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The Moon Sisters

3.51  ·  Rating Details ·  1,329 Ratings  ·  339 Reviews
A beautiful coming-of-age novel about two sisters on a journey to forgive their troubled mother, with a sheen of almost-magical realism that overlays a story about the love of a family, and especially between sisters.

Therese Walsh's poignant and mesmerizing novel is a moving tale of family, love, and the power of stories. After their mother's probable suicide, sisters Oliv
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by Crown
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Therese Walsh Hi Leanne, thanks so much for your question. I don't know anyone with macular degeneration, but I've written articles about it for health sites over…moreHi Leanne, thanks so much for your question. I don't know anyone with macular degeneration, but I've written articles about it for health sites over the years. You're right: Olivia's central blindness is like macular degeneration. I spoke with an eye expert who had worked with people who'd stared at the sun (believe it or not!), and he was incredibly helpful in describing what Olivia's perceptions would be. I'm glad the condition came across authentically to you. Thank you for reading The Moon Sisters. - Therese(less)

Community Reviews

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Therese Walsh
Aug 20, 2013 Therese Walsh rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: women-s-fiction
Dear Readers,

I wrote The Moon Sisters, and love it fiercely. I'm so glad for the opportunity to tell you a little about it.

My two sisters are a part of this book in ways even they don’t realize. They inspired the push-pull-love-hate blood bond that is at the heart of The Moon Sisters.

The three of us lost our father when my youngest sister was still a teenager. Grappling with death and the very meaning of life has been something we’ve struggled with, individually and collectively, since that tim
After their mothers death, Jazz and Olivia, two sisters as different as day and night, travel to the setting of their mothers unfinished novel to lay her spirit to rest.

I didn't think I would like this book, but I did. There was alot of tension between the 2 sisters in the beginning of the book as they had different points of view regarding their mothers death. There were times during the book when I wanted to shake some sense into both of them, but I did enjoy reading about their relationships
Feb 19, 2014 Jamise rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-reads
Review sometimes you come across a book that speaks to your soul. Loved this book!
Silver Thistle {adores JAFF & TEOTWAWKI.  Oh, and accronyms :P}
I loved this one so much! I was offered this one by the publisher and I'm so thrilled I accepted because it's a wonderful story. I barely laid it down from start to finish. I'm a REALLY slow reader usually but I just rattled through this one.

It's hard for me to write a review for something I loved as opposed to one I hated as it's all about the 'feels' for me and I can't put it into words sometimes. (Just an FYI - with this one I have a lot of feels and chances are that this review is going to b
This is the story of Olivia and Jazz Moon, sisters who embark on a journey following the death of their Mother. One of them hoping to finish her Mother's story, the other not knowing where the journey will take her. These two sisters are polar opposites yet the bond they have is a strong one, though not always loving. The story is told from the point of view of each sister in alternating chapters, with flashbacks as well.

I appreciated that Ms Walsh gave Olivia synesthesia, a condition wher
Aug 28, 2013 Randy rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to receive an early copy to blurb. Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh shimmers on the precipice where the grief-stricken teeter between loss and recovery, a place that often resembles madness. Sisters Olivia and Jazz battle as they hold each other tight in this touching coming of age tale that weighs family loyalty against distinctive truths. Walsh leavens magic realism with comedy; balances enchantment and pragmatic truth, and stirs them into a poignant family story.
Catherine McKenzie
Mar 05, 2014 Catherine McKenzie rated it it was amazing
A great read - Therese Walsh knows how to make distinctive characters and draw you in. This book, in particular, was very lyrical in the way it was written.
Mar 22, 2014 Cameran rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014-reads
Jazz and Olivia Moon are sisters and as different as can be. As the elder of the two, Jazz has always felt trapped by her mother’s expectations, while Olivia -- who has a neurological condition called synesthesia, which allows her to see sounds or taste smells -- was allowed to be free to wander and dream. The recent and unresolved death of their mother has left the entire family weighted with grief, and one day Olivia decides to travel with her mother’s ashes to the location of the fairy tale s ...more
Kim Bullock
Oct 01, 2013 Kim Bullock rated it it was amazing
The Moon Sisters is a more personal novel than The Last Will of Moira Leahy, and I believe it was kismet that Therese Walsh chose a condition like synesthesia to bestow on her character, Olivia Moon. Synesthesia is a neurological condition where senses overlap, allowing a person to hear color, for example, or taste words. It would be impossible to write from that viewpoint without taking all perceptions of how the world works, tossing them out, and starting over.

Walsh likely did much the same in
Vaughn Roycroft
Jul 04, 2013 Vaughn Roycroft rated it it was amazing
I don’t want to offer any sort of spoilers, but I was startled, even a bit unsettled, by the events that open this story. I may have been unsettled, but I was hooked. The opening, and how the story plays out, are going to mean so much to so many people who’ve been affected by similar circumstances.

