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The Almost Moon: A Novel | [Alice Sebold]

The Almost Moon: A Novel

For years Helen Knightly has given her life to others - to her haunted mother, to her enigmatic father, to her husband, and grown children. When she finally crosses a terrible boundary, her life comes rushing in at her in a way she never could have imagined. Unfolding over the next 24 hours, this searing, fast-paced audiobook explores the complex ties between mothers and daughters, wives and lovers, the meaning of devotion, and the line between love and hate.
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Publisher's Summary

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

So begins The Almost Moon, Alice Sebold's astonishing, brilliant, and daring new novel. A woman steps over the line into the unthinkable in this unforgettable work by the author of The Lovely Bones and Lucky.

For years Helen Knightly has given her life to others - to her haunted mother, to her enigmatic father, to her husband and grown children. When she finally crosses a terrible boundary, her life comes rushing in at her in a way she never could have imagined.

Unfolding over the next 24 hours, this searing, fast-paced audiobook explores the complex ties between mothers and daughters, wives and lovers, the meaning of devotion, and the line between love and hate. It is a challenging, moving, gripping story, written with the fluidity and strength of voice that only Alice Sebold has.

©2007 Alice Sebold; (P)2007 Hachette Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.2 (259 )
5 star
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3.3 (49 )
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3.7 (50 )
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  •  
    Rebecca Rocklin, US, Canada 09-26-09
    Rebecca Rocklin, US, Canada 09-26-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    "Life isn't nice and tidy"

    I waited a couple of weeks after finishing this to write a review so I could get some perspective. This is a disturbing story, yes, but its so real. Alice Sebold has the ability to write about real human feelings and thoughts in a way that gets into my head and I feel like I am in the story. This story isn't told, it's shown and experienced. I was engrossed from beginning to end. I could relate with the main character completely. I doubt I will ever forget this book. The storyline is not "normal" and the end is not all wrapped up nice and tidy. That's the point. Life isn't tidy. Messes happen. I think some people will be threatened by the main character's ability to do what she does. It isn't for those who desperately try to deny their humanity.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 10-26-07
    glamazon The Coast of Rhode Island 10-26-07 Member Since 2003

    glam

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant!"

    Once again, Alice Sebold walks on the wild side, tackling the margins of conventional life and traditional storytelling. She continually pushes the imagination into the unthinkable and forces the reader to suspend disbelief and think outside the borders of quotidian reality.

    A truly astonishing read. One I couldn't put down.

    23 of 25 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat Chapel Hill, NC, USA 11-10-07
    Pat Chapel Hill, NC, USA 11-10-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    5
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    "Brilliant!"

    This is an amazing book. I did not expect to like it after the first few minutes, but Sebold draws you in and within a half-hour I was spellbound. She writes in clear, bold, exquisitely detailed prose about taboo and unsavory events and makes them completely understandable and forgivable. I loved this book and will read everything else this remarkable woman has written.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce hendersonville, NC, USA 11-09-07
    Joyce hendersonville, NC, USA 11-09-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I loved it!"

    I loved this book. As one reviewer notes, it is not a happy story. However, it is a real story about real people. The author goes back and forth between what is happening now, and memories of what happened at an earlier time. Through these memories, we come to understand the characters, although I did not necessarily like all of them. I highly recommend this book. Well narrated. I couldn't put it down!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles J. Speake Fallbrook, CA 92028 11-25-07
    Charles J. Speake Fallbrook, CA 92028 11-25-07

    BookReader

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Mother's day - sort of."

    Having read Alice Sebold’s first two book a memoir “Lucky” about her own rape and “Lovely Bones” her first novel. Both are strong powerful works. “The Almost Mood “ is no less powerful and disturbing. Her lead is outstanding and the rest of the book haunting and seeking to understand what she had done and why. This is no books for the faint of heart or those who must judge others. This is an interior book with more revelation per chapter and you will ever expect. Alice - please keep writing!.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen Soddy Daisy, United States Minor Outlying Islands 12-15-07
    Karen Soddy Daisy, United States Minor Outlying Islands 12-15-07 Member Since 2007

    I am an educated Southerner, plowing through books at the speed of light. I love good stories, good coffee, and good conversation.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "not what I expected, but..."

