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Pack Up the Moon

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  591 Ratings  ·  116 Reviews
A poignant novel about loss, lies, and the unbreakable bonds of family.

Three years after a horrible tragedy took her son and tore her family apart, artist Kate Monroe is beginning to pick up the pieces of her life and move on. At a gala showcasing her triumphant return to the art world, Kate’s world is rocked again when the daughter she gave up for adoption twenty-two year
Paperback, 384 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by NAL (first published March 3rd 2014)
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Aug 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love RH's Cypress Hollow books, but as another reviewer has said, it's important to know what you're getting into with this book--it's not one.

It's not directly uplifting. But that is because the characters are so complex, so real, and so raw, that it's hard to get warm fuzzies when some of the decisions they make are just plain bad ones. And still you root them on, and you hope for the best outcome, because in the end that's what they deserve.

Ms. Herron's writing, as always, is stellar. She t
Larissa Brown
Nov 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing

How can I begin to describe the magic of PACK UP THE MOON?

When I try to review it, it sounds dark, and what I want to convey is really its amazing lightness - a balance that Rachael Herron has managed deftly. She manages to put her characters through the hardest tests, and yet comes out with a book that is hopeful and full of love. It’s an honest book, not sugar coated. It looks at how much secrets weigh. It plumbs the mystery of where hope comes from, even amidst enormous loss.

Rachael’s charact
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads
I received a free copy of this book from a Goodreads, First Reads giveaway in exchange for an unbiased opinion.

Pack Up the Moon is the first of Rachael Herron's books I've read and was well written. However, as much as I really liked the storyline to this novel, I was very distracted by the excessive use of foul language throughout the book. While I understand that it may sometimes be warranted for characterization, the sheer volume of it was such that I continuously became frustrated during th
Feb 20, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: kindle
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Pree has just found her birth mother, 22 years after she was given up for adoption.

Discovering her mother is Kate Monroe, celebrated artist and one character in a three-year-old landmark criminal case, is both a shock and no surprise at all. Pree herself is an artist, even though she doesn’t work on canvas like Kate, but prefers street tagging and her current job for a computer games company. Pree also has synaesthesia, associating people’s voices with colour – and Kate’s is all red: for passion
Mar 19, 2014 rated it liked it
Full review here:

Rachael Herron’s Pack Up The Moon is about parenthood, secrets and grief, and the many permutations that each can take in a lifetime.

Kate and Nolan were high school sweethearts whose rosy future abruptly ended with Nolan’s family moved away senior year. Unbeknownst to Nolan, Kate was pregnant when he moved. She never told him, and instead put her infant daughter up for adoption. The baby was adopted by a lesbian couple, who named her Pree
Lloyd Russell
Jun 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Rachael Herron's Pack Up the Moon is a love story on several different levels. It's the love of parents (Kate and Nolan) for a son (Robin). It's the unrequited (or is it?) love of biological parents (Kate and Nolan) for a daughter (Pree). It's the love of 2 moms (Isi and Marta) for their adopted daughter (Pree). And it's the love of a girl/boy/woman/man (Kate and Nolan) for each other, with a couple of separations thrown in (and a happily every after? - I'm not tellin').

But, most importantly, th
May 13, 2014 rated it liked it
At her first art exhibition since the death of her son, Kate Monroe meets a young girl - her adopted daughter, who she gave up 22 years ago that day. Her daughter, Pree, has issues of her own. She is pregnant to a man she loves but has feelings for her married boss. There's also Nolan, Kate's ex-husband, who may or may not have been responsible for the death of their son.

I don't think there's an experienced romance book reader out there who couldn't plot what happens in the rest of this book. Th
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Pack up the Moon is the most recent foray into human emotion by author Rachael Herron. She has, yet again, written masterfully about love, loss, and healing.

This book follows the lives of Kate Monroe and her family in the aftermath of a traumatic loss. Rachael has said that as a 911 dispatcher she often wonders what happens to families after they call, how they deal with the death of a beloved family member. This book examines exactly that sort of situation.

I won’t post spoilers, but I will say
Bobbie Phlieger
Apr 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway, and was actually excited to start reading it. I had never read any of Rachael Herron's books before, but the title and the storyline seemed to catch my eye as a good read. I was not disappointed! I truly loved this book from beginning to end. What I loved about it most was that part of it I could relate to. It's a story of choices and mistakes, love, and loss, but also one of a new found hope and the rebuilding of a bond between a child and parent th ...more
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book and looking forward to reading more from this author.
C Turner
Jan 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kate is an artist trying to move on with her life, following a terrible tragedy which destroyed her family. When the daughter she gave up for adoption 22 years previously walks into her life, she is forced to come to terms with the secrets of the past, along with her own darkest demons, and will find out whether there can be a real future after heartache.

Although this story centres around tragic events, they are in the past, and I didn't find this a particularly harrowing read. There are many mo
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cover-love
Pree has just found her birth mother, 22 years after she was given up for adoption.