In Olivia and Jazz, Walsh has created a pair of sisters that perfectly represent the archetypes of just about any sibling rivalry, and yet they are utterly unique. I quickly and easily fell in love wit
Feb 27, 2014 Britany rated it liked it
Olivia & Jazz Moon, two sisters that are complete opposites lose their mother unexpectedly. They end up on a journey to the Cranberry Glades to help resolve what actually happened with their mom...

The chapters alternate back and forth between Olivia and Jazz interspersed with letters written from their mother. Olivia has Synesthesia, which is a disorder in which her senses get discombobulated. She associated her mother as smelling like sunshine. This made for a whimsy, dreamy quality. Jazz,
Lisa Ahn
Jul 04, 2013 Lisa Ahn rated it it was amazing
THE MOON SISTERS, by Therese Walsh, is a great story, well told, with grief, and biscuits, and tattoos. It is the story of two young women, Olivia and Jazz, who've lost their mother. On the heels of her death, they are unanchored from their place inside the world, their sense of home and all its easy truths. Olivia, the dreamer, sets off for Cranberry Glades with their mother's ashes, in search of the will-o-the-wisp ghost lights that could set everything to rights. Jazz, her more practical sist ...more
Amy Hansen
Aug 26, 2013 Amy Hansen rated it it was amazing
It took me much longer than it should have to finish this book, and not become it wasn't engrossing because it was. Not because it wasn't beautifully written, because it was. Not because it wasn't expertly plotted, because it was. It took me so long because I didn't want it to end.

There's a reason for that. Walsh's first book, The Last Will of Moira Leahy, is to this day one of my favorites. It's also the book that serendipitously led me to my literary agent, which helped my own novel get publi
Paula Cappa
Oct 02, 2015 Paula Cappa rated it really liked it
I read this novel a little bit each day because I liked living with these two sisters, Olivia and Jazz, as they struggled through the challenges of sibling rivalry, depression, hope, and the lost dreams of their mother along with the grief after her death. It is ineffably sad. Filled with childhood memories and dark emotional tension, The Moon Sisters is beautifully and skillfully written. Mothers and daughters; fathers and daughters; sisters. I don't read a lot of coming-of-age dramas; I can se ...more
Lolly K Dandeneau
Nov 01, 2013 Lolly K Dandeneau rated it liked it
The book follows sisters Jazz and Olivia after the death (was it suicide or an accident) of their troubled mother. One sister had a tight bond and nothing but lovely memories, the other never felt loved nor close to her- each having a different perception of what their mother was made of. Olivia has synesthesia (a neurological condition in which stimulation of one sense can lead to stimulation of another, for example tasting words, seeing sounds). She has led a sheltered life alongside her mothe ...more
Feb 06, 2014 Jonathan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own, arc
Thanks, NetGalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review.

Make way for a weird, delicious book that is like your dreams but written down by someone else. Therese Walsh has produced a beautiful little novel and it is about a lot of things and it will bleed inside of you.

The Moon Sisters is, most simply, about the Moon sisters: Jazz, the older, is a stubborn, hardened realist, and Olivia, the younger, lives a real-life fairy tale because of her synesthesia, a mental "wiri
Jan 06, 2014 Kristine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Original review can be found at

* I received an advanced readers copy of this book from Random House Crown via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.*

The Moon Sisters is a truly unique story about two sisters who are both struggling after the death of their mother. Worlds apart in their way of thinking the two sisters struggle to understand each other and their actions. Olivia sets out on a journey to find the place that was the setting of her mothers
Dec 18, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, read-in-2014
For most of my life I have struggled to have a relationship with my sister that goes beyond the everyday annoyances. So reading “The Moon Sisters” was in a sense reliving all of those years and also moving beyond them too. This book is about a family dealing with the loss of a mother and whether she took her life or if her death was a complete accident. These two sisters, Jazz the eldest and Olivia the youngest, set out to come to terms with her death. The writing is poetic and convincing. The r ...more
Feb 14, 2014 Lynne rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. It had come pretty highly recommended by people whose book-lists I usually agree with. But The Moon Sisters just did not speak to me.