    Having read Sebold's "Lucky" and "The Lovely Bones," I think I came to "The Almost Moon" with my expectations preset. And while this new novel is (in my opinion) nothing like "The Lovely Bones" it was very good.

    Sebold has a way of getting into the minds of her character in a way that very few writers can. Her characters are very real, very human, doing and thinking things that are completely unmentionable in normal society and conversation. It was a very compelling, well-paced book, and makes you realize how quickly your life can change in a single moment of weakness -- or strength, depending on how you look at it.

    If you have not read Sebold's other books, I recommend that you do so. She is a remarkable author and an amazing woman who has experienced more than her fair share of horror. However, I can only guess that her past has made her the great writer she is today. I look forward to many more novels from this author.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louise Wallingford, CT, United States 11-24-07
    Louise Wallingford, CT, United States 11-24-07
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    "luvs2listen"

    Amazing listen. The reader, wonderful. Sad story but in fact touches all of us in some way. Trying to understand what makes us tick, maybe not in the way of the story but in what makes us who we really are. Excellent book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marjory Bloomington, IL, United States 02-07-10
    Marjory Bloomington, IL, United States 02-07-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A sad but very poweful story"

    I know some people said this story was disgusting and awful, but if you have ever lived in a home with family members that are mentally ill it makes sense. I see it as a cautionary tale that if you choose not to take care of your illness it will come back to kill you, either by your own hand or by the child you have passed your illness on too. None the less a great read for those with an open mind.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle MERCED, CA, United States 02-19-14
    Michelle MERCED, CA, United States 02-19-14 Member Since 2013

    I am always looking for the next memoir or true story to appease the feminist inside me who loves psychology.

    ratings
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    "Not a page turner but well written"
    What did you like best about The Almost Moon? What did you like least?

    It is not a long book, so worth the read if you appreciate well written fiction but I would not recommend this book to the lighthearted. I've read in other comments that many readers gave up on this book before Helen had even made it out of her mother's house that evening. Quite a shame as Sebold's writing on the "Almost Moon," the books title, describing the mental illness of Helen's mother is one of the most eloquently written and thought invoking lines I have read in a while.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Alice Sebold? Why or why not?

    Yes, Alice Sebold is a talented writer. She is gifted with exploring dark and haunting topics.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Joan Allen?

    Joan narrated Helen's character well. She captured the foggy heartlessness of the character though I think her performance would fall flat if needed to narrate any other character...ever.


    Could you see The Almost Moon being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No, it just is not that interesting enough of a story. Not screenplay worthy in my opinion. Though some artsy kids looking to create an indie film may find a match for Helen in Laurie Simmons.


    Any additional comments?

    The main character Helen never becomes a likable character but you do begin to understand her more.. and... almost, never quite, forgive her appalling acts as the shadows of her past are unveiled while she moves through the 24 hours following her mother's death.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leonardo Naples, FL, United States 05-24-11
    Leonardo Naples, FL, United States 05-24-11 Member Since 2011

    SRNA

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A sandwich with no filling"

    Just like The Lovely Bones, this novel starts out riveting. Straight from the get go, Sebold had me tantalized with her story of murder and craziness.

    Halfway through the novel, I wasn't sure if I was reading the same book. The constant flashbacks had me nauseated at one point. None of the characters in the story are likable, except maybe the protagonist's father. I found the middle of the book to be banal, I actually listened to it to help me go to sleep.

    The ending of the novel was intense and it brought me back into it. I commend Sebold for not having the protagonist do the obvious in the end, that would have really annoyed me. Leaving things the way she did lets me draw my own conclusions!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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