Book Review: The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

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.

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14 Responses to Book Review: The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

  1. bermudaonion(Kathy)
    Twitter: bermudaonion

    I’ve got several of her books, including this one, I think and really need to find the time to read one. I wish I could get away to a deserted island.

  2. irene says:

    You are absolutely right, I pick up Allen too when I need a break from the harsh reality in some of the books I read. I enjoyed this book immensely too and I’m not sure which one would top. I wish she would give recipes someplace in the book, like I’d love a good sandwich recipe from the Sugar Queen.

  3. I’ve still never read any of her books, but a five out of five! I feel like I should change that!

  4. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    I’ve read The Peach Keeper and Garden Spells, and I just have not been impressed. Maybe it is the audio that is turning me off? I really don’t know. I question myself because so many people love her. There just isn’t good chemistry between me and her work. 🙁

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Sandy – sometime that’s the case -just a bad match between reader and author.

  5. Marg
    Twitter: MargReads

    There is something so special about Sarah Addison Allen’s writing in these books although The Peach Keeper isn’t one of my favourites. I can’t wait for the next one!

  6. Mary
    Twitter: bookfanmb

    I’ve enjoyed all her novels – just love the southern setting and magical realism.

  7. Melissa
    Twitter: myeclecticbooks

    I can’t wait to read the Peach Keeper! You are right about this author never disappointing. I adore magical Realism…I think it’s my fav sub-genre.

    • CarrieK
      Twitter: booksandmovies

      Melissa – I enjoy it, too – but some of it is very dark. I know that Addison Allen’s work will be uplifting. I enjoy dark, too, but sometimes I know I need something that will leave me happy!