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Clair de Lune: A Novel

3.37 of 5 stars 3.37  ·  rating details  ·  335 ratings  ·  78 reviews
“Complex and daring. . . . One of those books that readers wish had a sequel.” — Jane Smiley on Jetta Carleton’s The Moonflower Vine

The time: 1941, at the cusp of America’s entry into World War II. The place: southwest Missouri, on the edge of the Ozark Mountains. A young single woman named Allen Liles has taken a job as a junior college teacher in a small town, although s
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Published March 6th 2012 by Brilliance Audio
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(showing 1-30 of 1,096)
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Carol
2.5 Stars

The author (Jetta Carleton) writes in chapter one that Allen Liles is a fictional character, but not all of the story is imagined.....part of it is her own.

Set in 1941 southern Missouri near the Ozark Mountains (JC's home town) 25 year old Allen has just accepted her first real job as a junior college teacher where she finds her proud self a good ten years younger than some of her colleagues and more like twenty or thirty than others.

This coming-of-age story is about inappropriate stude

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Shari Larsen
The setting for this story is southwest Missouri, 1941, before the U.S. has entered World War II. A single young woman named Allen Liles has just taken a job teaching at a junior college in a small town. She dreams of one day moving to New York and being a writer. She strikes up a friendship with two young men who are students, George, a lanky, carefree spirit, and Toby, dark-haired with a searching soul. They get together after school and on weekends, bantering and debating over books, ethics, ...more
Jessica
I received this book for free from the publisher. All content and opinions are my own.

Jetta Carleton is the author of a little-known but well-loved novel called The Moonflower Vine. It was, so far as anyone knew, her only book. After her death, her family looked for the manuscript she had been working on but assumed it was lost in a tornado. However, the manuscript was bequeathed to an old friend and has since fallen into the hands of Harper Perennial. And thus we have Clair de Lune.

Allen Liles
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Audra (Unabridged Chick)
Bittersweet. That's the lingering taste of this book, rich and redolent, and when I finished, I kind of wanted to spend the rest of my Sunday in a Claire de Lune-stupor, rereading the lovely passages and wallowing in the satisfyingly sad/happy mood of the novel.

Hope, optimism, and innocence are themes of this book, along with passion, delight in literature, and the joy of finding kindred souls. Barbara Allen Liles -- called Allen -- becomes a teacher at a junior college in an unnamed town in sou
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Lydia Presley
This book charmed the pants off of me. Not literally, but you get what I'm saying.

I found an instant connection with Allen Liles -her love of reading, her passion for teaching. Set in a time period that boasts of innocence we've lost today, Clair de Lune also deals with adult themes that threaten the charming atmosphere of the book in a way that provides just the right amount of tension without overpowering the story.

Honestly, I felt like I was transported back into the world of my grandparents.
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Joanne
This book started out a little slow for me, but I am so glad that I stuck it out as I found a new love and appreciation for the characters as the story developed. Young Allen isn't sure what to do with her life, but knowing that she needs to find a job to satisfy her debts, she lets her mother talk her into becoming a college professor at a small private institution. Her dreams are put on hold as she enters the world of higher education.

Allen is probably one of the youngest faculty members at th
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Elizabeth B
I love to sink my teeth into a good literary history novel but this one fell surprisingly short. I had high hopes for it but it seems that no one bothered to edit this. The bones of a quality read are all here – depth of characters, setting, descriptions- but the amount of extraneous information nearly buries it. There is the “wall of text” failing where it is just pages and pages of no movement, no action, no revelations…just some inner monologue that adds nothing or a description of a building ...more
Katherine
Claire de Lune: A Novel by Jetta Carleton caught my attention with it's header: "A newly discovered Novel" which took me a second to process. It was found after the author's death in 1999, much to the surprise of everyone who thought it had been lost to a tornado. I'm very happy I decided to give this surprisingly fast read a chance.

