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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I couldn’t put this book down so I read it in two days. While some lauded the story for its unflinching portrayal of violence and mental illnessothers found it messy and unconvincing. Should we feel murder is justified because her mother was not nurturing?

Elena Ferrante on Alice Sebold’s new novel, The Almost Moon

This is a definite example of how good writing does not always equal a good novel. 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 seblld the towel and say some terrible things about Sebold’s latest effort.

Helen grows into a teenager perceiving her family as normal. It’s a revolting read, but not without truths. So much in life is about almosts, not quites.

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

I suspect the first. Esperienze strepitose di un mondo altro per me uomo. Just to get over the negative weight and live a normal life. Lurid action is easier to come up with than the subtleties of everyday family chafing you find in works such as Death of a Salesman or A Long Day’s Journey Into Night, not that those don’t have their drug addiction and adultery.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. Goodreads post 3 1 4 Apr 21, The ending will annoy plenty, but one has to remember that the ending of a book is not necessarily the conclusion of a story; I thought it was perfectly timed and thought provoking. I picked up “Almost Moon” because I am a Sebold fan. If so, there isn’t enough evidence to convince me that she’s insane.


But when I thought about this premise more closely I realized it’s not absurd at all. I am not sure what Sebold intends th Helen and her plot. What we see is an almost moon or a non-quite moon. In both of these books there was the beautiful and inspiring as well as the ugly and devastating.

View all 18 comments. I always felt weird about The Lovely Bones as well, which is by the same author. She grew up in a house of secrets but Helen makes her living as a nude art model, and yet, while Helen is nude almost every day, she is rarely naked. While stories of patricide have a long and complex male tradition, those of matricide are much less firmly rooted in the imagination and so are less predictable.

With Helen, I was was ready to dial myself, if only to end the book. I didn’t think it was stellar, but I thought it was solid. I found the characters, both past and present, believable and sympathetic and powerfully motivated.

Many of the people at the bottom of the ratings loved The Lovely Bonesbut were disappointed, angered, revolted by The Almost Moon. I think this happens to us all the time, but not on such a major scale. Partly absent-mindedly, partly desperately she tries to conceal her crime, and in doing so ropes her ex-husband into the conspiracy.

Most of the ratings and reviews are high. This book is certainly well written and an accurate portrayal of a family gone bonkers but I want more from a book.

Not all there …

My mother’s core was rotten like the brackish water at the bottom of a weeks-old vase of flowers. Sebold helps us to think about it.

Why someone who is clearly loosing it should act in a way a sane reader finds believable?

Some readers will undoubtedly find Helen such a difficult narrator that they will be unable to empathize with her.

Can someone explain to me why a story has to have likable characters?

But I will also say it was not as terrible as the book reviews made it out to be. Killing her mother forces Helen out into the open, and Sebold lets us see an imperfect woman who struggles with all-too-human issues albeit in a violent and extreme way. Jan 24, Kendra rated it did not like it Shelves: View all 6 comments. Why she chose to write such complete and utter crap this time is just beyond me. I also didn’t like the ending or lack there of.


It’s part of what thw Sebold to be a writer who is willing to take risks. Is Helen serious when she says thw murdering her mother came easily? Stories of matricide are rare because, like Pascal, they bring knowledge of ourselves to the point of loathing and compel us to deviate from the pleasantness of the models that have always reassured us. After I realized that I truly did not like this woman, anything about her, it was even harder to sebbold through her narcissism over her figure realizing that if she had not taken such good care of her figure she wouldn’t have had the strength to murder her mother, nor be attractive to her friend’s son–oh GAG me!

At one point, she thinks of a book her daughter had recommended, nonfiction about a serial killer. But that’s what it’s supposed to be, it’s supposed to be poisonous, it’s supposed to disturb the reader and make us feel bad and I thought it was very well crafted.

Elena Ferrante on Alice Sebold’s new novel, The Almost Moon

It will only serve to taint your image of Sebold’s talent. This story voices some of the worst emotions and fears one could imagine. Insomma, la tragedia di Elettra rivisitata: Helen kills her 86 year old mother and the book follows Helen through the events that alnost after the crime, as well as, Helen’s thoughts of her past.