't know that the Mullaby lights, and a few people, would change her life, and their own.
It wasn't long before Julia Winterson, owner of a barbecue joint, and a master of baking cakes, took Emily under her wing. Julia had been a troubled teen, and she recognized someone in need. She didn't want to recognize her own need for Sawyer Alexander. Sawyer was kind, and represented the best of Southern gentility, but, "Staring at an Alexander man too long was like staring at the sun."
But it was Win Coffey's friendship with Emily that shocked the town, and his family. Win Coffey knew the story of the relationship between his uncle and Emily's mother, but it would take courage to tell Emily that story.
Magic and giants, mysterious lights, romance and secrets. Only Sarah Addison Allen can bring them together in a believable story. And, the town of Mullaby, and its people, certainly have their secrets. There are powerful secrets that can destroy souls, or, when shared and revealed, can enchant and bring love. Allen is slow to reveal them in this delicious, heady novel, The Girl Who Chased the Moon.
Sarah Addison Allen's website is www.sarahaddisonallen.com
The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen. Bantam Books, ©2010. ISBN 9780553807219 (hardcover), 288p.
FTC Full Disclosure: Library book