- Audio Cassette
- Publisher: Books on Tape (January 2007)
- ISBN-10: 1415945942
- ISBN-13: 978-1415945940
- Parcel Dimensions: 22.6 x 16.8 x 3.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 499 g
- Average Customer Review: 13 customer reviews
Almost Moon Audio Cassette – Jan 2007
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|Audio Cassette, Jan 2007||
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From Publishers Weekly
Sebold's disappointing second novel (after much-lauded The Lovely Bones) opens with the narrator's statement that she has killed her mother. Helen Knightly, herself the mother of two daughters and an art class model old enough to be the mother of the students who sketch her nude figure, is the dutiful but resentful caretaker for her senile 88-year-old mother, Clair. One day, traumatized by the stink of Clair's voided bowels and determined to bathe her, Helen succumbs to a life-long dream and smothers Clair, who had sucked the life out of [Helen] day by day, year by year. After dragging Clair's corpse into the cellar and phoning her ex-husband to confess her crime, Helen has sex with her best friend's 30-year-old blond-god doofus son. Jumping between past and present, Sebold reveals the family's fractured past (insane, agoraphobic mother; tormented father, dead by suicide) and creates a portrait of Clair that resembles Sebold's own mother as portrayed in her memoir, Lucky. While Helen has clearly suffered at her mother's hands, the matricide is woefully contrived, and Helen's handling of the body and her subsequent actions seem almost slapstick. Sebold can write, that's clear, but her sophomore effort is not in line with her talent. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In her highly anticipated second novel, after the groundbreaking The Lovely Bones (2002), Sebold strikes two notes: grim and grimmer. Within pages, Helen, a middle-aged, depressed divorcée, kills her elderly mother; she spends the next 24 hours reliving her miserable childhood and her attempts to break free of it, coming to the realization that she "had seen the yawning tide that was her mother's need and fallen in." It's not until Helen reaches high school that she realizes her mother is mentally ill, her father is emotionally absent, and her primary purpose is to be her mother's "proxy in the world and to bring that world back home." Although she eventually marries and has two children, moving far away in what she hoped would be "the geographical cure," she ends up divorced and living blocks from her childhood home. With an unwavering focus and detached, downbeat prose, Sebold follows Helen on her seemingly inevitable psychological descent. The result is an emotionally raw novel that is, at times, almost too painful to read, yet Sebold stays remarkably true to her vision, bringing readers close to a flawed woman who lives in a very narrow world, one full of duty, obligation, and pain. Sebold brings to the portrait such honesty and empathy that many will find their own dark impulses reflected here; however, it is so unremittingly bleak that it seems unlikely that it will be greeted with the same enthusiasm as her debut. Wilkinson, Joanne --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
Top customer reviews
I couldn't reject the story outright, because so much of it had relevance for me. I know about doing the wrong things, about not being able to reach out to someone with a hug or encouraging words because that kind of behavior is alien. And even knowing how normal people are supposed to behave isn't always enough to teach an 'abnormal' person how to behave. Knowledge and experience are so different and experience always counts most.
There were times when, as I read the story, I wondered if Ms. Sebold had proposed this objective for the novel: to write about someone who makes all the wrong choices, regardless of her intent. Most readers are voting that such a person can't exist. But I agree that truth is stranger than fiction and such a person probably does exist somewhere. You might not want to ever meet her. But she's out there.
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