Saturday, September 3, 2016

Valley of the Moon

I see the sun!  It is actually shining.  I sincerely hope it dries up all these puddles quickly.  How are all of you doing?  I hope all you made it through the storm with relatively little damage.  I am taking it easy today (I am in a lot of pain today).  There is a program I wanted to tell you about. It is First to Read ( You get an opportunity to read books and review them before they are published. It is sponsored by Penguin Random House. If you are interested, please check it out!

Valley of the Moon by Melanie Gideon is a unique novel.  Lux Lysander lives in San Francisco, California in 1975.  Lux is a single mother of a five-year-old (Bennett) and a waitress at an Irish pub in North Beach.  While her son, Benno (his nickname) is visiting his grandparents in Rhode Island, Lux has decided to go on a camping trip.  She needs to get away for a while.  Lux going on a camping trip in the Sonoma Valley (Lux calls in Valley of the Moon).  Something awakens her at midnight and she sees a strange fog.  She sees a light and goes to investigate.  As far as Lux knows there should not be any homes nearby.  Lux heads towards the light and emerges to find a barn.  Upon further investigation, Lux finds a whole village.  The people here speak differently and wear old fashioned clothing. 

Joseph Beauford Bell lives in Greengage.  A community he established in San Ellen, California.  This community set up where everyone is equal (whether they are rich, poor, white, Hispanic, Catholic, Episcopalian, etc.).  All the residents get a fair wage and a share in the profits.  The community has about 300 residents along with Joseph’s sister, Fancy who is visiting when there is a big earthquake in 1906.  After the earthquake tremors die down, a strange fog envelops Greengage.  When residents try to leave, they die in the fog.  In all this time no one has ever come looking for them or stumbled into their town, until Lux.  Lux feels such a peace in this unique town.  The people are hopeful that they can now leave, but it is not to be.  Lux enjoys her visit to Greengage (especially talking with Joe), but she soon has to leave.  She discovers that time moves differently in the two worlds.  It goes faster in the real world.  Lux has to be careful how much time she spends in Greengage (dreadful consequences).  And she can only return when there is a full moon and then wait for the fog to appear.  But the fog is not consistent in its appearance.  As the years go by Lux is more torn between these two worlds.   But Lux has her son to consider.  Will Lux ever be able to stay in the world that feels like home? 

Valley of the Moon was an interesting story.  I liked it, but the pace is a little slow.  The writing is also a flat.  It needed a little more excitement or action.   I liked the characters especially Joseph and the town of Greengage.   Valley of the Moon is really a romance novel about two people who meet despite the chasm of time.  I give Valley of the Moon 4 out of 5 stars.  The book did hold my interest and I was curious to see what choice Lux would make in the end.  The book does have a strange ending.  If you enjoy unique, romance novels, then you will like Valley of the Moon.

You can follow Melanie Gideon on Amazon and check out her other novels.  I received this novel in exchange for an honest review.  The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

I hope all of you are having a delightful Saturday.  I am enjoying the Downton Abbey marathon (Matthew and Mary just returned from their honeymoon with the zippy roadster).  I am off to enjoy dinner and then relax (after I take my pain pills).  I will return soon with another review. Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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