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Valley of the Moon

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,357 ratings  ·  409 reviews
In this captivating novel from the author of Wife 22, a woman who feels lost in her own time stumbles across a California community that has, impossibly, been marooned in the early twentieth century perfect for readers of The Time Traveler's Wife, Time and Again, and Sarah Addison Allen.

Lux is a single mom struggling to make her way when she discovers an idyllic community
Hardcover, 394 pages
Published July 26th 2016 by Ballantine Books
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Average rating 4.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,357 ratings  ·  409 reviews

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Elyse (semi hiatus) Walters
May 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
"If I didn't get a regular dose of nature (a walk in Goldengate Park didn't count), I wasn't right. I needed to get away from the city. Sit by myself under a tree for hours. Fall sleep to the sound of an owl hooting rather than the heavy foothills of my upstairs neighbors. I was competent in the wilderness. Nothing frightened me.
I wanted to feel that part of myself again."

Call me nuts...but I was almost in tears from the above quote ...very early into this novel. It spoke to me in the most
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Received from the Publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Honestly, I thought this book was terrific!

Lux is a single Mother struggling to raise her 5 year old son whose father died in the Viet Nam war. They are living in San Francisco in the 70's. She has contact with her parents but her father is not too thrilled that she had a child out of wedlock. They (Lux and her father) have had a strained relationship for years stemming from her last trip to the lake with him as
Angela M
May 31, 2016 rated it really liked it

My favorite time travel stories are love stories- Time and Again, 11/22/63, The Time Traveler's Wife. I was drawn to this book because the description mentions two of them. This too is a love story. It's 1906 in San Francisco, California and as we know, a major earthquake hits. The story that Melanie Gideon creates is beyond what I knew of this true event as I found myself in this place called Greengage, a communal like farm left in the wake of the earthquake. It seemed to be a Brigadoon like
Jul 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, 2016, netgalley

4.5 Stars

In 1975, Lux is a single mom, raising son Benno, or trying to raise him on her salary as a waitress, living in Noe Valley, on one floor or an older Victorian owned by Rose and Doro, in their 70’s. They are good people, an extended family. Her only kind of family in San Francisco. Her parents still live in the northeast, where she grew up. Summers, she often thinks of the years she spent with her Dad at their cabin on the lake in New Hampshire.

When Benno goes to visit his grandma and
-A sweeping love story, different periods in time, life crossroads stumbled over, anguished about and how we are made to choose in our lives - feature importantly in the transfixing novel The Valley of the Moon. In one sense, it is a broad swathe of a saga, touching first on the 19th century period in American history when idealists convened in farms to create the version of an egalitarian Utopia, wishing to leave an imprint and legacy for the best future possible. It peeks into San Francisco, ...more
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read the review here >> I don’t know if it was the beautiful cover or the mysterious blurb that made me think this was going to be a very special story, but as soon as I saw it on Goodreads, it immediately grabbed my attention. I couldn’t wait too long to read it because a part of me felt like I was missing out on something great, so I moved it up on my schedule. And I was so in love with it that I ended up reading it while cooking dinner (I couldn’t stop!), which is definitely not ...more
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I usually enjoy dual timeline/time-travel stories, and this, I did enjoy. It was set up quite uniquely. A modern woman goes camping and enters a fog only to find herself in 1906 - 75 years in the past.

I felt that Ms. Gideon did a terrific job of making this rather believable, not an easy thing to do. You find yourself rooting for the leads, with all their flaws, and hoping that things will work out for them.
Years pass before you get to the conclusion, but the journey is worth it.

**Thank you to
Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)
I am currently giving 2 copies of this book away on my blog.. I am enjoying it so far!!

Giveaway info is on post...
Karen Rush
Aug 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not since The Time Traveler’s Wife have I so enjoyed a time-traveling novel. In fact, I liked this one even better as it was less confusing and better paced. It is a story of managing the commitments and complications of time travel when residing in two worlds.

The story begins in 1906 when the infamous San Francisco earthquake strikes and the first of the two narrators is introduced. Joseph Bell is a visionary running his new working farm community outside of San Francisco called Greengage. In
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
May 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
A beautifully rich story told through time, both past and present with a love story that isn't your typical love story.

