Finding the Moon in Sugar Paperback – Jan 29 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Like the author, my parents were displaced persons from Lithuania who settled in the United States. (My maternal grandparents, my mother's only sister and her two brothers settled in or near Toronto, Ontario, Canada). I was told about this book by Daiva Markelis, another American born Lithuanian author whose book WHITE FIELD, BLACK SHEEP:A LITHUANIAN-AMERICAN LIFE was recently published. From the start I did not know what to expect. After all, I led a rather sheltered life protected by my parents from growing up too fast in suburban Detroit. Although most of us were aware that substance abuse in the United States had been a problem since the 1960s I personally had had very little exposure other than the occasional marijuana cigarette that always seemed to passed around at college fraternity parties.Read more ›
This is truly a memorable work. Written for the current reader, it reaches back to the classic literary method of asking more questions than it can hope to answer.
Every word is gilded, fitting into the gritty tale like pieces of a puzzle. The end result is well worth reading. What a discovery! Can't wait for Aras's next book...
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As our story begins, Andy is waiting in a local laundromat for a client when a very aggressive woman approaches him. This woman turns out to be the Lithuanian internet bride of said client. She promptly offers Andy one thousand dollars to service her -- orally. A hot woman, sex, and a thousand dollars, needless to say, Andy goes home with her. As the story progresses, we get an insider view into Andy's lost and lonely heart and soul. Andy definitely has the Toa of Pooh. While Andy might be clumsy and accident prone, he is very much self-aware and very aware of the world around him. His simple-mindedness is that of innocence not arrogant stupidity, and that makes Andy very, very charming, much like the stray dog he befriends when he reaches Lithuania. Yes, Andy sells everything, buys a plane ticket, and chases Audra, the Lithuanian Internet Bride, to her homeland. At this point, the story veers off into the predictable stranger in a strange land plot device. We have a lot of wandering aimlessly; we have the wizard of Oz cast of characters, including Toto; and we have dive bars, discothèques, and drug parties, but in reality, this story isn't about the cliché plotline. It's really a study in desperation and co-dependence. Audra is mentally ill, and as it manifests itself, we don't get a medical diagnosis or a laundry list of symptoms, we get to feel its effects very deeply through Andy. His simplistic, colourful, and almost childlike view of the world allows the emotion to stay raw and uncluttered. There are no justifications -- no analysis -- just Andy's honesty. When Andy finds a picture Audra had drawn in his private journal, I got the chills. Actually, the book was full of insightful thrills, chills, a little romance, and enough twists and turns to keep the story entertaining from the first page to the last, which, by the way, is one of the most poignant parts to the story -- almost an Aesop's Fable ending, if you will.
Overall, I loved it. The story flows smoothly, the plotline is flawless, and the imagery is restrained and innocent in its beauty. The prose is tactile and at times even poetic. The main characters are painfully tragic, and so we can laugh, cry, be horrified and be mortally wounded all at the same time. Shakespeare would be proud. Those who like tragic black comedy will adore this book. Those who want psychological realism and those who want to look a little deeper into the psyche of deviant and damaged characters will love its masterful subtlety. Bravo! I can't wait to read more from this author.
For Andrew, pleasure can be measured in a bong hit, a bottle or a fantasy about what napping by an open window could bring. But only through a chance encounter with a drug client's wife does he see a world outside of Berwyn, IL. He finds himself following her to Lithuania, but that too doesn't result in the satisfaction he thought he would find. Ultimately, though, he finds peace in manhood after misadventures along the way.
The cultural references to Berwyn and the bars of Vilnius, Lithuania are a dead-on.