Title: The Girl Who Chased the Moon
Author: Sarah Addison Allen
Genre: Contemporary fiction, fantasy
Publisher: Bantam Books
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Source: Print copy from my personal library
First line: It took a moment for Emily to realize the car had come to a stop.
Goodreads blurb: Emily Benedict came to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother’s life. Such as, why did Dulcie Shelby leave her hometown so suddenly? And why did she vow never to return? But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew—a reclusive, real-life gentle giant—she realizes that mysteries aren’t solved in Mullaby, they’re a way of life: Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbor bakes hope in the form of cakes.
Everyone in Mullaby adores Julia Winterson’s cakes—which is a good thing, because Julia can’t seem to stop baking them. She offers them to satisfy the town’s sweet tooth but also in the hope of rekindling the love she fears might be lost forever. Flour, eggs, milk, and sugar . . . Baking is the only language the proud but vulnerable Julia has to communicate what is truly in her heart. But is it enough to call back to her those she’s hurt in the past?
Can a hummingbird cake really bring back a lost love? Is there really a ghost dancing in Emily’s backyard? The answers are never what you expect. But in this town of lovable misfits, the unexpected fits right in.
Sarah Addison Allen is one of those authors who I have come to rely on not to disappoint. Her books are beautifully romantic, completely southern, and full of magic and sensory details that immerse you in the world of the book. (Only downside is how hungry reading her books makes me!)
Aside from her talent for writing setting and detail, the thing I love best about her books are the characters. Her books are peopled with strong women who don’t know how strong they are. Both Julia and Emily are dealing with issues from the past – Emily not understanding hers, Julia trying to escape from hers. And yet, for each of them, facing the past becomes an epiphany – one that reveals to each woman who she truly is.
I enjoyed Garden Spells, and now The Girl Who Chased the Moon has tied with The Sugar Queen for my favorite Allen novel. I have The Peace Keeper waiting on my to-read shelf, and I am saving it for the next time I am in need of a book that will completely take me away from the real world.