Sebold’s disappointing second novel (after much-lauded The Lovely Bones) opens with the narrator’s statement that she has killed her mother. In the opening of Alice Sebold’s new novel, a daughter makes a violent choice. This is the problem with Alice Sebold’s new novel, “The Almost Moon.” The book starts with the narrator, Helen, killing her elderly mother, Mrs.

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Once I began Almost Moon, I could not put it down. Sebold seems to want to explore the psychological realities of families and how they shape the lives of their members.

Seems like a lot of people hated this book… I’m not one of them. What the rest of this delightfully wicked story is about, then, is a fascinating and detailed look at the decades leading up to this moment, told in a non-narrative “hyperfiction” style that jumps from early-childhood to just yesterday at the blink of an eye, painting one of the deepest portraits you’ll see in contemporary literature of a dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship, and of all the teeny, tiny, strange, entertaining, depressing, hopeless, fascinating ways the relationship affects the way the woman deals with each and every other person in her life too.

I also could have gotten past how horrible a person Helen was Helen is punished by having to remain at the kitchen table until her father comes home. But when I spent 4 hours on a plane learning how to do Sodoku just so I wouldn’t have to read one more heinous word of this novel, I knew that I was going to have to throw in the towel and say some terrible things about Sebold’s latest effort. Well, because she’s the mousy dark novelist who seemingly appeared out of nowhere in the early s to write The Lovely Bonesan emotionally devastating crime thriller and meditation on loss that happened to have been written from the standpoint of a murdered teenage girl as she watches the proceedings from heaven.


So I read this book in entirety with an ill feeling in my stomach. The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold. Instead, It only becomes more and more apparent exactly how dangerously narcissistic and psychotic she is. Yes, I think so.

As Helen gradually teases out the truth about her father and mother, and about her own marriage and family, the reader as gradually begins to understand that opening line of the novel.

Is it a matter of a rare female impulse? Melanie Klein realized this and worked on it seriously, making matricide central. And, well, I genuinely dislike plenty of selfish and weak people who have done real-life bad things to me and others, so I just don’t want to invest my recreation time to it, alomst. Instead, she writes through the voice of Helen Knightly, and Helen tells the reader, right from the beginning, that liking her is going to be a challenge: But this is just dismal.

This took a person, put her in a bad situation yes, her childhood was bad, but it wasn’t the worst I’ve seen by any alicf and then held her head under its water until she drowned in it.

The rest of the story unfolds as Helen both revisits alost of growing up and deals with what she has done. She uses a tone of dry-eyed, ironic confession. Maria Callas-Medea nel film di Pasolini.

Review: The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold | Books | The Guardian

The literary, fundamental story of a daughter who kills her mother is rare. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

I think she was supposed to come across as weak and having made bad decisions, but “damaged” by her upbringing. Not because the writing is poor — in fact, just the opposite.

The Almost Moon

Dementia, as it descends, has a way of revealing the core of the person affected by it. We all know she can write. Helen g I am very troubled by this book. So the apt question to ask is whether this second novel by the author of The Lovely Bones is, as touted in its extravagant publicity, literary fiction, or closer to a detective novel?


See 2 questions about The Almost Moon…. It’s part of what shows Sebold to be a writer who is willing to take risks. Is Helen serious when she says that murdering her mother came easily? Sebold for the courage to tackle emotions and thoughts that readers will not want to identify with and a subject that will surely generate plenty of criticism.

This is one of the worst books I’ve read in a long time. Refresh and try again. Sebold helps us to think about it. What does an author write after that? A lot of people rated this book very low, and I have to admit I had difficulty getting through it. How can an author who wrote such a critically-acclaimed novel also write this? It doesn’t seem like Sebold did much research into the area before she wrote this.

View all 3 comments. Am Joon supposed to believe that Helen acted out of her own mental illness? Unfolding over the next twenty-four hours, this searing, alicr novel explores the complex ties between mothers allmost daughters, wives and moom, the meaning of devotion, and the line between love and hate.

I believe every book asks a question of its readers. I suspect the first. Novelty can be overvalued – but so can suspense. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. I just had a really, really hard time with this woman’s lifetime of submission to weakness and selfishness and felt that there shouldn’t even be a book written about this kind of person unless it is clearly stated that we are supposed to genuinely dislike her.

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