Monday, December 12, 2016

Review: Valley of the Moon by Melanie Gideon

Title: Valley of the Moon
Author: Melanie Gideon 
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publish Date: July 26, 2016
Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From "In this captivating novel from the author of Wife 22, a woman who feels lost in her own time stumbles across a California community that has, impossibly, been marooned in the early twentieth century perfect for readers of The Time Traveler's Wife, Time and Again, and Sarah Addison Allen.

Lux is a single mom struggling to make her way when she discovers an idyllic community in the Sonoma Valley. It seems like a place from another time until she realizes it actually is. Lux must keep one foot in her world, raising her son as well as she can with the odds stacked against her, but every day she is more strongly drawn in by the sweet simplicity of life in Greengage, and by the irresistible connection she feels with a man born decades before her. Soon she finds herself torn between her ties to the modern world, her adored son and the first place she has ever felt truly at home."

My Two Cents:

"Valley of the Moon" is the latest release by Melanie Gideon, the author of "Wife 22," a book which I loved. This book seemed markedly different than "Wife 22" and I was intrigued by the synopsis. Lux is a woman who lives in the 1970s. She's a single mother and is trying the best she can to take care of her young son. When she comes across a group of people who seem to be trapped in the early 20th century, Lux never imagines that life inside this place will begin to feel more like home than any other place she's ever been.

Filled with magical realism, great characters, and a great romance, this book is perfect for those who are looking for their fiction off the beaten path. It may just be because of the time travel aspect but this book reminded me a lot of "The Time Traveler's Wife, which is one of my very favorite books.

In this book, Lux is seeking to run away from her family she really loves her son but being a single parent is really difficult. When Lux goes back in time and finds the small community that Joseph and his family run, she is drawn to the simpler way of life. I love the characters in this book. Lux is a great character. She is very strong but she is at her wits end. Raising children is difficult. Raising children by yourself is even more difficult. You have to admire how she tries to make ends meet. She is strong and feels like she can actually be useful in the town trapped in time. In her present-day life she barely feels useful at all. You see her grow and change throughout the book, which I really liked.

There is a romance at the center of this book. I think it will be apparent who it is between very quickly in the book; however, I don't want to give anything away because it is so wonderful. This book has a lot of twists and turns and covers a wide swath of time. I wish I could say more but you really should just read the book and experience the journey for yourself!

I really like the way that the author was able to turn the story into something that actually felt real even with all of the fantastical elements. I thought that the author did a good job of world building. In this book, traveling back in time doesn't feel like something that was absolutely impossible. Yes this book is definitely different than "Wife 22" but here you still have memorable characters in the novel to immerse yourself in. I got this book originally from the library and loved it so much that I had to buy a copy of my own. That's how you know a book is really good!



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