Clair and Helen Knightly are a parent and child locked in a relationship so unrelenting that they have become the center of each other’s worlds. But as this electrifying novel opens, Helen crosses a boundary she never thought she would approach. And while her is almost unconscious, it somehow seems like the fufillment of a lifetime’s unspoken wishes.
The novel begins with Helen announcing to the readers that she killed her mother. In the 24+ hours that follow the details of the murder, we learn more about Helen’s childhood, her mother’s mental illness and the effects it had on Helen’s childhood and adulthood life. I didn’t love this novel. I read it quickly just to get it finish it really. It was a book club selection by one of the girls in my group. I thought the novel overall was depressing and it dragged in spots. While I could feel for Helen’s feelings of suffocation and frustration with her mother, I didn’t fully connect with her. I felt that all her actions after the murder were just wrong and confused. I did like that the ending was left open-ended, so that we really don’t know what happened to Helen. In a short span of time, she seemed to have turned into a completely different person from the one she started out as. From dutiful daughter, to a crazed girl gone-wild with freedom.
Book 10/2011The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold Little, Brown & Co. 2007 ISBN 0316677469 291 pages