Thursday, May 20, 2010
The Girl Who Chased the Moon
It started with Garden Spells, and then life stalled me on The Sugar Queen, but I'm totally back onboard with Sarah Addison Allen's third novel, The Girl Who Chased the Moon.
Set in the small town of Mullaby, North Carolina, Emily's mother dies and she goes to live with her grandfather--often called a giant--in the house where her mother grew up. Her mother, Dulcie, was great at keeping her past a secret...until Emily gets to Mullaby. Her mother was no peach in her youth, and the town is determined to take it out on her, until she meets the mysterious cutie-patootie, Win Coffey.
In the book's other storyline, Julia is Emily's mother's age and stuck back in Mullaby after living much of her adult life in Baltimore. After her father's death, she returns to the little town to take over his barbeque restaurant for a very strict two years so she can pay off the mortgage, sell the place, and open her dream bakery back in the big city. Sawyer, a sweet Southern gentleman (and total hottie), with whom Julia shares a past, has other plans.
As with Addison's other novels, I just wanted to lick this book the whole time I was reading it. It was deliriously sweet without being the slightest big annoying. Her literal descriptions of food are scrumptious. My mouth watered every time she wrote about one of Julia's cakes. On another level, the writing itself was decadent. Addison Allen reminds me so much of Alice Hoffman, but with lots more food in her stories. The magical elements I loved in this story: some mysterious "Mullaby lights," wallpaper that changes with the inhabitant's moods, and a seriously desirable "sweet sense" or ability to see a little sparkle coming off of sugar and other baked goods.
I downloaded this book to my Nook, and this was the first time since I've owned my device that I didn't "feel" the device. I didn't think about how I was reading off of a little screen; I was so sucked into the "pages" that I never gave it a second thought. Addison Allen's novels have a wonderful ability to draw me in, and I feel pleased and uplifted when I'm done reading.
If you're curious, go check out more info about this book from Addison Allen's website. There are even recipes for Julia's cakes.