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Turtle Moon Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1993

93 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Sandra Burr gives a tour de force performance of Hoffman's novel that tells the tale of missing children, murdered mothers and migrating sea turtles. Every May the sea turtles confuse the lights of Verity, Fla., for the moon and invade as quickly as they can. But the residents act up as well, and a divorced mother and a cop must solve the puzzle. Burr is a true professional who knows her limits and chooses to push them at every turn yet never oversteps her boundaries. With chameleon changes in tone and pitch, Burr can fill the shoes of any character that comes her way. Hoffman's tale is perfectly suited to Burr's talents, and listeners will be enthralled from start to finish. A Putnam hardcover. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Kirkus Reviews

A mix of murder and magic in the Florida sunshine as only Hoffman (Seventh Heaven, 1990, etc.) could conjure it. Verity, Florida, once known for live alligators, is now better known for alligator salads (a mix of spinach, peppers, avocado and chopped eggs, tinted green), as well as for having more divorced women from New York than any other town in the state of Florida. Lucy Rosen is one of those women. She has recently moved to Verity, and what she doesn't know yet is that in May, when the turtles come out and crawl across the roads, anything can happen. People go crazy. Dogs bite. Ficus hedges burst into flame. This particular May, a woman in Lucy's condo complex is murdered, her baby is missing, and Lucy's own son, Keith, has vanished as well. With the assistance of Julian Cash, a reclusive Verity policeman, Lucy sets out to find out who committed the murder and what has become of the missing children. The fact that the ultimate resolution of these mysteries is only partly plausible doesn't really matter in the end. Because Hoffman's strength is that she deals in dreams. She knows all about the everyday things that defy simple explanations- -lovers who suddenly turn cold, turtles who mistake streetlights for the moon. The Florida she paints here is not the one promoted by any chamber of commerce. With a climate that is both mesmerizing and malignant, it is a place where dragonflies' wings catch fire and strangler plums drop down from trees, leaving dents in parked cars. It is a place where rattlesnakes crawl into telephone booths and angels lurk outside the Burger King. It's a place where anything might happen. And, naturally, it does. Pure Hoffman: her take on the tropics is haunting, hypnotic, and hot as a fever dream. (Book-of-the-Month Dual Selection for June) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reprint edition (June 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042513699X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425136997
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #859,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alice Hoffman was born in New York City on March 16, 1952 and grew up on Long Island. After graduating from high school in 1969, she attended Adelphi University, from which she received a BA, and then received a Mirrellees Fellowship to the Stanford University Creative Writing Center, which she attended in 1973 and 74, receiving an MA in creative writing. She currently lives in Boston and New York.

Hoffman's first novel, Property Of, was written at the age of twenty-one, while she was studying at Stanford, and published shortly thereafter by Farrar Straus and Giroux. She credits her mentor, professor and writer Albert J. Guerard, and his wife, the writer Maclin Bocock Guerard, for helping her to publish her first short story in the magazine Fiction. Editor Ted Solotaroff then contacted her to ask if she had a novel, at which point she quickly began to write what was to become Property Of, a section of which was published in Mr. Solotaroff's magazine, American Review.

Since that remarkable beginning, Alice Hoffman has become one of our most distinguished novelists. She has published a total of eighteen novels, two books of short fiction, and eight books for children and young adults. Her novel, Here on Earth, an Oprah Book Club choice, was a modern reworking of some of the themes of Emily Bronte's masterpiece Wuthering Heights. Practical Magic was made into a Warner film starring Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Her novel, At Risk, which concerns a family dealing with AIDS, can be found on the reading lists of many universities, colleges and secondary schools. Her advance from Local Girls, a collection of inter-related fictions about love and loss on Long Island, was donated to help create the Hoffman (Women's Cancer) Center at Mt. Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, MA. Blackbird House is a book of stories centering around an old farm on Cape Cod. Hoffman's recent books include Aquamarine and Indigo, novels for pre-teens, and The New York Times bestsellers The River King, Blue Diary, The Probable Future, and The Ice Queen. Green Angel, a post-apocalyptic fairy tale about loss and love, was published by Scholastic and The Foretelling, a book about an Amazon girl in the Bronze Age, was published by Little Brown. In 2007 Little Brown published the teen novel Incantation, a story about hidden Jews during the Spanish Inquisition, which Publishers Weekly has chosen as one of the best books of the year. In January 2007, Skylight Confessions, a novel about one family's secret history, was released on the 30th anniversary of the publication of Her first novel. Her most recent novel is The Story Sisters (2009), published by Shaye Areheart Books.

