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Mending the Moon

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  99 ratings  ·  28 reviews
Melinda Soto, aged sixty-four, vacationing in Mexico, is murdered by a fellow American tourist.

Back in her hometown of Reno, Nevada, she leaves behind her adopted son, Jeremy, whom she rescued from war-torn Guatamala when he was a toddler—just one of her many causes over the years. And she leaves behind a circle of friends: Veronique, the academic stuck in a teaching job f
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published May 14th 2013 by Tor Books
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  99 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. As always, Palwick cuts to the core in straight-forward, affecting prose. The last two pages are so sad and moving, but in a way exactly what you have been waiting for the entire book, it may change the way you read forever.
Lydia Presley
May 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, fiction
When I received Mending the Moon by Susan Palwick from Tor, I have to admit, I was taken in by the pretty packaging. It's beautifully bound, has a gorgeous, simple cover, and I wanted to pick it up and read it right away. So I read the inside description and I was immediately moved from interested to confused. Tor is well-known for publishing fantasy and sci-fi (through the Forge imprint) so what was a book about grief and murder doing in my hands?

I almost let it get to me. Almost. So let this b
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Melinda Soto is murdered, and her killer commits suicide not too long after. This is the story of the grieving process of the people most closely connected to them. It is told as long chapters covering the bereaved as the deaths receded into the past, with shorter interlude chapters describing a metaphorical comic book about the struggle between order and chaos.

The prose is stylistically minimalistic, which initially put me off as I found the characters to very shallow emotionally. I came to re
"I keep thinking about Melinda's book group at the library. I was there once when some woman asked why Melinda wouldn't let us read murder mysteries. She could have been one of my students: 'Why do we have to read all these serious books?' Idiot. And Melinda said, 'I don't want to read about people dying horribly, especially in books that aren't supposed to be serious.' She said, 'Those books turn senseless, violent death into a puzzle with a neat solution: once you've caught the murderer, the p ...more
Oct 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
I think I would have rated this 3 or maybe even 4 stars had it not been for the Captain Cosmos storyline. I'd find myself immersed in the characters and story until a CC chapter would yank me rudely out of it and I'd have to force my way through it until the story picked up again.
Dec 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: didnt-finish
I think I got this book under false pretenses. For some reason after reading the description I had the idea that it was some sort of feminist urban fantasy, which was what I was in the mood for when I picked it up.

I discovered quickly that this is a book about how people deal with death and loss- unexpected and violent death and loss of a loved one, no less, which wasn't what I was prepared to be dealing with.

I think that I got the idea that this book ranged into speculative fiction because ther
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
The setting for this novel is Reno, Nevada. Melinda Soto, aged sixty-four, vacationing in Mexico, is murdered by a fellow American tourist from Seattle. Her son Jeremy, adopted from Guatemala, is in his English class at college when he gets a call that his mother has been killed. She leaves behind a circle of friends: Veronique, the academic stuck in a teaching job from which she can't retire; Rosemary, who's losing her husband to Alzheimer's and who's trying to lose herself in volunteer work; H ...more
Dawn Albright
May 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I suspect I will revise this review after I've had a chance to mull this over.

I could say all kinds of wonderful things about this book. Right now, I'm stuck on the ending. I had the fear towards the end that she was going to use the same plot twist she had used in Necessary Beggar (which also featured a surprising murder.) So I was relieved that she didn't go there again, but was sad and disappointed that there was nothing in its place, no explanation about hows or whys. I usually like endings
Mar 05, 2016 rated it liked it
This novel is a step-by-step illustration of how one might emerge from horrific grief...along with a comic book plot sequence thrown in randomly for good measure. The story was heartbreaking and thought-provoking. I just could not reconcile the comic book hero plotline with the main story. Yes, there were English 101 common themes one might identify...but I never felt that the two plotlines really belonged together or meshed well.
I kept reading in hopes of finding out "why?" but the author does
Jul 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
Take this in the best possible way: it hurt to read this book. It's about unimaginable loss and deep grief. Reading about such suffering is hard. I cried along with the characters as they dealt with their world being ripped apart.