It reminded me slightly of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cakeonly combined with Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood tossed in for good measure. I didn't LIKE Olivia or Jazz until I'd read almost two-thirds of the book ... and even then, I can't say I like them, but I finally got to the point where I wanted to know what happened to t
Dec 02, 2014 Tara rated it really liked it
"I am quite certain that determined lost girls are the most powerful of all forces," writes the absent mother in this novel. Absent because her death opens the story. This tale within a tale is deftly told, reminiscent of the old pilgrimage tales and fairy tales that lead the characters into the depths of the forest to find the truth of something. Normally I don't like pov switches, but it works in this book. We move back and forth seamlessly between the two polar opposite Moon sisters, with the ...more
Margaret Dilloway
Mar 26, 2014 Margaret Dilloway rated it it was amazing
The Moon Sisters is many things. On the surface, it's about two sisters who are trying to get over the death of their mother just as they come of age. But, it's also a love story-- between mother and daughters, between sisters, between new lovers. It's an adventure story, with train jumping and outlaws and bounty hunters. It's magical, with might-be fairies populating the characters' landscapes (or perhaps just their imaginations). I guess it might best be called a fable, with many lessons about ...more
Marilyn Brant
Aug 28, 2013 Marilyn Brant rated it it was amazing
I had the pleasure of reading an advanced copy of THE MOON SISTERS, and I loved every word!

Therese Walsh is a gifted storyteller whose lyrical prose captures the uniqueness of her characters and the compelling, slightly mystical nature of their journey. It's a tale of two sisters -- unalike in a multitude of ways -- and their quest for understanding the secrets of their late mother's past. The trip Jazz and Olivia take together naturally strains the bonds of an already difficult relationship, bu
Jan 02, 2014 Amy rated it really liked it
Another strong novel from Therese Walsh. The magical elements in this novel were reminiscent of Alice Hoffman, as was the beautiful writing.

Any novel about sisters and their complicated dynamic is a winner for me. Following them and their mother's journey (told through letters) was, at oftentimes, heartbreaking.

Walsh has definitely found her voice in this book and much of it reads like poetry! I'm thrilled I got a chance to preview this book before it debuts! It truly was a joy to read it!
Heather Fineisen
Oct 20, 2013 Heather Fineisen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, lt
Sisters|18050053]The Moon Sisters is 1.99 for kindle and Nook. This is a whimsical book about two sisters, one with synesthesia, who go on a quest to scatter their mother's ashes. Beautiful descriptions and compelling sister relationship that will strike a chord with mist siblings. Well worth the bargain price!
Apr 25, 2014 Camie rated it liked it
Jazz and Olivia Moon go on a dreamlike journey to find closure after their mother's unsettling and untimely death. There are lots of vivid descriptions in this book as many things have sights, sounds, scents, and tastes, in the magical world of the Moon sisters. Beautifully imagined.... but found the plot to be buried deep underneath all of the fantasy. 3.5 stars
Erika Robuck
Oct 01, 2013 Erika Robuck rated it it was amazing
This novel is a meticulously crafted journey through inward and outward stages of grief for a pair of unique and unforgettable sisters. If only we could all scale the wilderness to climb out of our pains and griefs. Fully realized characters and surprises. Highly recommended.
Feb 15, 2015 Harvee rated it it was amazing
Engrossing story of two young sisters dealing with their mother's death, possible suicide, and becoming closer to each other in the end. I had a tiny problem with the ending, an explanation for their hobo friend Hobbs. So my rating would really be 4.50/5, which is near enough to perfect.
Oct 04, 2013 Jeriel rated it it was amazing
Sometimes, what we see on the surface is not what lies deep underneath. Sometimes, we need to be forced to interact with others before realizing our first impressions were wrong. In Therese Walsh's coming-of-age novel The Moon Sisters, Walsh tells the tale of two sisters, Jazz and Olivia, polar opposites in both physical and emotional development, as they reconcile with their mother's recent passing. This is a story that not only entertains us but enlightens us on even the relations in our own l ...more
Jan 20, 2014 Arlena rated it it was amazing
Title: The Moon Sisters
Author: Therese Walsh
Published: Crown
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: 5

"The Moon Sisters" by Therese Walsh is a interesting novel that I found especially for the Young Adult readers. It was well written showing a physical emotions and grief. We find two young ladies who have lost their mother and their lives are really turned up side down. In opening of this novel well, I will just say this was some hard read. I don't wish to give to much away but you will find once
Jan 05, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Therese's second novel, The Moon Sisters, was published by Crown (Penguin Random House) in March 2014, received starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal, and was named one of the Best Books of 2014 by Library Journal.

Her debut novel, The Last Will of Moira Leahy, was published in 2009 by Shaye Areheart books (Random House), and became a Target Breakout Book.

Therese is the co-founder of W
More about Therese Walsh...

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“Dreams like feet, better than knees.” 3 likes
“It took strength to notice things, sometimes, when those things were hidden away in dark places, stuck on the edges of the periphery. Strength to point to them and say that matters enough that I need to do something about it, especially when no one else blinked over them or everyone else forgot they were important.” 2 likes
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