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The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel Paperback – February 8, 2011


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The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel + The Sugar Queen (Random House Reader's Circle) + The Peach Keeper: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (February 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553385593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553385595
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (383 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,496 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Sarah Addison Allen on The Girl Who Chased the Moon

"How tall is he?" she asked, her voice hushed, as if he might hear.
"Tall enough to see into tomorrow."
--Chapter Two, The Girl Who Chased the Moon

Every book I’ve written has had some element of fairytale to it. The sentient apple tree in Garden Spells. The Rapunzel references in The Sugar Queen. And The Girl Who Chased the Moon is no different. I actually ended up with a giant in this story.

I remember when I first wrote elderly Vance Shelby into The Girl Who Chased the Moon. He walked into a room and had to duck under the doorframe. I knew then that this was no ordinary man. This was a giant. But how tall was too tall? When would real become unreal? It’s a fine line. I began to research gigantism and discovered the tallest man in history for whom there is irrefutable medical proof: Robert Pershing Wadlow, the Giant of Illinois. At the time of his death at the young age of 22, Wadlow was almost nine feet tall. It’s a stunning number, isn’t it? Nine feet tall. I pored over old film and audio interviews from the 1930s, trying to get a feel for what his life was like, so I could present with veracity this magically tall man in my story. What I discovered was a soft-spoken gentle giant whose legs were so long he walked like he was on stilts, whose body listed to the side like a skyscraper made of soft wood instead of concrete. But he was always smiling, accepting the stares and the requests for photos good-naturedly as he toured with Ringling Brothers and the International Shoe Company. He never hid himself away. He mingled among regular-sized people like he knew he had to savor every moment. And maybe he did know. Maybe he was tall enough to see into tomorrow.

In honor of Wadlow, I took all that I thought a young giant might wish for--a long life, a wife, a family, a place that accepted him as he was, where he was just another town oddity--and I gave it to elderly Vance Shelby in The Girl Who Chased the Moon. And as an old giant, Vance looks back on a life he always wanted to be extraordinarily small, and finds that it was exactly the size it needed to be. Which I think might be truth for us all. --Sarah Addison Allen


--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Allen's latest (after The Sugar Queen) takes the familiar setup of a young protagonist returning to the small town where her elusive mother was raised, and subverts it by sprinkling just enough magic into the narrative to keep things lively but short of saccharine. Seventeen-year-old Emily Benedict, intent on learning more about her mother, Dulcie, moves in with her grandfather, but is disappointed to find that her grandfather doesn't want to talk much about Dulcie. She soon discovers, though, that many still hold a grudge against Dulcie for the way she treated an old sweetheart before dumping him and disappearing. Luckily, Dulcie's high school adversary, Julia Winterson, back in town to pay down her deceased father's debt, takes a shine to Emily. She's working another quest as well: baking cakes every day with the hope that they'll somehow attract the daughter she gave up for adoption years ago. There are love interests, big family secrets, and magical happenings (color-changing wallpaper, mysterious lights) aplenty as Allen charts the spiraling inter-generational stories, bringing everything together in an unexpected way. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Sarah Addison Allen is the New York Times Bestselling author of Garden Spells (2007) The Sugar Queen (2008) The Girl Who Chased the Moon (2010) The Peach Keeper (2011) and Lost Lake (2014). Her new novel FIRST FROST will be published in January 2015. She was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina.

Customer Reviews

When you find a good book you don't want it to end.
Britta E. Brodowski
The whimsical nature of her characters and the magical quality is simple, unique, and beautiful.
Casey Joubert
I highly recommend this book, it is one outstanding read, very enjoyable.
Shirley Priscilla Johnson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

108 of 111 people found the following review helpful By Shiloh True TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
If you've managed to beat your sweet tooth into submission, be warned, it's about to be reanimated. Ah yes, Allen must be a 'foodie' because she, once again, develops her characters around food, guaranteed to make you hungry, while feelin' right-at-home. You'll forget you're not sitting at the kitchen table partaking with them. Halfway through, I truly HAD to have some cake, and, a southern style, pull-pork-sandwich, sure didn't sound bad, either. Who knew, a novel could have you gain a couple of pounds?

