Carrying a book around is a rather bulky endeavor – especially when it’s a hardback book of 600+ pages. So, my most recent book is languishing on my nightstand because I refuse to lug it everywhere I go. It will probably take me a while to finish reading it, but that is OK. I have Beatrice, my nook.
I started reading a new book on there this weekend – The Girl Who Chased the Moon, by Sarah Addison Allen. Now, I don’t know if you have ever read any of her books before, but they are yummy confections for the mind. I swear, I feel like I should gain five pounds just by reading. She has a way with words, with painting pictures in your mind – but she does such a great job of evoking not only the images, but the sounds and smells of the environment she creates for you.
Here is an example:
There was a teenager on the balcony. She was just standing there, as still as snow, staring into the woods behind Vance’s house. She was willow-branch thin, had a cap of yellow hair, and a sad sort of vulnerability was wafting from her, making the night smell like maple syrup.
I love the imagery there!
Or this (love it)
“Some men you know are Southern before they ever say a word,” Julia said as she and Emily watched Sawyer’s progress, helpless, almost as if they couldn’t look away. “They remind you of something good – picnics or carrying sparklers around at night. Southern men will hold doors open for you, they’ll hold you after you yell at them, and they’ll hold on to their pride no matter what.”
She has written a few other books that I just gobbled up as soon as they were released: Garden Spells was the first, and The Sugar Queen the second. LOVE them. All of her books weave in some magic and mystery that seems altogether plausible, even normal, in the stories.
The Girl Who Chased the Moon is no exception in this regard.
In the book, a young seventeen year old, Emily, arrives in Mullaby after her mother’s death. She is to live with her maternal grandfather, Vance Shelby who is a real-life giant. Emily realizes soon enough that there are lots of things about Mullaby that are not like other towns. From her home, where the wallpaper in her bedroom changes with her moods, to the lights she sees in the woods at night, things are just a little bit different.
Emily befriends Julia Winterson who is the current owner of a local barbecue restaurant and baker extraordinaire. Julia’s cakes have become well-known throughout Mullaby and although she is only biding her time before she leaves town and sells her late father’s restaurant, she feels the pull of the town of Mullaby, (and it’s magic) too.
I’m not very far into the book, but I am mesmerized. I can’t wait to finish and yet I am trying so hard to read slowly because I don’t want the book to end. That’s usually how it is with Allen’s books for me. They are like your favorite dessert – you can’t wait to gobble it up and relish the goodness and yet you want to savor every single mouthful.
Need a book to read? Go get one of Sarah Addison Allen’s. They’re so worth it.