The Almost Moon: A Novel by Alice Sebold

The Almost Moon: A Novel

byAlice Sebold

Kobo ebook | October 16, 2007

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A woman steps over the line into the unthinkable in this brilliant, powerful, and unforgettable new novel 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 now 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 twenty-four hours, this searing, fast-paced novel 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 can bring to the page.

Heather's Review

An intelligent, generous, and essentially loving person finds herself cutting a long braid from her mother's head…having just killed her. So goes the opening scene in Alice Sebold's new book, The Almost Moon. In her newest novel, Sebold, the author of The Lovely Bones, draws us into a mother-daughter story which is at once unique and...

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Alice Sebold was born on September 6, 1963 in Madison, Wisconsin. She is an American novelist. She has published three books: Lucky (1999), The Lovely Bones (2002) and The Almost Moon (2007). Ms. Sebold attended college at Syracuse University. As a freshman there she was raped. Her first book, Lucky, is a memoir which tells the story o...
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Title:The Almost Moon: A NovelFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:October 16, 2007Publisher:Little, Brown And CompanyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0316022837

ISBN - 13:9780316022835

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great story Another great Alice Sebold novel. Hooked from beginning to end.
Date published: 2017-12-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from great Loved this book. I love her writing style. She keeps you interested from beginning to end!
Date published: 2017-08-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Though provoking It was really, really good.
Date published: 2017-07-11
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not Thrilled Did not really enjoy this book at all. Not what I thought the story would progress to.
Date published: 2017-05-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from beautiful! Alice is brilliant, this book is just another sample of how she isn't afraid to cross boundaries
Date published: 2017-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from excellent ghastly content but amazing writing. I loved it and hated it at the same time but I couldn't put it down. This author amazes me and she isn't afraid to cross lines.
Date published: 2017-03-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not sure how i feel Alice Sebold is a talented writer. I think many people have problems with this books because the content is very dark. I enjoy reading Sebold's work but this was definitely more disturbing than her other book.
Date published: 2016-12-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not for me ***MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS*** Let me start this by saying that I loved The Lovely Bones. I thought it was a wonderfully-written book that was miles higher than the movie. Thinking I’d try something else written by Alice Sebold, I picked up The Almost Moon from the library and was quite disappointed (read: happy I checked the book out at the library and didn’t buy it!). I expected so much more from such a great writer. This book was quite disturbing, focusing on Helen, who is dealing with her invalid mother. Not able to take it anymore, Helen kills her. This might have been a tolerable book to read, if the reader could actually like Helen, but she’s pretty unlikeable and a horrible person throughout the whole book. Sebold might have set out writing The Almost Moon thinking the reader would show compassion towards Helen, but the decisions Helen makes, along with her narcissism, are just unbearable. The description of The Almost Moon makes it seem like this book is fast-paced, but I was so disgusted (and mildly bored) that it was anything but. If I could have empathized with Helen in any way, maybe I would have cared about her past and what she had to go through. But I didn’t. Sebold might have been trying to shock her reader, but talking about Helen’s mother’s genetalia, or having Helen sleep with her best friend’s son, is gross and disturbing. Not so much shocking. When I picked up The Almost Moon and read the first few lines, I assumed that this book would be about Helen coping with killing her mother—with people, with therapy—and dealing with the consequences. I didn’t expect an entire book written in a kind of stream-of-consciousness bouncing back and forth from the present to the past. I really don’t recommend this book. Even if you’re a fan of Alice Sebold. Read The Lovely Bones – it’s a much more moving read.
Date published: 2012-01-13
Rated 1 out of 5 by from I just couldn't finish it! I can probably list on one hand how many books in my lifetime I couldn't actually read all the way through, and Alice Sebold's latest is now among them. This book was just too morally repulsive, for me to continue, how this ever made Heathers list, I have no idea, but I bet indigo had to give a lot of refunds. Not horrible writing, Sebold has talent, but a truly horrible story IMHO. Read something else, ANYTHING else.
Date published: 2011-03-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Conflicting emotions This novel from Alice Sebold tells the story of a woman, who kills her own mother. This happens at the very start at the book, and captures the reader’s attention. Unfortunately, the rest of the book cannot live up to the first 50 pages or so, which are fantastic. When the story focuses on the lead character’s family, decisions on how to deal with her actions, and trying to avoid the police investigations, it becomes a bit slow and indulgent. While trying to figure out her future and come to grips with what she has done, the main character recalls all the awful things her mother has done to her, but also recounts the things that made their relationship special. While often disjointed at times from a writing standpoint, Sebold is able to translate onto the page the mixed emotions and love-hate conflict one feels for their own parents. Moreover, Sebold is able to show that people often blame their parents, albeit sometimes justified, for all the problems in their life when older. At times, the constant flashbacks are a bit much and distracting to the reader. I wouldn’t call the book a page-turner. However, I enjoyed the novel for its interesting idea and some interesting insight into familial relations.
Date published: 2011-01-31
