The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold

 I have read many a book in my twenty-eight years but never one that has left me with such a bad taste in my mouth. The Almost Moon is a morbid account of severe dementia sufferer, Clair Knightley’s murder at the hands of her daughter, Helen Knightley. What follows is Helen’s account of events as she attempts to hide her crime in the following twenty-four hours. In doing so she selfishly forces her ex-husband into the cover-up and effectively places him at the scene of crime.  She jumps backwards and forwards in describing her childhood and subsequent difficult relationship with her mother as if that would excuse her of her horrendous crime.

 Having watched The Lovely Bones, I held high hopes for The Almost Moon. I have yet to read the written version of The Lovely Bones and quite frankly I am highly hesitant to do so. Although the storyline around The Lovely Bones is a tragic one, the film did not leave me with such depressing feelings as this book. Even the first sentence is drowning in hatred and I think it was only my sheer stubbornness that pulled me kicking and screaming to the end, which in itself was highly disappointing.

There are even sections in the book that were very crude in description. Having read (and thoroughly enjoyed) Jilly Cooper’s Rutshire’s Chronicles, I am not one to shy from explicit romance. However, the way in which Sebold uses such scenes in her book is quite vulgar.  Other events, which are descriptive of Helen’s life and history are very disjointed and often do not correspond with one another. Other descriptive details, such as any passing scenery are so long and detailed I often found myself skipping paragraphs. As soon as something remotely exciting happens there follows a lengthy description of an event from the past which has no significant to the current event.

I say the book is based on events over a twenty-four hour period, however reading it felt like a lifetime.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cr
    May 05, 2010 @ 14:14:53

    I must agree. I managed to get to the end but only just and the process was not enjoyable.

    A very depressing and seemingly pointless book.


    • alphabetgames
      May 06, 2010 @ 21:39:41

      Yes, very pointless. Am shocked it was published to be honest and can’t help but wonder if it was her first publication whether it would indeed have reached our bookshelves…


  2. ER
    May 06, 2010 @ 06:31:45

    A shame you didn’t enjoy it, Ive never read it and after your account of it I don’t think I ever will now. But I will say WHY o WHY did you carry on to the bitter end? Life is too short to go on reading a book you don’t enjoy just for the sake of finishing it. You could have read something so much more enjoyable in that time.

    I do that a lot, I start a book and if I cant get into it and not enjoying it I put it down and start another one. Don’t waste your life reading pointless tripe.

    Hope you are enjoying a better book now!!!!!!!!!!!!!! x


    • alphabetgames
      May 06, 2010 @ 21:36:59

      Thank you for your comment. I must say I am now reading a book I am thoroughly enjoying (although I will not be reviewing it), so I am now in a happy place! You are completely right, life is too short and I am mortified that I have wasted my life reading this book. I must say I agree with people: after reading the words of Khaled Hosseini, no book will ever match up…


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