9 reviews

The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel
by Sarah Addison Allen

Published: 2010-03-16
Hardcover : 288 pages
12 members reading this now
19 clubs reading this now
12 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 8 of 9 members
In her latest enchanting novel, New York Times bestselling author Sarah Addison Allen invites you to a quirky little Southern town with more magic than a full Carolina moon. Here two very different women discover how to find their place in the world?no matter how out of place they feel.
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(In her latest enchanting novel, New York Times bestselling author Sarah Addison Allen invites you to a quirky little Southern town with more magic than a full Carolina moon. Here two very different women discover how to find their place in the world?no matter how out of place they feel.

Emily Benedict came to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother's life. Such as, why did Dulcie Shelby leave her hometown so suddenly? And why did she vow never to return? But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew?a reclusive, real-life gentle giant'she realizes that mysteries aren?t solved in Mullaby, they?re a way of life: Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbor bakes hope in the form of cakes.

Everyone in Mullaby adores Julia Winterson's cakes?which is a good thing, because Julia can?t seem to stop baking them. She offers them to satisfy the town's sweet tooth but also in the hope of rekindling the love she fears might be lost forever. Flour, eggs, milk, and sugar . . . Baking is the only language the proud but vulnerable Julia has to communicate what is truly in her heart. But is it enough to call back to her those she's hurt in the past?

Can a hummingbird cake really bring back a lost love? Is there really a ghost dancing in Emily's backyard? The answers are never what you expect. But in this town of lovable misfits, the unexpected fits right in.

Sarah Addison Allen on The Girl Who Chased the Moon

"How tall is he?" she asked, her voice hushed, as if he might hear. "Tall enough to see into tomorrow."--Chapter Two, The Girl Who Chased the Moon

Every book I?ve written has had some element of fairytale to it. The sentient apple tree in Garden Spells. The Rapunzel references in The Sugar Queen. And The Girl Who Chased the Moon is no different. I actually ended up with a giant in this story.

I remember when I first wrote elderly Vance Shelby into The Girl Who Chased the Moon. He walked into a room and had to duck under the doorframe. I knew then that this was no ordinary man. This was a giant. But how tall was too tall? When would real become unreal? It's a fine line. I began to research gigantism and discovered the tallest man in history for whom there is irrefutable medical proof: Robert Pershing Wadlow, the Giant of Illinois. At the time of his death at the young age of 22, Wadlow was almost nine feet tall. It's a stunning number, isn?t it? Nine feet tall. I pored over old film and audio interviews from the 1930s, trying to get a feel for what his life was like, so I could present with veracity this magically tall man in my story. What I discovered was a soft-spoken gentle giant whose legs were so long he walked like he was on stilts, whose body listed to the side like a skyscraper made of soft wood instead of concrete. But he was always smiling, accepting the stares and the requests for photos good-naturedly as he toured with Ringling Brothers and the International Shoe Company. He never hid himself away. He mingled among regular-sized people like he knew he had to savor every moment. And maybe he did know. Maybe he was tall enough to see into tomorrow.

In honor of Wadlow, I took all that I thought a young giant might wish for--a long life, a wife, a family, a place that accepted him as he was, where he was just another town oddity--and I gave it to elderly Vance Shelby in The Girl Who Chased the Moon. And as an old giant, Vance looks back on a life he always wanted to be extraordinarily small, and finds that it was exactly the size it needed to be. Which I think might be truth for us all. --Sarah Addison Allen

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Book Club Recommendations

by RachelP (see profile) 03/14/13
Download reading guide because it has great cake recipes to bring to the discussion.
This book lends itself to a fun meeting.
by Soovie (see profile) 04/16/12
Our hostess had the table decorated with a red checked picnic cloth. The centerpiece was a little tree filled with lights. Barbecue was served with drinks from canning jars. A wonderful Hummingbird Cake was shared by all. The cake was decorated with very thin slices of pineapple that was then dried in the oven. They looked just like beautiful yellow flowers.

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
by Catniss (see profile) 08/03/20

  "Makes you Want to Go Star Gazing"by nbaker (see profile) 01/20/17

What a beautiful and courageous story - a bit magical - a bit whimsical, but beautiful just the same.

Emily is a teenager standing on the threshold of adulthood when she loses her Mom, a

... (read more)

by cgrainger12 (see profile) 10/31/14

by Beckers3141 (see profile) 10/31/14

  "The Girl Who Chased the Moon"by RachelP (see profile) 03/14/13

Easy to read book that reads like a fairy tale.

  "The Girl That Chased The Moon"by momandme (see profile) 11/19/12

Another winner by Sarah Addison Allen. Can Hummingbird Cake really mend a broken heart? This is my favorite book of 2012.

  "The Girl Who Chased the Moon"by Soovie (see profile) 04/16/12

Overall the members of Carpe Librum liked this book. It has mystery, romance and a bit of fantasy. It's a quick read and very satisfying.

  "Another Girl Who ..."by Neyly (see profile) 03/06/11

Easy read. Serious topics combined with magical realism. The author did a good job of making you care about the characters.

  "The Girl Who Chased the Moon"by hshores (see profile) 08/21/10

Great, easy book to read! Perfect for a weekend beach trip.

  "The Girl Who Chased the Moon"by shannmaier (see profile) 05/31/10

Another fun book from Sarah Addison Allen.

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