Valley of the Moon was something unexpected, that swept me away into another time, both Lux's present and Lux's past. A story about a strong young women who doesn't quite fit into the time she was born, who is strong and fierce and hard working. A women that will steal your heart as you journey with her not only through time but through her struggles in the modern world and a
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I was taken aback by the beauty of the cover and after reading the first chapter I fell deeply in love with Valley of the Moon. Melanie Gideon takes the reader into a smooth transition of a utopia where romance in two different times is magical and impossible but feels right, just the way it should.

Lux is a single mom who lives in San Francisco in the late 70s and is just barely keeping it together. Her son, Benno, is the center of her life and he is her purpose for trudging on day to day in an
Karen Macedo
Jul 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received this book in a goodreads giveaway.. This was a book unlike anything I've ever read. Going into a fog one night a woman travels back to 1907 from the 1970s. From there the book just kept getting better.. I loved it...
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
If there is one genre I love is it time travel, especially when it's well-done. Like this story. I just love how Lux stumbles into the past, to a little community stuck in time and, then as the years pass by she keeps going back. Only telling her best friend about it. Although the best friend isn't that sure that Lux is telling the truth. I keep wondering why she just didn't accompany Lux to the Valley of the Moon to find out the truth. I would it a heartbeat, I mean if your best friend tells ...more
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, netgalley
This book drew me in from the very start. I so wanted to live in Greengage, and the interplay of the times and the two points of view was very well done. The community of Greengage was so inviting and peaceful, and it was easy to understand why Lux, who had anything but a peaceful life, was so drawn to it. However, it was also easy to understand her ties to the current world - especially the strong family connections. I'm sure I'll be thinking of this book for quite awhile.
Tara Chevrestt
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I think I just read the best book ever...and it was this. I'm giving it 5 start because it was utterly unique. I've never read a tale like it. It was suspenseful. I could not for the life of me figure out what was going to happen from one page to the next. What time zone was she going back to? Would she ever make up with her dad? Would Benno forgive her? Would Joseph ever be able to leave? Why can't they go through the fog? And as the tale unfolded and answers to those questions came, other ...more
DJ Sakata
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Favorite Quotes:

She spoke as if she were standing on the roof of a building in which somebody had forgotten to build the stairs.

It's odd, isn't it? ... How quickly something unbelievable becomes believable.

The door to a long-abandoned room inside me that I hadn't even known existed until this minute began to open. Sweet, fresh air poured in.

It's a balancing act now, you understand? It's the hardest thing about being a parent. Holding on and letting go simultaneously.

You, Lux, are possibility...
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a unique and entertaining book this was! I wanted to take a couple of days after finishing it to get my thoughts together, but I'm still not sure if I'll be able to do it justice. It's a book that defies categorization and boundaries. Valley of the Moon is being compared to "Brigadoon" and "Time Traveler's Wife," but I haven't read/watched either one. For that reason, I won't be able to compare it them.

We begin this journey with 2 main story-lines in totally different times. In 1975 we have
Oct 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
What a pleasant surprise this book was!

Valley of the Moon is a book about a young woman, named Lux, living in the 1970's. She is a single mother struggling to find her place in life. When the opportunity arises, Lux accepts her parent's offer to take her 5 year-old son for two weeks. Desperately in need of some alone time/relaxation, she heads to the Valley of the Moon to go camping. It is here that she stumbles upon a community of people who are "stuck" in 1906. Literally.

I found this book so
Jul 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was a unique, wonderful, well-written book! Single mom Lux takes a little time for herself by going on a camping trip while her young son visits her parents. Waking up in the middle of the night, she walks into a heavy fog and finds herself in what she thinks is some type of commune. There she is welcomed by Joseph, his wife Martha and the rest of the community and finds out she has traveled back to 1906. I won't go into too much detail about what happens because obviously I do ...more
May 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
In The valley of the Moon, Melanie Gideon introduces us to Lux Lysander and a time travel novel that reminds the reader of The Time Traveler’s Wife, Lost Horizon with it’s Shangri-La, the movie Brigadoon, and a little Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe but stands on its own. Lux is a single mother of Benno trying to get by in a world that she doesn’t quite fit into. Her only support family consists of her friends who are residents of the old Victorian home where she lives in San Francisco. Her parents ...more
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I'm always drawn to unique stories and Valley of the Moon definitely fit the bill. Not only was it about time travel, of which I am a fan, but also a heartfelt story about being caught in the middle of motherhood and your own childhood. There's an element of romance too.

