The Almost Moon
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A woman steps over the line into the unthinkable in this brilliant, powerful, and unforgettable new novel by the author of The Lovely Bones and Lucky.
For years Helen Knightly has given her life to others: to her haunted mother, to her enigmatic father, to her husband and now grown children. When she finally crosses a terrible boundary, her life comes rushing in at her in a way she never could have imagined. Unfolding over the next twenty-four hours, this searing, fast-paced novel explores the complex ties between mothers and daughters, wives and lovers, the meaning of devotion, and the line between love and hate. It is a challenging, moving, gripping story, written with the fluidity and strength of voice that only Alice Sebold can bring to the page.
I said, realizing as I did so that it was more useless than talking to a dog. A dog cocked her head. A dog gave you a soulful look. My mother was a passed-out bag of bones who reeked of shit. "Why like this?" I asked. I stood over her body with my arms full of blankets and towels, and I began to weep. I whispered a prayer that no one would knock on the door, that Mrs. Castle would not think to check on us, though right about now Manny the handyboy might help me tote and haul. I placed the
strongest woman in the world. She was impossible to beat. After Mr. Forrest left, my father tucked my mother into bed, and I went into the backyard, where eventually he joined me. "What a day, sweet pea," he said. I could smell the scotch on his breath. "Mom's different, right?" I asked. I couldn't see my father's face clearly in the dark, so I watched the tops of the fir trees, which were outlined by the blue night. "I like to think that your mother is almost whole," he said. "So much in
When we pulled apart, he suggested coffee, and we moved down the long back hallway, on the wall of which I kept a map of the world that had once been my father's. Over the years, the countries at shoulder height had been rubbed raw by the accidental brushing of my winter coat whenever I left through the garage. I spied the just-spared Caracas out of my left eye. My father had brought the map over two weeks before he shot himself. "Why now?" I'd asked him. He smiled as Emily came to greet him.
once been on the nightstand in my parents' bedroom. And a huge anthology of love poems was there too. It had been a gift at Christmas from my father to my mother. And I [ 2 0 0 ] The Almost Moon could see, peeking out beneath a scattering of detective novels, one fleshy thigh of what I knew was a nude photograph of a woman in a magazine. Her skin looked orangey to me. "I like being able to look out over the yards at night. I feel like I'm hidden away up here in a nest." "Did you really go
As old ladies grew older, so did their maids. The bunny key was there, under a loose concrete egg. I looked to my left and right; the roof of my father's workshop was barely visible through the trees. It was odd to be in a neighboring yard from mine, where completely different lives had been lived, and to know almost no one now but those who had died. Ultimately, even with a valid passport, I could never have escaped to Jake's converted mill house in Aurigeno, or even hitchhiked west. I had