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Clair de Lune Paperback – March 6, 2012


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Clair de Lune + The Moonflower Vine: A Novel (P.S.)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; Original edition (March 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062089196
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062089199
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,198,638 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Arriving nearly 50 years after her bestselling debut, The Moonflower Vine, Carleton’s second novel is a witty and romantic portrait of a young Midwestern woman coming to grips with adulthood and the responsibilities that come with it.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Evocative … Fine and dry, with a faint flavor of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Carleton’s vignette of innocence and experience has a bright wit and perceptive charm, rendered all the more enjoyable by its retro feel.” (Kirkus Reviews)

From the Back Cover

An unexpected treasure: A long-lost novel of innocence threatened, by the author of the beloved classic The Moonflower Vine

The time: 1941, at the cusp of America's entry into World War II. The place: southwest Missouri, on the edge of the Ozark Mountains. A young single woman named Allen Liles has taken a job as a junior college teacher in a small town, although she dreams of living in New York City, of dancing at recitals, of absorbing the bohemian delights of the Village. Then she encounters two young men: George, a lanky, carefree spirit, and Toby, a dark-haired, searching soul with a wary look in his eyes. Soon the three strike up an after-school friendship, bantering and debating over letters, ethics, and philosophy—innocently at first, but soon in giddy flirtation—until Allen and one of the young men push things too far, and the quiet happiness she has struggled so hard to discover is thrown into jeopardy.

Customer Reviews

I felt like a lot more could have been done with it.
La
Ok, there may be some backstepping for the choices of women today, but the restrictions that bright capable women lived under in those times is almost heartbreaking.
Mary Reinert
I don't like putting down a book with the thought that I just wasted my time, but admittedly, the thought crossed my mind after finishing Clair de Lune.
Bitsy Bling Books

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By booklover on November 11, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
At first the main character's naivete is charming, but her ongoing cluelessness becomes cloying and tedious. I would not recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bitsy Bling Books VINE VOICE on February 27, 2013
Format: Paperback
Clair de Lune focuses on the innocence of a pre-war generation, both locally, globally and socially. There is a longing for what was, and a dread of what is to come -- the inevitable change. It also dips into the realm of boundaries not just separated by age, but influenced by position, power, gender and career. Although Allen is close in age with her students, she struggles with her new position at the university and the proper student-teacher relationship. What's relevant is how it might play out today. Are her actions scandalous or more harmless given her age? What trumps proper behavior, age or paycheck?

Where it falls short for me is that given the philosophical struggles and controversial implications, the story does not seize the potential moments to really punch the points. This is more of a going through the daily motions with little resolution or heighten tension. Sure, there are parts where we get a tremor of trouble, but they are not pushed to the limit and held to really create the effect I was hungry for.

Then, the biggest disappointment of all comes at the end. The ending or rather where the story just stops occurs! Did anyone else feel this way? It just ended with a slight shoulder shrug and an oh well, that was kinda fun feeling. I suppose this lends toward the Bohemian effect that the author was trying to instill in the book, along with the attitudes of the characters, but I found it abrupt and unsatisfying. I literally turned the page and said (out loud), "That's it!?" I don't like putting down a book with the thought that I just wasted my time, but admittedly, the thought crossed my mind after finishing Clair de Lune. Overall impression: A tepid cup of Earl Gray tea
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By chavany on March 20, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I believe this novel was never published in Carleton's lifetime, and that she worked on it for years. It was clear to me why she did not feel it was finished. Some of the same luminous descriptions of small town life, but a disappointment.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By La on March 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There's no doubt - Jetta Carleton could write. Her imagery is fantastic in this book, and many scenes in the story are very enjoyable and memorable. However, there's just not a lot of meat to the story. I felt like a lot more could have been done with it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Dara on October 8, 2012
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed the book. The character Allen Liles was a woman before her time. She happened on her own freedom when she broke from her shell to live life on her terms. Though those very terms threatened her "safe" existence, she emerged a woman forever changed. She decides to seize her destiny and never return to a life filled with limitations. She embraces her future in a big and bold way. Overall, the book is an empowering story about taking your life as your own and being free.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By lisa Huffaker on April 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ok but can't begin to compare with her only other published work, The Moonflower Vine, which was definitely a five.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on May 26, 2012
Format: Paperback
Carleton's Claire de Lune is a poignant novel that explores the limited choices that young women had in the early 1940s, and the potential for social ostracism that lurked about in every corner. It's about loneliness and longing, and the tenderness that our older counterparts have for our more innocent, naive selves.
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Format: MP3 CD
I'm a sucker for a good coming of age novel, which this is billed as. But I'm not always talking Young Adult fare when I classify a book as such, and in fact this novel billed as a coming of age story features a woman in her 20′s. Whether you were getting married, starting a family, or launching a career in your early 20′s, I wonder if you agree, like I do, that it's such a seminal time in a person's life.

Clair de Lune introduces us to Allen Liles, a young woman who forsakes her dreams of a literary career in New York City for the parent-pleasing stability of a teaching job at a university. She's lacking some advanced credits, but she gets a job as an associate teaching English. In her early twenties, she's not much older than those who she is teaching, and strikes up a friendship with students Toby and George that blurs the line of propriety.

I felt for Allen, who was so out of place among the stuffy academic teachers and the old-maid instructors, yet truly seemed to enjoy what she was doing as a teacher. In Toby and George, she found kindred spirits, someone with whom she could discuss literature, but also play in the park long after dark. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, for trouble to come, and it gave the story a sense of dramatic suspense.

Allen definitely grows throughout the novel, figuring out what she truly wants and how she might get there. It's not an easy decision, and the "best" result is never quite clear to the reader, making it feel a lot like life.

Clair de Lune is apparently a lost novel by Jetta Carleton, author of The Moonflower Vine, a classic of its time. I wasn't familiar with that novel, but I do like her style.
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