Allen's books are magical, comforting fiction; a sweet indulgence. The type of read where you need to shoo everyone from the house, put on your flannel pajamas, funky socks with toes, grab a glass of wine (if you're legal) and your favorite chocolates. Cheetos might work! Then relax in your most comfortable spot, for a girl's-night-in, with characters typical of Allen---folks' down-home enough to be just like us, regardless of how quirky they may initially appear.

You'll enjoy your trip to Mullaby, N. Carolina, with all its southern charm, magic and secrets abounding. Where the local town-folk gossip aplenty, the fragrance of fresh baked pastry wafts through the air, wallpaper suddenly changes patterns, and ghostly lights drift through backyards under the moonlight---with the trailing sound of footsteps. Where the town oddity, a giant of a man over eight feet tall, keeps the town's secrets close to heart, until the day his granddaughter, Emily, materializes on his doorstep after the death of her mother, Dulcie. You'll discover why everyone in Mullaby loathed Dulcie. Can Emily win them over, or will she bear the burden of her mother's evil deeds?
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Gayla M. Collins VINE VOICE on February 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love the magical, fanciful worlds in which Sarah Addison Allen's characters reside. All of her books are like this and I anticipate them like a child awaiting her promised night at a fair; dazzling rides, sweet, sugary apples and cotton candy, barker's trying to lure her into the games of chance.

This atmosphere is alight in Mullaby, N. C. Seventeen year old Emily is sent to live with her 8 foot tall grandpa when her mother tragically dies. Her mother left Mullaby with a bad reputation, never looking back, but raised her daughter to work hard for cause after cause. It is difficult for Emily to reconcile her hard working, driven mother with the spoiled, bratty girl the town recollects.

Other souls that are hoarding secrets of pain aid in slowly acclimating Emily into their fantastical lives. Her wall paper changes itself at will; lights flash in the woods which seem haunted. Cake smells waft long distances to entice a child back into the fold.

Wonderfully written with characters you instantly fall in love with; I highly recommend this book. I loved her first two and Allen didn't let me down with this gorgeous read.

I can barely wait for her next offering.....this author has become a must buy as soon as her books are released.....the covers are so intricately beautiful they compliment the novel within.

A special, dreamy read.
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77 of 86 people found the following review helpful By NyReckDiver TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The Girl Who Chased The Moon is a "sweet" book. It is a light and quick read with a magical touch, just as Ms. Allen's other books. I enjoyed reading this book, and looked forward to it, but in the end, I don't think I got much out of it. I dreaded writing this review because I really loved her first novel, Garden Spells. But, after thinking about it long and hard, I am just a different reader now than I was then. This was a nice story, but for most of it I felt like I was reading an episode of Wizards of Waverly Place. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but I don't think I am the target audience. This would make a great young adult read (although there is some romantic scenes in there towards the end).

I know that this is a wishy washy review..... I liked it but I didn't love it, even though I felt I should love it and I wanted to love it. However, I would recommend it to those of you who want a light and sweet, feel-good read.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Margaret H VINE VOICE on March 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I loved the author's debut novel, Garden Spells, and was surprised by how easily I was able to suspend belief and enjoy elements of magic in the plot. There may be even more magic in this novel, including magic wallpaper, magic cakes and magic lights, as well as a giant.

The title character of this novel is Emily, an orphaned teen from Boston who is sent to live in a small North Carolina town with the grandfather she never knew. But even though Emily gets top billing, the story is shared equally with her grandfather's neighbor Julia, a 30-something baker.

Emily quickly discovers that family secrets make her unwelcome in her new town. At about the same time, she meets Win, a boy her age who also has family secrets. But Win's good looks, charm and extreme wealth will never make him unwelcome, even if he does have his eccentricities. Julia, who also has secrets, remembers her own troubled teen years and befriends Emily.

Although I enjoyed this book, it didn't have the same appeal for me that Garden Spells did. I think that's because Garden Spells had very adult themes, while this felt much like a teen novel aimed at fans of the Twilight series. Though neither is a vampire, Emily and Win have much in common with Bella and Edward. Even most of the adults in this novel are characterized more by their actions as teens, especially in their roles as bullies and the bullied, than they are as adults.

I would recommend this to girls of middle-school age and up, as well as to fans of the author's previous novels.
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