Monday, December 10, 2007

ALMOST MOON by Alice Sebold

I was really interested to read Sebold's follow up to her monster bestseller LOVELY BONES. Sebold is clearly not afraid of exploring controversial topics.

This is the first sentence of ALMOST MOON:

“When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily.”

Sebold doesn't waste any time getting to the heart of her subject matter. The main character, Helen, kills her elderly mother and spends the rest of the novel contemplating why she did it and what she should do about it. The book offers glimpses into Helen's troubled childhood with two mentally-ill parents and how that childhood shaped her. Sebold seems to attempt to garner sympathy for her main character but it doesn't quite work. The book is interesting and a very quick read but the subject matter is sure to put off a number of readers. I think Sebold could have done so much more. In some ways, it feels as if she didn't go far ENOUGH. It isn't a particularly great sophomore effort but it is certainly an interesting one.


Genevieve said...

I really liked the Lovely Bones until the last like 20 pages. Then I wanted to throw it out the window.

I recently read Lucky which I did like a lot. (or, as much as you can like a memoire about being raped.)

Literary Feline said...

I think I liked Almost Moon more than you did. I did feel sympathy for Helen. Not so much in what she did, of course, but I could relate to her on some level which made her character easier for me to swallow. Listening to an interview with Sebold on NPR after finishing the book increased my appreciation of what Sebold was trying to do with the novel. I think she's a very gifted writer who is not afraid to shy away from the ugly side of life.

Amy said...

Litty Kitty---I DO like Sebold. I love the fact that she is willing to tackle issues from "the ugly side of life." I just wanted a little more from this book. Wish I could have seen that interview. It sounds really good!

Purl said...

I really liked Lovely Bones and was looking forward to this book. I think I can wait for the library copy now.