About the novel:
Crown // March 4, 2014
After their mother's probable suicide, sisters Olivia and Jazz take steps 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 lay her spirit properly to rest.
Already resentful of Olivia’s foolish quest and her family’s insistence upon her involvement, Jazz is further aggravated when they run into trouble along the way and Olivia latches to a worldly train-hopper who warns he shouldn't be trusted. As they near their destination, the tension builds between the two sisters, each hiding something from the other, until they are finally forced to face everything between them and decide what is really important.
How to put my thoughts on page- that is the question. The Moon Sisters was mesmerizing, as promised. It pulled me in quickly, then held on for the duration. Not typically a novel I would be drawn too, I was surprised that it had such a strong grip on me. Jazz and Olivia are bold and multifaceted characters. Walsh created two beautiful souls with those two girls. It has been ages since I read a book with such gorgeously strong female characters. The stunning character work didn't end there- Hobbs, a train hopper that helps the girls on their journey, was also a complex character. Rough and scary exterior with a soft heart and a deep history.
The central part of this story is their mother, but it expands to family as the tale moves forward. Family dynamics, responsibilities, and loyalty all spring up throughout this novel. Each is enhanced by the depth of character in the novel. The five stages of grief are the section headings in The Moon Sisters- they are the only times that they are so pointedly brought up, however each stage is woven in the stories the characters tell. The subtle shifts in the way they share their stories and move through the days that this novel takes place, move them through the stages of grief and through the story.
The adventure that the girls find themselves on- looking for hope and guidance- is remarkable. It brings out so much in their character and you can feel the girls growing as the story ebbs and flows. It makes Olivia grow up and it softens Jazz. Hobbs finds answers to his own unasked questions as well.
I was amazed at how lyrical this novel was as well. It was magical. The novel deals with grief. I have had a very small share of grief, thankfully, at this point in my life, so I was unsure as to whether or not I would find a connection with this novel. Somewhere, I did. I'm not sure if it was Jazz and her softening, or Olivia and her growing up, but within those pages I did see a bit of myself in years past. Therese Walsh wrote a book that speaks to you- whether or not you've experienced monumental grief. I highly recommend this novel.
About the author:
Therese's debut novel, The Last Will of Moira Leahy (Random House), was named one of January Magazine's Best Books of 2009, was nominated for a RITA award for Best First Book in 2010, and was a TARGET Breakout Book.
Her second novel, The Moon Sisters, will be published by Crown in March, 2014. Its working title, in case you're curious, was The Book That Tried to Kill Me. It had a few other titles as well, including The Foolish Fire of Olivia Moon.
Therese is the co-founder and manager of Writer Unboxed, an award-winning website and online writing community. Among other accolades, Writer Unboxed was named one of the top 101 sites for writers in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 by Writer's Digest.
Therese has a master's degree in psychology. She was a researcher and writer for Prevention magazine before becoming a freelance writer and eventually turning to fiction.
Therese is an award-winning haiku'ist, thanks to Jimmy Kimmel, Carlton Cuse, and LOST.
She hopes that you'll enjoy her novels, and invite her to Skype with your book clubs.
write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow
FTC: I received this novel from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. Book synopsis, author image, and author information from Amazon.com