The girl who chased the moon SUMMARY
After her mother’s death, Emily Benedict moves south to Mullaby, North Carolina to live with the grandfather she never knew she had. But soon upon her arrival she notices some oddities about the town, not the least of which is her literal giant of a grandfather. Perhaps the worst, is the way many in the town respond to her. Their responses seem tied to her mother’s history in Mullaby. They leave Emily with more questions than answers about her mother’s past.
While Emily has just arrived, her adult neighbor Julia, is counting down the days until she can leave. She returned to Mullaby upon her father’s death. Emily has been managing his famous barbecue restaurant until she can earn enough to pay off the mortgage and sell the business. Julia’s dream is to open her own bakery, but she tells no one the reason why. Her last six months can’t pass quickly enough, especially when a man with whom she shares a tragic history starts pursuing her.
I bought The Girl Who Chased the Moon solely because I fell in love with its’ gorgeous cover knowing nothing about the story inside. I had never read anything by Sarah Allen Addison before, although I had seen this book pop up occasionally on reading lists. But I am absolutely delighted to find the inside is as beautiful as the outside. I’m so glad I chose to judge this particular book by its’ cover.
Addison’s writing is lyrical and full of whimsy. I highlighted so many lines in my Kindle, simply for the pure beauty of the way the words fit together. In many ways, her writing is like Julia’s cakes, sweet, dense and yet light and airy. It engaged not just my physical senses but my emotional ones as well.
The mystery surrounding Emily and her mother’s connection to Mullaby kept me engaged in her particular story. Emily is a sweet, accepting and unassuming girl. I ached for her as she learned to adjust to a new place and people without any prior knowledge of her connection to them. And when she learns the truth, instead of being offended at the injustice of how she is treated, she takes on the responsibility of atoning for her mother’s actions.
If Emily’s story intrigued me, Julia’s was the one that packed the most emotional punch. Though she is an adult, she is still trying to come to terms with events which altered her life as a teenager. She can’t let go of the past and can’t get out of Mullaby fast enough. Like many women who have been hurt, she has erected walsl to keep people out and protect herself. But in doing so, she unknowingly denies herself the opportunity to find out the truth from those she believes have hurt her. I could really relate to Julia in many ways. I love how she starts out still slightly rebellious and guarded then gradually softens and opens up as she slowly heals.
I’m so glad I took a risk buying The Girl Who Chased the Moon. It is a charming and delightful Southern tale with a little bit of whimsy and magic thrown in for good measure. But that sweetness is nicely balanced with a deeper emotional picture with an important lesson to teach.
Content Warning: For my clean and inspirational readers, be advised that there are a couple of instances of swearing and one PG-13 rated scene of physical intimacy.
Have you ever judged a book by its’ cover and been pleasantly surprised?