Monday, May 24, 2010

Do You Believe in Magic?

I’m a sucker for romance, even if it doesn’t come in traditional packages. I don’t need the Hallmark card – I’d choose lilacs over red roses, ginger beer over champagne and sparkly cubic zirconia over diamonds.

In books, I’m fond of fantasy and whimsy; I’m willing to suspend disbelief as long as I get a happy ending. Call me shallow, but I don’t want angst or the Great American Novel. I just want to be smiling when I turn that final page.

In The Girl Who Chased the Moon, Sarah Addison Allen welcomes us to Mullaby, North Carolina, famous for its barbecue festival and not much else.

Strange things happen in this small town – wallpaper changes at will, ghostly lights peek from the woods and secrets abound. The air is infused with magic, or maybe it’s just the delectable fragrance of Julia Winterson’s hummingbird cake.

Julia, who bakes cakes the way others cast spells, is six months away from her two year goal when a case of in vino veritas messes up her plans. Sawyer Alexander is blindingly beautiful and the embodiment of all Julia knows she’ll never have. He might have inspired her passion for baking, but Sawyer is the cause of her problems – not the solution.

Emily Benedict is an orphaned 17-year-old newly arrived at the home of her grandfather, a giant of a man “tall enough to see into tomorrow.” Shocked to find herself outcast because of her mother’s past actions, Emily eagerly accepts the friendship Julia offers, and is drawn, in spite of herself, to Win Coffey.

Win, in his white linen suit and red bow tie, fits into Mullaby in a way Emily never will, and he seems to accept her in spite of the hurtful things Emily’s mother did. The lives of these four characters warp and weave together like threads on a loom, binding them in ways none of them could have predicted.

Sarah Addison Allen’s delectably light touch sparkles on the page as if she has waved a glittering wand over her words. Nothing is ever ordinary or mundane in her books; in “The Girl Who Chased the Moon,” fireflies practically flicker on the page, drawn to the glow of the Mullaby moon.

Although it’s not a romance in the sense readers may expect, this book is a love story on many levels – new loves, old loves, family love and the love only a small town can give.

The Girl Who Chased the Moon is Sarah Addison Allen's third book. Be sure to check out Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen, too. They are all on my "keeper" shelf!


debbie h said...

Hey there, great review.
Gosh isn't she just great. I love her whimsy.

Becke Davis said...

So do I, Debbie! She's a must-read for me now.

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