Discovering her mother is Kate Monroe, celebrated artist and one character in a three-year-old landmark criminal case, is both a shock and no surprise at all. Pree herself is an artist, even though she doesn’t work on canvas like Kate, but prefers street tagging and her current job for a computer games company. Pree also has synaesthesia, associating people’s voices with colour – and Kate’s is all red: for passion
I would rate this novel 3.5 stars. This is the first novel by Rachael Herron that I have read. Although the storyline was great and the writing was well done, I have given it only 3.5 stars because of the amount of profanity in it. Without the profanity, I would probably have rated it 5 stars.
The story revolves around Kate, an artist, who gave up a baby when she was 16 and has lost a son 3 years ago who was terminally ill, Nolan, her ex-husband who is the love of her life and has just spent in
Samantha Ng
Feb 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Boring book with character and storyline that is very slow. Only survived the first few chapters.
Lita Bouquard
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Sad. I won’t read it again
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such poignant writing, this book just breaks my heart.
Esther Gulli
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written novel about family and grief. I couldn’t put it down and when I did, the characters stayed with me. A cathartic read for anyone who’s experienced loss. Well done Ms. Herron.
Charlotte Lynn
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
After being apart for a few years, Kate and Nolan, high school sweethearts, meet again at college. Their relationship starts right off where it left off when Nolan was forced to move with his parents to Hawaii. The only stipulation is not to talk about the past, to just move forward from their college years on.

Fast forward many years later, they are married and have a son, Robin, who is not healthy and failing fast. A tragedy tears their family apart, Kate and Nolan do not talk for three years.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the first of Rachel Herron's books I have read. The story grabbed my attention immediately and took me for a quick ride. Her characters were well developed & believable. They were flawed characters too, which of course is necessary to make them seem real.

I was super impressed by how Rachael took mannerisms of each character and sprinkled them through out the book, leaving no doubt who was who and their relationship to one another. I was also impressed both women being artists, but fr
Cianna Sunshine & Mountains Book Reviews
Grade: A (5 stars)
This was a lovely gift. I was excited to receive this book from Penguin to review, just reading the synopsis, but when I started the actual book is when I felt really lucky. This is such a touching, emotional story based around really realistic characters who people can completely relate to. It’s all about life’s changes, and if it’s too late. When is too late? Herron does an outstanding job in this novel really showing us true characters with real struggles. This is the first
Sue Latham
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 * Loved this book. It has everything, makes you feel for the characters, smile, cry and get angry with them. Not a story to forget too soon.
Moon Love
Sep 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm not even sure where to start describing how amazing this book is. I've become accustomed to becoming emotional while reading Rachael Herron's novels, especially since she writes characters you can't help but love. However I had no idea how emotionally devastating this book would be. I read this book while I was out and about and will admit to crying unashamedly in public.

I'm not sure how to categorize this book. It doesn't really fall into any one genre. It's not really a romance, nor pure
Apr 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
A wonderful fear

It was a good thing, to cover up something you loved with something else equally important.

I'd lost everything that mattered to me, and I was never going to have those things back. They weren't mine anymore.

The birthday cake tasted like joy.

At least it was easy to keep tidy. Small, like his life now.

They burned together. It didn't feel like hyperbole.

Everyone leaves. Can't we just live in today. ::Not wen what I want is all your tomorrows.::

She would clean. Tidy. Put things
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chelsey Wolford
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
How do I even begin to tell you about this book? After reading several reviews, I have found that Rachael Herron is a beloved author or many readers; however, this is the first book by her that I have had the privilege to pick up. This must change soon! Kate Monroe is our leading character in this heart wrenching story, and we follow her as she deals with life and loss. This story is full of many complex emotions and situations. It is not for the faint of heart. The first chapter will draw you i ...more
Paula  Phillips
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
From the front cover, this book captured my attention as I had the cover on the left. A girl with blue hair interested me and I remember I had read Lucy's Kiss by the same author and enjoyed it. In Pack Up the Moon we learn that it is set in San Francisco, this was pretty awesome as I was there in December and as they talked about places like Union Square and Ghiradelli Chocolate , I was like OMG I've been there or know all about that. When you read about places you have been, it makes the novel ...more
May 10, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
2.5 stars

I love Rachael's writing and I pre-ordered this book without reading what it was about, I didn't even read the back before I started reading it, that is how much I love her writing.

This is so well written, but ever since I had my older son 11 years ago I can not read about dead children, just can't go there and give the idea of it any space in my head, and the first time I tried to read this I had to put it down as I wasn't in the head space to be able to not let it get to me in a depre
Nov 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up at random from the library shelf, and I'm very glad I did. It's going to be one of those books that will stick with me for a long time, and if anyone asks for a recommendation, I'll be offering this one.

First things first, it's not a happy book. It's about Kate and Nolan, high school sweethearts who lost their terminally ill child 3 years before the book starts, and that loss tore their marriage apart. They're still trying to recover as individuals.

The author has a particul
Kate Monroe is in the middle of a gala showcasing her artwork and is basking in her successful career in the art world when she is approached by a young woman who turns out to be the daughter she gave up for adoption twenty-two years ago. Pree’s sudden appearance brings many emotional upheavals for both of them, and also forces Kate to confront secrets that she has kept for many years. She never told Pree’s father that she’d gotten pregnant by him and given birth to their daughter, despite the f ...more
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Rachael Herron is the bestselling author of the novels The Ones Who Matter Most, Splinters of Light, and Pack Up the Moon (Penguin), the five-book Cypress Hollow series, and the memoir, A Life in Stitches (Chronicle). She received her MFA in writing from Mills College, Oakland. She teaches writing extension workshops at both UC Berkeley and Stanford and is a proud member of the NaNoWriMo Writer’s ...more
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