Anne's Reviews > The Almost Moon

The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold
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's review
Nov 25, 2007

did not like it
Read in November, 2007

In 2003, my brother bought me Alice Sebold's first novel, The Lovely Bones, for Christmas. I was into it from the first page, and I couldn't help crying my eyes out. Later, I read her memoir, Lucky. I didn't think it was quite as well done, but it was about a very powerful topic, and it gave me some respect for where Sebold had come from and how much she had overcome. So, I eagerly anticipated getting this one from the long library waiting list. The Almost Moon tackles the difficult subject of family mental illness. Given my work recently, this is an area I am very interested in - how genetics affects behavior and how families attempt to normalize "crazy" behavior. Unfortunately, like mental illness, this book is all over the place. Sebold switches from present time to the main character's childhood to her life with her husband and children - and does so in a way that is haphazard and often confusing. The main character (unlike John Nash in A Beautiful Mind) is completely one-dimensional and thoroughly unlikeable. Her behavior is erratic and nonsensical, but instead of painting a picture of mental illness and its devastating effects, I simply found this book boring and irrelevant. It doesn't seem like Sebold did much research into the area before she wrote this. Rather, it's like she just took pieces of bizarre behavior and threw them together hoping something would resonate. For those who have never read Sebold, please read The Lovely Bones. For those who read The Lovely Bones and loved it as much as I did, DO NOT read this book. It will only serve to taint your image of Sebold's talent.
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Voracious (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:57PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Voracious This is depressing the hell out of me.

message 2: by Anne (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:57PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Anne Uh oh! I'm planning to start it tonight or tomorrow. I just started What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day - depressing topics, but told in an uplifting way so far...

message 3: by Brooke (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:15PM) (new) - added it

Brooke I am hearing nothing but bad things on this one...and I LOVED the Lovely Bones...

message 4: by Kris (new) - rated it 1 star

Kris I just finished this book the other night and you are RIGHT ON!

Kerby After reading your comments I now wonder if Helen would of been a more likable character if the story focused on her unraveling her mother's illness and directly connecting it to her past. I think it may of made her less vapid.

Nadin Mutluyelkenci I finished the book, hoping to find a sound reason for what she did but I couldn't. Written well, but I just don't like plots that don't justify themselves.

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