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The almost moon [sound recording] : a novel
Sebold, Alice.
Adult Fiction SEBOLD

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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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Much has been made of Sebold's opening line to her new novel, but it immediately sets the listener up for a roller-coaster journey into ethics and family relationships that may seem too familiar to some and too discomforting to others. Helen Knightly's climactic decision opens the book, but her history with her mother, Clair, and her deceased father are brutally explored through the skillful weaving of memories and haunted immediacy. Almost Moon is very different from The Lovely Bones, and yet the strength of the author's sense of danger told rather matter-of-factly is highly compelling. Joan Allen's reading is almost hypnotic. Highly recommended.--Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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