Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Girl Who Chased The Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

The Girl Who Chased The Moon
by Sarah Addison Allen
Read: January 2 - 3, 2015 FIRST BOOK OF THE NEW YEAR!
Published: March 16, 2010 by Bantam
Source: Library ebook
Category: Magical realism, small towns, NC, Adult/YA crossover
Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository 

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. 

This was my first Sarah Addison Allen book, and I am utterly enchanted. I can't believe that I've waited so long to read this. I want to thank my dear friend Carrie for pushing these books until I finally listened and picked one up. I loved the mix of summer heat in a small town, delicious food, and magic. My only complaint is that the story didn't last long enough! I didn't want to leave Mullaby or these characters. 

The Girl Who Chased The Moon follows two story lines that converge in the small town of  Mullaby, North Carolina. Emily Benedict has just arrived in Mullaby to live with her grandfather, after the sudden death of her mother. Apparently Emily's mom Dulcie grew up in the small southern town, although she's never told Emily anything about her life there or the tragedy she left behind.

Julia Winterson grew up in Mullaby and has only been back for the past year and a half, trying to get her finances in order after her father died and left his restaurant to her. Everyone in town has fallen in love with the delicious cakes that Julia bakes daily. But her goal is to stay another six months and escape back to her life in Baltimore, before she's forced to dig up any more of her past. Especially the part that involves a very persistent and charming man named Sawyer. 

I loved both Emily and Julia's stories and could have read a full book about both of them, though I enjoyed how their stories weaved together and spoke to each others. This book focuses on strong friendships and being a whole person on your own, as much as it does romance. Family secrets, love lost and found again, a giant, and wallpaper that changes with your moods, The Girl Who Chased The Moon was a perfect first read of 2015. Now I need to read all the books by this author!

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone

P.S. This book reminded me a lot of a cross between Compulsion by Martina Boone (but better!) and Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer (which is a favorite!). 


  1. I love Sarah Addison Allen books! This and The Peach Keeper are my most re-read SAA books, I'm planning to re-read Garden Spells this week so I'm fresh and ready for First Frost )which is out on the 20th).

    1. The Peach Keeper is up next for me! I love that everyone has a different favorite of these. I hope to read Garden Spells/First Frost this month too.

  2. Have never tried these either. Okay, maybe a resolution for 2015!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. You should try these! They're delightful. This one has the most YA crossover, I'm told. And I'm sure they're all at your library.

  3. I've been hearing great things about this author recently. I'm not sure if it's a genre that I usually go for, but hey I'm always up for trying new genres. I'm glad you had such great luck with this book, Lauren!

    1. This book actually reminded me a lot of COMPULSION, but I liked this one a LOT more! I didn't care for Boone's book very much at all. THE GIRL WHO CHASED THE MOON is a little less of the creepy gothic, which COMPULSION tried for but did not do well at all, but they both feature a bit of magic, family secrets and a girl moving to a small town after the death of her mother. The other half of the storyline reminds me a lot of NOWHERE BUT HOME by Liza Palmer. This story has the most YA crossover of any of this author's books - usually the heroines are in their 20s or 30s, the age of the second protagonist Julia. I'd definitely recommend you give it a shot, and it's easily found at the library.

  4. Nowhere but Home is definitely a favorite of mine too and seeing this book compared to that definitely makes me want to grab a copy.

    I still haven't jumped onto the Sarah Addison Allen bandwagon but with all the praise I keep hearing, I feel like I need to!

    And this book would be the place to start especially since this book has food in it (and particularly something that appeals to my sweet tooth! :DD) AND POSSIBLY A SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE. I am off to add this!

    Fantastic review, Lauren!! :) I am glad your first read of the year was so good! :D

    Rashika @ The Social Potato

  5. This sounds wonderful! I've decided that 2015 is the year that I also will read my first Allen work, and I'm so looking forward to it! I've heard only good things about her books and I do love some magical realism. (Your comparison to Nowhere But Home also helps!) I have a Kindle copy of Garden Spells so I'll probably start with that, but I will definitely keep The Girl Who Chased the Moon in mind for after.
    Glad your first read of the year was a very satisfying one, Lauren!

  6. I'm so glad you were persuaded to read Allen, Lauren! I love THE SUGAR QUEEN and GARDEN SPELLS though THE PEACH KEEPER is also delightful. I have yet to read this one, though it's next on my list and one of the few I haven't yet picked up by her, so I'm thrilled you enjoyed it as much as you did. Allen's prose is simply magic; it makes the magical realism she writes of seem so vividly alive. So, so glad you've joined this fan-club, Lauren!(:

  7. "This book focuses on strong friendships and being a whole person on your own, as much as it does romance."

    Aaaaand sold! Delightfully Southern, food porn, magic, and romance? Give it to met. You make this sound so atmospheric but in a really light and whimsical way. Thanks for putting it on my radar. :)

  8. Really? A perfect read? Woo-hoo!! I love when books do that for you. This one doesn't sound like something I'd usually pick up but, now that you've put it on my radar...I'm going to have to check it ou!

  9. I haven't heard of this book before, but yay for you loving it :D It sounds cute, but probably not for me, lol ;p I'm not good at this genre. Sigh. Though I did like one book :D But anyway. Amazing review Lauren. <3 I'm glad you enjoyed this :) Thank you for sharing about it. <3

  10. Yayyyyyy! I'm so glad Carrie pushed you to read Sarah Addison Allen :) She's a favorite for me - I've enjoyed everything I've read by her! This one is my favorite, but I think THE SUGAR QUEEN and LOST LAKE are probably my two other favorites. Can't wait to see what you read next!

  11. I still need to read this one. You need to read Garden Spells!

  12. I love this author. I started with Garden Spells years ago and quickly fell in love. I read all her books as they come out. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one.


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