This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Book Review: The Almost Moon by Alice Siebold

I really, really loved The Lovely Bones, Alice Siebold's debut novel. Yes, it was a dark genre of storytelling, but what a great storyteller Siebold is. The book was mesmerizing and sad. But I was so taken with the narrator of the book, and of course, her creator. How could one person think of such a thing to write about?

Well, I was excited when I accidentally found that Siebold's second novel would be coming out (and it did). That would be this one, The Almost Moon.

I also thought of some of my best girlfriends, who I knew read or shared my enjoyment of The Lovely Bones and I contacted them, to see if they would be interested in forming a book club and use this second novel by Siebold as the first read for the club. All were in agreement, although a couple of them were wondering if they could make the time to do it. Nonetheless, in the end, we ended up with a full crew sans one (who is getting married) and afterwards, we are taking on another member.

But back to the review.

I thought it was again, another well-written book. I liked Siebold's dark side portrayed in the book again. I know it's been panned by critics, but the fact that she has a writing genre that is sad, depraved and without hollywood's happy story-lines (or endings) (which I compare to foreign movies, that are also a comparable art) is greatly admired by me.

It's hard to judge a novel that follows a hit, a UNIQUE one at that. Remember the movie The Sixth Sense? The movie, to this day, blows me away. M. Night Shyamalan was a genius to come up with that and he hasn't, according to the critics, mastered the artistry he did with The Sixth Sense. But he has stuck to his own thing and gives us pretty decent movies. I've enjoyed all of them, but probably not to the degree that I enjoyed The Sixth Sense. This is where I would agree with critics on The Almost Moon. But I did like it and found Siebold, again, full of talent in her storytelling.

This one, I must say, was unusual but in so many different ways than her first novel. The main character, Helen, well, she is mucked up. And she's mucked up because her mom and dad were. And the book takes the reader from the present, to the past, and back to the present. We really get to know Helen and how she became who she became. We want to scream at her and ask her what the hell is she doing? But we, at least ME, keep reading to find out what she's doing next.

I enjoyed her book despite her having panned reviews. I also was delighted, that after ordering a book off Amazon's marketplace, I received what appears to be a signed copy of her book, in paperback (which is not available as of today), aimed at a preview for, I am assuming, reviewers.

Anyway, I look forward to reading more from Siebold. She's my M. Night Shyamalan of novels.

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