Claire De Lune is first and foremost, a classic coming-of-age tale. Set as the second world war approaches the United States, the story follows the female protago
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Charlie
Clair de Lune focuses on the innocence of a pre-war generation, both locally, globally and socially. There is a longing for what was, and a dread of what is to come -- the inevitable change. It also dips into the realm of boundaries not just separated by age, but influenced by position, power, gender and career. Although Allen is close in age with her students, she struggles with her new position at the university and the proper student-teacher relationship. What's relevant is how it might play ...more
Katherine Stewart
After The Moonflower Vine I guess I was expecting more. It's not that this is a particularly bad book, but it was certainly a disappointment. I had a lot of trouble getting into it, and pretty much just kept pushing through to finish it. I read it in fits and starts between other books over the course of the last 6 weeks. The entirety of the book felt very weak, and it floated along without the narrative ever feeling very grounded.

I have to give the book a bit of a break since it was not a fini
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Pamela_b_lawrencemsn.com
Loved loved loved this book! Only reason I didn't give it five is, not sure it's one of my all-time faves - I reserve the option to give it five stars at some later date. Other reviewers have summarized the story. I will put a couple of passages, because I think they are lovely. At the beginning, the author talks about innocence being in short supply nowadays. She then discusses expulsion from Eden, and the fact that the garden is not destroyed and that it is guarded only from the east. So, othe ...more
Esmeralda
I read Jetta Carleton's first book, The Moonflower Vine back in the sixties when it was a Reader's Digest condensed book. I loved it.

This book was not published until after her death. I didn't like it as much as her previous book. I did think that it was well written. It tells the story of a young woman who gets a job at a junior college just before the outbreak of World War II. She gets in trouble with the administration when it is rumored that she is having an inappropriate relationship with t
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Elizabeth
this feels like a nice warm evening wrapped around your shoulders.

allen liles is hired as a professor at a community college in missouri. she is young and vibrant and not much older than her students.

she soon befriends two young proteges and they often find themselves walking around town having philosophical and academic discussions.

the story is set in 1941 as america is on the cusp of entering WWII. but this is really a story about allen finding her calling in life. of living your life for yo
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Tamara Riederer
awesome!! very old-fashioned and kind of dramatic. But I love her writingstyle!
Amy
Pretty sad I wasted time reading this. It was short and read easily, but the whole time I kept waiting for something to happen and nothing ever did. The main character was pathetic and whiny and I couldn't find any redeeming qualities in her at all. The only potentially interesting characters disappeared halfway through (cause for a lot of the whining) and came back at random towards the end. The two stars are for the style of writing and description which I did enjoy.
Julie
I am so glad to have found this book ! It's being called an "undiscovered classic " . I'm not sure I'd go that far in describing it, although I highly enjoyed it . I think the way they discovered the book and the story behind it might be what makes it so much better .
Jetta Carleton only wrote one other book in her lifetime : The Moonflower Vine " ,which I have yet to read. It was written in the 1960's .
Clair deLune was written in the 1990's . The author had a stroke shortly after completing it
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Kristi
The last half was utterly impossible to get through. It's never taken me this long to get through a book, especially considering all the time that I made in which to read it. This book should have just remained undiscovered.
Michele
Not as good as the Moonflower Vine, her only other book, that we read for book club.
Corinna
Gleich zu Anfang tat ich mich mit Allen als Protagonistin sehr schwer. Es dauerte bis ich mich in die Zeit hineinversetzen konnte und verstehen weswegen Allen das tut, was ihre Mutter von ihr verlangt. Sie wird Lehrerin, obwohl sie doch viel lieber nach New York gehen würde um dort Dichterin oder Schriftstellerin zu werden. Doch sie beugt sich dem Willen ihrer Mutter und geht als Lehrerin an ein College. Denn sie muss noch Schulden und Studienkredite abbezahlen und dies geht mit einem sicheren J ...more
Deb

One-book-wonder Jetta Carleton was actually a two-book wonder, as it turns out. A draft manuscript for Clair de Lune (then called The Back Alleys of Spring), was discovered in the custody of an old friend of Carleton’s and published in 2012 by Harper Perennial after some “cleaning up.”

