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Turtle Moon

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  5,795 ratings  ·  309 reviews
The "New York Times" bestselling author of "Second Nature" and "Here on Earth" presents a "captivating...truly original novel" ( "Cosmopolitan" ), the story of a divorced woman, her disillusioned teenage son, and the events that change their lives in ways both simple and extraordinary. When Keith Rosen runs away from his Florida home - inexplicably taking along a motherles...more
Paperback, 292 pages
Published June 1st 1993 by Berkley (first published 1992)
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Best Women's Fiction Novels
164th out of 871 books — 896 voters
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Best Alice Hoffman Novel
27th out of 35 books — 251 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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elissa
Nov 21, 2007 elissa rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of magical realism
Recommended to elissa by: Karlan Sick
The first Hoffman book that I ever read (it was recommended to me by another librarian--Karlan Sick). It started me on a frenzy of reading her books. I read everything of hers that had been published up to then, and I've read most of her books since. She's one of my very favorite authors.
Rick Bylina
It took ten years, but I finally finished "Turtle Moon" by Alice Hoffman, an off-beat magical, romantic, mystery journey that several characters embark on after a runaway wife is murdered and her baby taken. Some reviewers called this novel suspenseful and thrilling, but its beat sways to the lazy, hot weather in Verity, Florida, where emotions drip like the sap from a gumbo tree and relationships are as messy as the squashed turtles on the road in May. One must wade through a muddled beginning,...more
Emily
I bought this book today for a long subway ride to Morningside Heights. I thought I'd read a chapter or two. I finished it a few minutes ago. I tried to do other things but I just couldn't put this book down. Like a lot of Alice Hoffman's work, it has a magical realistic touch. And unlike a lot of magical realism, it feels very realistic; its details evocative of a real life somewhere. Yet, there is still magic. I think this is why I love Alice Hoffman's work. She creates worlds where magic is e...more
Jane Stewart
I loved the unique and odd characters. I hated the ending which left me grieving for days.

STORY BRIEF:
Karen is divorced with a baby. She is on the run from her ex-husband and moves to Verity, Florida. Twelve-year-old Keith is the meanest boy in town and lives with his divorced mother Lucy. Julian is a policeman who uses dogs for police work. Julian rarely uses words and believes that bees and mosquitoes don’t sting or bite him because he is too ugly. There is a murder. Keith runs off and may be...more
Amanda
Nov 02, 2007 Amanda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Literary fans/fanatics of good imagery
Recent rants about Alice Hoffman books obviously didn't hold me back from trying another one. In this case, I'm glad I did. While it still took me a little while to get used to the drawn out descriptions, "Turtle Moon" turned out to be a great read.

In a small town called Verity, divorced women walk around with green hair, Diet Dr. Pepper addictions, and children who are generally unhappy, wanting their no longer present fathers. One woman chooses Verity as an escape from in-laws bent on taking...more
LeAnn
Mar 30, 2009 LeAnn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers of contemporary fantasy
Alice Hoffman leaves the temperate Northeast and heads south to Verity, a fictional town that "is home to more divorced women from New York than any other town in the state of Florida." As with other Hoffman books, it's difficult to pin down a protagonist, but the action revolves around a divorcee named Lucy, a K-9 cop with a nasty scar named Julian, and Lucy's 12-year-old son Keith, the "meanest boy in Verity."

"Turtle Moon" is the magical, maddening month of May when the heat ratchets up and th...more
Davis Aujourd'hui
Take another journey into the heart. That is what all of Alice Hoffman's books will do for you. She is an old soul who knows how to spin a fantastic tale ripe with the beingness of the human experience. This book is no exception.

Turtle Moon was actually the first of her books which I read. I became an avid fan following this first experience. Ms. Hoffman delves into the richness of human relationships while exploring the mystical dimensions which we can all experience if we open ourselves to the...more
Barks & Bites
This book centers on a small town in Florida that seems to draw single mom's running from their past. They know each other in a superficial way but they keep their secrets to themselves. Until one of them is murdered . .

