Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh

A beautiful coming-of-age novel about two sisters on a journey to forgive their troubled mother, with a sheen of almost-magical realism that overlays a story about the love of a family, and especially between sisters.

Therese Walsh's poignant and mesmerizing novel is a moving tale of family, love, and the power of stories. After their mother's probable suicide, sisters Olivia and Jazz are figuring out how to move on with their lives. Jazz, logical and forward-thinking, decides to get a new job, but spirited, strong-willed Olivia, who can see sounds, taste words, and smell sights, is determined to travel to the remote setting of their mother's unfinished novel to say her final goodbyes and lay their mother's spirit to rest.

Though they see things very differently, Jazz is forced by her sense of duty to help Olivia reach her goal. Bitter and frustrated by the attention heaped on her sunny sister whose world is so unique, Jazz is even more upset when they run into trouble along the way and Olivia latches to a worldly train-hopper. Though Hobbs warns Olivia that he's a thief who shouldn't be trusted, he agrees to help with their journey. As they near their destination, the tension builds between the two sisters, each hiding something from the other, and they will finally be forced to face everything between them and decide what is really important.

“The Moon Sisters”, by Therese Walsh, was an interesting coming-of-age, finding oneself, and living out a dream type story all -- wrapped into one book. At the center of all the stories are two sisters -- Olivia and Jazz.  Struggling with the untimely death of their mother, one seeks to live out her mother’s imaginings on a journey to the swamps, while the other, is her somewhat reluctant traveling partner, as she carries the load of caring for her legally blind sister.  New relationships are built during their travels, and the complexity of the sisters’  relationship unfolds. I enjoyed this story for the most part.
I do feel that the author’s use of the disorder synesthesia as a literary convention gave license to sometimes go overboard in her graphic and colorful adjectives to describe  the most simplest of things.  Olivia connects language to tastes, sights to song,  and much more.   At times the comparative of uncommon feelings and sensations became laborious and confusing and weighed down the story.
Overall I thought “The Moon Sisters” was a nice story, but I would not necessarily recommend it to my friends and family.
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  Carla

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The old grey donkey, Eeyore stood by himself in a thistly corner of the Forest, his front feet well apart, his head on one side, and thought about things. Sometimes he thought sadly to himself, "Why?" and sometimes he thought, "Wherefore?" and sometimes he thought, "Inasmuch as which?" and sometimes he didn't quite know what he was thinking about.

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