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing All her life, Helen's life has been affected by her mom. Helen always knew her mom was different from others, but only when her mom watched a boy die on their street after being hit by a car without rushing to help did Helen realize why. Her mom has an undiagnosed mental illness. This illness caused her mom to stay inside for years at a time, causing Helen to grow up much faster than she should have and putting tremendous stress on her father. The book starts with Helen killing her mother and what happens in the next 24 hours as she remembers her relationship with her mom, kids, ex-husband, best friend, and neighbours. For an author that has written characters that are extremely easy to connect with, that certainly wasn't the case with The Almost Moon. I didn't even understand where the characters were coming from until half way through the book, let alone EVER connect with them. Parts of the book are cringe-worthy in how unhealthy some of the relationships were. To be honest, I can't say I fully understood this book. Perhaps the characters were too deep and the relationship too intense for me. I can understand why some people may like this book, but it just wasn't to my tastes.
Date published: 2010-06-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from disgusting I, like the rest of the people who commented, was a fan of The Lovely Bones. I bought this book without reading what it was about and was I ever shocked. I got through half of the book before putting it down. Somehow, reading about a woman who kills her mother and wonders of the best way to get rid of her body seems a little over the top for me. Good thing I bought the book on sale, even then...it wasn't worth the 10 bucks.
Date published: 2010-06-09
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Meh.... Ok....so I know I said I'd only review what I really liked....But I feel it is my duty to say while some of you may enjoy this one, after a masterpiece that was The Lovely Bones, I was highly disappointed. The Almost Moon is a wonderful idea of a book, but it always left me with the feeling that it has to get better the further you go. The main character could certainly be the type some women could relate to; divorced, grown children, and a dependent mother, from what I took to be a lifetime of roles flipped. Helen took care of her mother since she was a child, and after many years of it, finally snapped and killed her in what she thought, and some readers may agree, was a mercy-killing. I took it that way, but I also saw Helen to be a once spirited woman who has been dragged down by her life, yet still yearning for something at 50; freedom from her mother....the feeling of being desired again which she gave into with her best friend's son, 20 years her junior (go Helen!) who was looking for an escape and chose the wrong way out. Like I said, great general idea for a good book. But this book was slow....to me, it was an ok read....then came the end....just that....you know when you watch a movie and it ends abruptly and as a viewer you're sitting there, the credits are rolling and you're thinking, "WHAT? That's it? Well, what the hell happened??? It can just end like that!!" and leaves you wondering...That is how this book ends. Pissed me right off! LOL I didn't hate the book....but I'm not sure if I liked it either. All I can say is you'll have to decide for yourself. Everyone is different.
Date published: 2010-05-17
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Very disappointed! I chose this book because I read Lovely Bones a few years ago and really enjoyed it. I could barely finish The Almost Moon - it bored me to tears. Although I think the concept of the book was potentially moving, it lacked passion or the ability to keep me interested.
Date published: 2010-02-26
Rated 1 out of 5 by from The title did reflect the content but I didn't enjoy the book I am sorry to say that I didn't enjoy this book at all. The subject was OK but the story line left me wondering why she even wrote the book - it was not entertaining in anyway and rather boring for the most part - just sort of around and around with no real ending that satisfied even a student scholar who would take meaning from some of the actions. Nothing was significant and nothing made a whole lot of sense.. I am so very disappointed with Alice Sebold as I loved her first novel, The Lovely Bones and her biography Lucky was somewhat good as well. This book was beyond my understanding - maybe it is just my way of understanding, but it fell short of Ms. Sebold's talents as a writer in my opinion!
Date published: 2009-08-16
Rated 3 out of 5 by from So-so I have read Alice's two other novels, and although I did like this book, it wasn't my favourite. I had read reviews prior to reading this book, and by what some of the reviews said, I was expecting it to be really graphic and detailed. It really wasn't, at least not in my opinion. The main character kills her mother, that much you can find out just by reading the back of the book. How and why she kills her is...well, it didn't happen how I was thinking it would. It wasn't done in a gruesome way at all, it was one of the more peaceful ways to die. Throughout the book you are told alot of back story, and it really helps to figure out why she really did it. The whole book takes place in the span of about a day. In that day though, the main character is explained very well, as well as her mother and father. I do recommend this book to others who enjoyed Alice's two previous novels.
Date published: 2009-02-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disturbing book I didn't enjoy this as much as "The Lovely Bones". The novel begins with Helen's horrific crime. I eagerly read the book hoping to understand why Helen crosses this boundary. Instead, I found Helen unworthy of redemption. Perhaps Sebold wanted to emulate Dostoevsky's "Crime & Punishment" but Helen never even reaches a moral dilemma to enable salvation.
Date published: 2009-01-06
Rated 3 out of 5 by from very troubling This is a very troubling book. It all takes place in the span of 24 hours after Helen murders her mother. Helen's mother, Clair is mentally ill and very demanding on her daughter. She also suffers from agoraphobia, the fear of leaving your own home. When a neighbour calls Helen to tell her that her mother does not even recognize her, Helen goes over to find her mother sitting in her own waste. What is she to do? Well, her solution is murder. Helen is far too controlled. The events that follow are really not believable. The book is written in the first person but it is too literary for that and the fact that Helen is trying to come to terms with what she has done. Sebold does develop the characters very well. The relationship between Helen and her parents and their relationship is very complex and the reader is pulled in. I have loved Sebold's previous two books but didn't like this one much.
Date published: 2008-09-11