Lucy's young, troubled son Keith (12 going on 18) turns up missing, along with the murdered woman's baby. This brings her closer to officer Julian who is a bit of an enigma. He believes he's ugly and relates better to his canine companions than to people. If this were written by...more
Heidi Larew
I often pick a favorite quotation from a book and keep it in my own personal list of books I've read. Here's my favorite from this one. The book was written poetically and had a sad and accepting feel to it. "He was waiting to see if his mother would come back for him, even after it became clear that she never would. With every night he spent at the window, his heart closed up a little more, and it would have stayed that way if Bobby hadn't come looking for him. He remembers exactly the way it f...more
Michele Harrod
This was my first Alice Hoffman novel and she immediately became my absolute favourite author. I can only describe Alice's writing as poetry in the novel form. I often have to stop at the end of a sentence and close my eyes, so I can imagine it, smell it, or feel it brush past my skin. Her writing is so vivid I sometimes think I just absorb her words rather than just read them. Quirky, raw, heartbreaking and lovely. Treat yourself to every single one.
Kathleen Valentine
I recently re-read this book and liked it even better the second time. In Verity, Florida there seems to be a lot of women who are running away from ex-husbands and unhappy lives. One of these is the mysterious Karen and her sweet, happy baby. Another is Lucy who has left an unfulfilling marriage in New York and brought with her a 12 year old son, Keith, who is perfectly miserable. But everything changes when Karen is mysteriously murdered and Keith runs away with the baby in an attempt to prote...more
Sarah Sammis
There is something about Florida that inspires a subset of American literature that is both tragic and comedic in the same breath. It's probably the closest that American literature comes to magical realism.

Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman is a perfect example of a Floridian novel. It is set in the month of May when "girls run away from home, babies cry all night, [and] ficus hedges explode into flame." (p. 3). Set against the oppressive heat and humidity of May in Verity, Florida, Bethany Lee is m...more
Louise
What a captivating novel! I definitely enjoyed this one.

"Welcome to Verity-home of more divorced women from New York than any other town in the state of Florida. Where Lucy Rosen has moved to get away from her ex. Where Officer Julian Cash watches over the town with a fierce German shepherd and an even fiercer expression. Where Lucy's son Keith hates everything: the heat, the school, and sometimes his mother. He can't wait to get away. And then he does, when a woman is murdered and her baby is l...more
Alyssa Oppelt
ugh. I absolutely do not like to read books after just reading a really good one. Everything pales in comparison. That's what happened here with Turtle Moon. After reading Skylight Confessions, I decided I wanted to read more books by Alice Hoffman, so I made a list of the ones I wanted to read and figured I'd buy any of them that I saw in the thrift stores I frequent. Well, I saw Turtle Moon and Here On Earth both at a Goodwill in La Crosse and was pretty torn between which one looked better/to...more
David
This review has been more difficult than any other I've written. There are some good things to this book, but they are so overshadowed by the bad that it's sometimes hard to see them.

I read the first few paragraph of Turtle Moon in another book, and decided to give it a shot. Though I didn't enjoy it, Turtle Moon gave me the opportunity to parse exactly what makes a good book, one full of potential, go so, so, so bad.

To start with the book as a whole, there are a few glaring problems. First, t...more
Rebecca
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
B-zee
Sepertinya nama Alice Hoffman ga terlalu tenar ya di luar Amerika, saya pun berkenalan dengan Ms. Hoffman ini gara2 dengar dari kenalan yg orang Amerika. Mungkin buku ini termasuk Amerika banget, sedangkan saya sedang dalam fase Inggris banget, jadi ya, cukup suka, tapi tidak luar biasa.

Buku ini bercerita tentang apa? Keluarga dan intriknya, sedikit bumbu cinta, juga ada unsur supranaturalnya. Saya suka ide besarnya, saya juga bisa berempati pada sebagian karakternya. Awal2 buku ini banyak naras...more
Cinco
This is really stupid, but months after reading it, I'm still *mad* at this book! I really enjoyed the first half, and then it just tanked into this terrible, pointless ending. I've been using the book to hold down the cover on my dried soup mixes after I've added hot water to them, and it's water-damaging the book--which I feel *deserves it*. I love Hoffman's writing, but sometimes her plotting just isn't up to the task.
Zuberino
Funny how much I liked this book when I first read it 15 years ago. A second reading proves to be rather less rewarding. Alice Hoffman is a good writer, but she pitches her stall somewhere between literary fiction and pulpy romance, and the result is an odd mishmash of the two. This, you could say, is the epitome of middle-brow fiction. She also has an unnatural fondness for cloying generalizations that reminded me of nothing so much as Humayun Ahmed's writing!