Hoffman's work has been published in more than twenty translations and more than one hundred foreign editions. Her novels have received mention as notable books of the year by The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, The Los Angeles Times, Library Journal, and People Magazine. She has also worked as a screenwriter and is the author of the original screenplay "Independence Day" a film starring Kathleen Quinlan and Diane Wiest. Her short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe Magazine, Kenyon Review, Redbook, Architectural Digest, Gourmet, Self, and other magazines. Her teen novel Aquamarine was recently made into a film starring Emma Roberts.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Nancy R. Katz VINE VOICE on August 30, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It would appear that I have arrived late at the party since Turtle Moon is only the third book I've read by Alice Hoffman. And while Practical Magic will most likely always remain my favorite, Turtle Moon, will be a close second. Once again as she does in her other books Alice Hoffman presents her readers with wonderful characters who remain with one long after they close the book. In Turtle Moon, she also describes a place both geographically and spiritually so that if we were set down there tomorrow, we would know our way around.
Verity, Florida is the place where more divorced women come to from New York when they leave their husbands. Some come with children who are difficult like Lucy Rosen, while others like Bethany run away on the spur of the moment to leave abusive husbands. Some work at jobs while others hide out with their small children and pawn jewelry for extra cash. And some dread going home to confront their children or to learn that their child has once again been suspended from school. And in this quiet town lives Julian Cash, a policeman with a difficult dog and a difficult past which continues to haunt him. And as if the month of May isn't difficult enough for the residents of this town as sea turtles begin their migration across the streets of Verity, a young woman is found murdered, her baby missing along with Lucy's son who is the worst boy in Verity. Now its up to Julian and Lucy to join together and to find him and the truth out about the murder. And we as readers are like spiders in a web as we move along with the plot, setting and characters of this first rate novel.
Hoffman, as usual has filled her book wth many mystical occurrences and images. She has also filled the pages with themes present in some of her other books.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 7, 1999
Format: Paperback
Turtle Moon is the fifth book by author Alice Hoffman that I have read. Like many of her other novels, Turtle Moon is filled with a little mystique and an edge of darkness. Turtle Moon takes place in a town called Verity, which is the most humid spot in eastern Florida. Verity is a town where divorced women seem to run to. It is a town where one could find crushed turtle shells on the roads, and it is also a town where weird things happened in the month of May.
Lucy Rosen is one of those divorced women who had run to Verity, and who was also bringing up her troubled son, Keith, on her own. Lucy found her life turning upside down when, on one gloomy night in May, one of her divorced neighbors, Karen Wright, is murdered in her apartment. Not only is Karen's body found in apartment 8C, but Karen's baby daughter is missing . . . and so is Lucy's teenage son, Keith.
As a result, Julian Cash, a broody, silent cop, takes over the case, and find himself taking a special interest in Lucy, as well as her son. Lucy's main objective is to find her son, and to find out who really killed Karen Wright, so suspicion concerning her son will be dropped. Turtle Moon weaves a telling tale of suspense until the very end. Like many of Alice Hoffman's other books, she leaves her characters' futures uncertain and up in the air.
The story is moving and the characters are real. Besides the aforementioned main characters, there's other supporting characters, who add to the wistful feeling of the town of Verity. Turtle Moon is a story that is enjoyable, interesting, and well-written, making Alice Hoffman one of the most intriguing writers of our time.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By BeachReader on February 17, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I don't know how I missed this book in 1992--I must have been living under a rock!!! I highly recommend it.
This story takes place in Verity , Florida, where more divorced women live than in any other town in Florida. Verity itself is one of the characters, it seems: hot, sultry, sweat-soaked. Hoffman's descriptions make you feel the unrelenting heat, see the ripples of heated air, and hear the insects buzzing lazily in the humid air.
There are many wounded souls in Verity, among them Bethany Lee, on the run, with her baby girl, from a custody battle; Lucy Rosen and her 12-year-old son Keith (referred to throughout the book as the meanest boy in Verity), who seems to hate everyone and everything; Julian Cash, the unusual police officer who has become a self-styled expert at finding/tracking people with the aid of his two dogs; and the Angel, Julian's cousin, a ghost who lives near a tree in front of the Burger King.
I love Hoffman's unique vision and her descriptions. One should not read her books looking for solid reality/realism. Nor should her books be read by those looking for a hyped-up story. She lets her characters' actions speak for them in a way that allows the reader to feel their pain and anguish---and their hope. We see the light within each character.
As always, Hoffman mixes realism with fantasy "...he cried so hard that when he finished there was a pile of tiny pebbles at his feet". Or "The air all around the town limits is so thick that sometimes a soul cannot rise and instead attaches itself to a stranger, landing right between the shoulder blades with a thud that carries no more weight than a hummingbird."
I loved this---Lucy's thoughts regarding her son: "There is, after all, strong brown soap for poison ivy, iodine for cuts and bruises, mud for bee stings, honey for sore throats, chalky white casts for broken bones. But where is the cure for meanness of spirit?"
A memorable book!
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