It’s a slighter work than The Moonflower Vine, but for me more enjoyable to read, simply because I identified with the main character, Allen, a community college instructor, and her desire to escape the small-minde
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Ken
This is one review I’ve dreaded and looked forward to writing. My fear is that I won’t do it justice, won’t be able to impart even a glimmer of what this book is about to the future prospective readers.

Clair de Lune, Jetta Carleton’s last and thought to be lost (blown away in a 2003 tornado) novel finally came to print in 2012 and surely the world of literature is a better place for it.

This is a leisurely slow read that plays out like a 1940's black and white film, extremely written and cinemat
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CoffeeBook Chick
For my full review, click here: http://www.coffeeandabookchick.com/20...

Uncovered fifty years later and published twenty years after the author's death, Clair de Lune is an absolutely gorgeous piece of writing, and it's the kind of book that made me wish I was back in college again, selecting this book to read for my thesis instead of what I did pick.

Jetta Carleton was the bestselling author of The Moonflower Vine in the early 1960s, which captured readers instantly. At some point, history seeme
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Linda K
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patti
I liked this book! I kind of wanted to live in that time and in that town (until I remembered that my big mouth, my non-Christian religion and my drinking habit would have made me an outcast).

The teacher in me was beside myself that Allen would be this careless. You are their teacher and you need to be friendly without being a friend. And you can NEVER think of them romantically!!!! When they are on the other side of the desk, they can be the best looking person ever but they still ugly. But th
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Melissa
http://www.gerberadaisydiaries.com/20...

Miss Allen Liles has recently accepted a position to teach at a local junior college, located in the foothills of the Ozarks. On the eve of WWII, positions are scarce – especially when you are a woman. Luckily, Miss Liles is an instant favorite with her students, because of her love of poetry and exuberance towards literature. But her position is put in jeopardy when a more than friendly relationship develops between her and 2 of her students – George and
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Rene
I originally picked this up because of its title. As someone who Loves the composition "Clair de Lune" by Debussy, I couldn't resist. This book is interesting, and the reasons I gave this book only three stars are because of typos and some plot holes. But I don't think this book was actually finished by Jetta Carleton. It was published post mortem. To that, I say this book is beautiful. The words move like poetry, or more importantly, "Clair de Lune." It gives a unique point of view of the time ...more
Helen
Feb 18, 2013 Helen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Helen by: BOOK CLUB SELECTION
I felt this book was a good read. It was rather light, easy to follow, and subject matter not too deep. Fun reading a young woman's ambivalent move from irresponsible childhood, to the maturity of a junior college teacher in a small town in southwest Missouri. She did have some rough spots and also had the "usual small town "witch" who felt her job was to monitor all young women in the community for any "errows of her way" Much to Anna's benefit, Anna did have a dear old,retiring professor who i ...more
Teresa Segura
This book was beautifully written, but I felt a little anxious to get on with things. Much of the book takes places in Allen's head. It did make me appreciate the rights and freedoms I enjoy and mostly take for granted.
Katie
This was an intriguing pre-WWII historical fiction novel. What made it so interesting was that Jetta Carleton passed away in 1999 and it was discovered and published in 2012. I felt like they didn't want to edit the novel to preserve her memory, yet the novel could have used a few teaks to keep the plot line more vibrant.

Stepping into the head of Allen Lilly, a female teacher in the early 1940s made me think of my own grandmother, who was also teaching at that time. Now, as a teacher myself, we
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Tami
A story about a young woman who teaches English at a junior college in a small southern Missouri town. She discovers herself and her ultimate desires as well as grow up into adulthood. It's early WWII time period, and her innocence about the war, naivete, and denial, then admittance are explored.

It was a quick fun read. Carelton did a great job describing the settings, feelings, mood, characters, and atmoshpere. I could really put myself in the main character's shoes and felt as though I could e
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Jetta Carleton (1913-1999) was born in Holden, Missouri, and earned a master's degree at the University of Missouri. She worked as a schoolteacher, a radio copywriter in Kansas City, and a television advertising copywriter in New York City, and she ran a small publishing house with her husband in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
More about Jetta Carleton...
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“And maybe it wasn't his love that brought him back, but hers. How seductive being loved could be.” 5 likes
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