Palwick nails the tone and rhythm of mourning. It's painful, but hopeful since we track the characters through experiencing intense suffering to finding ways to continue living. Palwick's writing is beautiful, her plotting understated and spot-on. A beautiful, difficul
Sep 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Really not sure what to think about this one. She's always a good writer, but like Flying in Place, it's a hard topic (dealing with a murder), and I didn't really like the comic piece - just kept getting stuck on how stupid it seemed. ...more
May 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Human. Humane. Smart. Affecting. Painful. Hopeful. Moving. I can think of a string of adjectives better than I can describe my thoughts after closing this novel. Like Palwick's previous novels, it made me feel and think, and I feel like a wiser person for having read it. A rare and wonderful thing.
Mar 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: literary-fiction
It would be hard, based on the plot summary alone (murder! grief!), to explain to people why exactly I wanted to read this book, but in my perfect world, I would just have to say that it's by Susan Palwick, and comprehension would blossom on faces, and all would be well.

I was gently cautioned that this was a mainstream novel, but this wasn't the concern it might have been with other speculative fiction authors; Palwick's writing strengths never seemed overly dependent on the fantastic. The heart
This is the most fun I've had for a while, which is surprising since it came off of my backup TBR. I bought this for no reason ages ago and I didn't read it for years. Now, though, I wish I'd read it earlier. This isn't a murder mystery. It's dealing with grief, loss, and bonding through these experiences. I loved the cast of characters, the writing style, and how it all came together in the end.
Where did this go wrong?
At the end, I didn't feel as wowed as I wanted but I did really liked it and
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mending the Moon is brilliantly written. One reviewer was sidelined by the thread of the comic book characters and under different circumstances (a less deft handling) I might have been as well. But it all works for me. It's neat to pluck a book up at random and be this rewarded.
Peggi Warner-lalonde
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written, dense, lovingly rendered story of relationships, growth, rebirth - all with a touch of fantasy interwoven. Highly recommended!
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Original review posted at Layers of Thought.

Shellie’s quick take: Mainstream fiction with a separate storyline that is speculative in nature. This is a subtle page-turner that has a heartrending story juxtaposed with a narrative about a comic-book superhero called Comrade Cosmos.

Shellie’s description: When 18 year old Jeremy Soto’s single mother is murdered by a young male tourist during a solo vacation to Mexico, his grief is understandable, but as horrible as he feels he must pick up the pie
Jun 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a lovely and complex novel. Palwick sets up a horrible, tragic situation--Melinda Soto is murdered while on vacation in Mexico, and her college-aged son and close friends are heartbroken; meanwhile, Percy, the boy who killed her, returns home and drowns himself, leaving his own parents similarly horrified and grief-stricken--and explores all its nuances and angles. I'm biased towards the messages of forgiveness and love throughout the novel, but I do think that Palwick plays fair, allowi ...more
When it’s said and done, Mending the Moon isn’t a book you read when you want to laugh and have an easy mental vacation. This is a book that makes you think about family and relationships and exactly how these two things work together to create our own little realities. Mending the Moon is a story told on multiple levels. It’s deep, somber, raw and incredibly emotional. This is one of those books that sticks with you long after you finish reading it, and it’ll have you analyzing the people in yo ...more
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
Palwick, as always, tells a riveting story, this time about the aftermath of a brutal crime on the families of both the victim and the killer. As well, Palwick writes convincingly about a comic book series about Comrade Chaos and the Emporer of Entropy.

Palwick smoothly balances the shock and pain for both families, although she never reveals the why of the crime. Sometimes there just is no answer.

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of reading this book late into the night, so the haunting final sc
Apr 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this as a first-reads giveaway. The author tells a sad, moving story, and I did care about the characters. But the addition of the comic book super-hero sections got too confusing for me, so I must admit that I didn't give those parts quite as much attention as I should have. I realize this side story played into the "real-life" story, but I just couldn't get into it.
Jan 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
A gentle, thoughtful, heartrending novel about family, friendships, and picking up the pieces after loss. Very touching; I had to take my time and digest it slowly. Not for everyone, but well worth a read.
Dec 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
2.5 stars.
May 06, 2013 marked it as to-read
Shelves: sort, owned, novel
Need to add in an ARC edition of this.
First Second Books
A fascinating story about how books can help when your life falls apart.
Paul Sparks
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've had this book for awhile and for whatever reason I waited until now to read it. I'm glad I finally did though. It wasn't what I expected, but really good nonetheless.
Eleanor With Cats
Apr 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Susan Palwick is always good. Warning: parts 1 and 3 of this are really sad though.
rated it it was amazing
Dec 11, 2012
rated it it was amazing
Dec 25, 2013
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Aug 12, 2013
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Susan Palwick is an Associate Professor of English at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she teaches writing and literature.

Raised in northern New Jersey, Palwick attended Princeton University, where she studied fiction writing with novelist Stephen Koch, and she holds a doctoral degree from Yale. In the 1980s, she was an editor of The Little Magazine and then helped found The New York Review

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