The story is simple enough, describ...more
Trevon
Random sex scenes made no plot sense whatsoever, I felt like they were just thrown in there to in hopes of exciting the reader but since they had no character development involved in it, it seemed like pointless sex.
Also don't think I could have read "the meanest boy in verity" one more time. I did like his character development though.
Ann
Another wonderful example of Hoffman's blend of magic realism with themes of remorse, redemption, and the power of love.
Mary Anna
Hands-down favorite title by this author. The theme is finding oneself while running away.
bookczuk
I like Alice Hoffman. So many times she captures the mood and essence of a place. While this was not one of my more favorite of hers, she got the description of the South in the the hot season spot on:

It isn't the humidity, or even the heat, which is so fierce and sudden it can make frown men cry. Every May, when the sea turtles begin their migration across West Main Street, mistaking the glow of streetlights for the moon, people go a little bit crasy...At this difficult time of the year peopl
...more
Carolyn F.
As I start listening to this audiobook, I realized I had read it a long time ago. Probably when it first came out. It was a good enough book that almost 20 years later, I remember parts of it.

The audiobook is good, but it is really dated. Once the narrator finally started using different voices for different characters, it started getting better.

I forgot how much I liked this author in the early and mid 1990s. I read Anne Tyler, who was quirky, funny and Josephine Tey, who is like a dark Agath...more
John Mcconahey
A murder mystery is not the usual sort of tale where an author may suspend the laws of nature, but Hoffman seems to get pretty close to that line, albeit without crossing it (except for the ghost).

Sometimes folks discover that they don’t get along well. When they decide to go their separate ways, the town of Verity, Florida seems to accumulate these displaced northern housewives in greater proportion. Verity isn’t described as the garden spot of the nation – especially during the month of May wh...more
Susannah
About halfway through this book I wrote the following: "One of my gauges for a great read is one that continually sends me back to a work in progress to do an inspired creativity dump that seems to come out of nowhere. It's like the story dials into my subconscious and tells me things I didn't know I knew. This is one of those books. It's quirky, human, and all-too-real. The characters are alternately loveable and maddening, just like most folk I know."

I really didn't want this book to end, but...more
Ernie
Set in Florida, the central activities involve the murder of a woman who has taken her baby and fled from her husband in NY. But the book isn't a real mystery nor is the plot the interesting aspect of the book. The characters make the book. They are beautifully described by the author. The writing is wonderful. The characters are complex and evolve in the course of the story. A tragic event from 30 years earlier forms a backdrop for the story and provides a rich complexity to the story. --- A go...more
Athena
The first Alice Hoffman novel I read was the River King, and I have yet to find one of her other novels that tops it. The character development was great; Julian Cash was my favorite, and I was interested to see what would become of these worn out single mothers after leaving home to wind up in the strange town of Verity, FL. This novel was written like a drama; wives leaving husbands behind, a juvenile delinquent stealing from everyone. But the strange days of May almost seemed humorous in cont...more
Jennifer
Februrary 2011 COTC Book Club selection. Listened to the audio narrated by Sandra Burr which was excellent, partly due to Burr's fantastic narration. Burr delineated voices very nicely, something I've been disappointed in with some of my other recent audio listens. Had to switch to the book to finish for book club, but I was enjoying the audio so much that I went ahead and finished listening as well. I really liked this and may seek out more of Hoffman's books on audio. The town of Verity itself...more
Marianne
Turtle Moon is the tenth stand-alone novel by American author, Alice Hoffman. Verity, Florida is a town that is home to an unusual number of divorced women, and Lucy Rosen is just one of them. It is also a place where the heat in May causes a sort of madness that makes people do things they may later regret. When Lucy’s neighbour, Karen Wright is found murdered in her apartment, Lucy soon finds herself involved in the investigation: her twelve-year-old son Keith is missing, along with Karen’s fo...more
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Alice Hoffman was born in New York City on March 16, 1952 and grew up on Long Island. After graduating from high school in 1969, she attended Adelphi University, from which she received a BA, and then received a Mirrellees Fellowship to the Stanford University Creative Writing Center, which she attended in 1973 and 74, receiving an MA in creative writing. She currently lives in Boston and New York...more
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“Do you ever get the feeling that your life isn’t really your own, and you’ve just sort of let things happen to you?” 0 likes
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