This novel was quite the page turner. I had such a hard time putting it down and couldn't wait to get back to the story. There was a different twist to the time travel aspect, as Lux's travels were between her own time and a
Jul 24, 2016 added it
Anyone who follows my reviews knows that I typically avoid sweet, sentimental stories. But I really fell in love with this book. It was such a pleasant and hopeful read that, when I finished the last sentence, I almost wanted to start back at the very beginning and go through it all again!

I loved the characters, the setting, the "time travel" -- and felt their pain at separation and their joy at reunion. The narrative flipped back and forth from early 1900s to the 1970s (included some pop
Jul 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you are a fan of Jack Finney’s Time and Again, you will love Melanie Gideon’s Valley of the Moon.
Lux Lysander is living a stressful life as a single mother in San Francisco in 1975. When her 5-year-old son goes to stay for a few weeks with her mother, Lux decides to go camping alone in the Sonoma Valley. She wakes up to a heavy fog, sees some lights in the distance and finds herself in an unusual farming community. The people are dressed in old fashioned clothes and use old timey farming
Beth Sponzilli
Such a unique book. I can’t even explain it. The Valley of the Moon is a place where time is different and moves strangely. You are just sucked into this story of lives from two different times in history. It connects with the full moon. A cool book.
Jul 26, 2016 rated it did not like it
I received a free advance copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

I thought this book was an interesting idea: A woman in 1970s San Francisco wanders into a mysterious fog and ends up on a farm in 1905. The fog surrounds the farm community, and people who live there can't get out. Only Lux, the 1970s woman, can travel into the community. She isn't happy with her life in the 1970s and has the conflict you'd expect if you've ever read a time-travel novel- in which era does she
Jill Tool
5 star review for Melanie Gideon Valley of the Moon. First I’d like to thank NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for allowing me to read this book in exchange for my honest review.

I have not read anything by Melanie Gideon, the author of this book until I read this book, and I must say, I did enjoy her writing and I look forward to reading books from her again. It’s nice when you find a new author and bring her/him into your little fold of authors, and how can you not like an author who
Vellum Voyages
Jun 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing

5 helms

Please follow me on my blog :) Review originally posted on Vellum Voyages

Wow! I was entranced from page one & I couldn’t stop reading! I was hooked! I walked around in a trance when I wasn’t reading & my mind constantly kept drifting off to Lux & Greengage as I wanted to get back to them as soon as possible.This was a highly emotional rollercoaster of a book….I laughed, I cried, I hoped & I loved right along with Lux.

Lux is a single mom who is down on her luck, stuck in a
Aug 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Thank-you for sending me an advanced copy of Valley of the Moon by Melanie Gideon in return for my honest review.

Valley of the Moon, a mix of realism and fantasy, in essence an adult fairy-tale, is not a genre I generally read, but I loved it! Although, I liked the story from the very beginning, it took me a number of chapters to become fully engaged. This is a very different story; an idyllic, working, communal farm from 1906, called Greengage, disappears after the massive San
Suzanne J
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've read in 2016! A fantastical, magical, nostalgic and emotional roller coaster of a ride this story is. I grew up during the late 70's/80's and I loved the mentions of current events and trends...brought back a lot of good memories. Playing outside all day in the summer perfecting my cartwheels and round-ups in the soft grass, taking long walks in the woods to the stream to cool my feet, and hanging out with friends to see the latest movie we had spent the better part of ...more
Mary Lins
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: complete
The publisher's blurb says that Melanie Gideon's new novel, "Valley of the Moon", was inspired by the author's love of the story, "Brigadoon", and as a reader similarly enchanted by that, and other time-travel stories, I was primed to enjoy this fantasy plot line.

The chapters alternate between Lux, a single mother in 1975 San Francisco, and Joseph, who operates a cooperative farm in the Sonoma Valley in 1906. Lux "discovers" Greengage farm while on a camping trip and their two worlds collide. It
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Melanie Gideon is the author of the memoir The Slippery Year: A Meditation on Happily Ever After, an NPR and San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2009, and a New York Times bestseller, as well as three young adult novels. Her latest novel, Wife 22, will be translated into 26 languages and is currently in development with Working Title Films. She has written for the New York Times, the San ...more