Monday, May 19, 2014

The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh

2.5 Star

After their mother's probable suicide, sisters Olivia and Jazz are figuring out how 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 say her final goodbyes and lay their mother's spirit to rest.

Though they see things very differently, Jazz is forced by her sense of duty to help Olivia reach her goal. Bitter and frustrated by the attention heaped on her sunny sister whose world is so unique, Jazz is even more upset when they run into trouble along the way and Olivia latches to a worldly train-hopper. Though Hobbs warns Olivia that he's a thief who shouldn't be trusted, he agrees to help with their journey. As they near their destination, the tension builds between the two sisters, each hiding something from the other, and they will finally be forced to face everything between them and decide what is really important.

Kathryn - 2.5 Star

The Moon Sisters is a novel perhaps best suited to someone else.  I think Walsh created a story line that will appeal to many as it encompasses the exploration of lost dreams, dreams to be chased down and sisters coming to terms with the death of a parent.  There are many topics and themes entrenched within the voices of both Jazz and Olivia but I didn’t really relate to either sister or their environment which was most likely why I had a hard time connecting with the story. 

During most of the book I saw Olivia as a child, perhaps 12 years old. While I knew she was 18 there was nothing in her musings or behaviour that gave her much sense of maturity.  I realise that 18 is hardly a fully formed adult but I still felt that there needed to be more supervision by her father or grandmother than was given.  Jazz is stuck being Olivia’s keeper and their relationship is strenuous, tumultuous and seemed much more like parent and child than siblings close in age. I found it hard to put these two on any sort of equal plane. Along the same lines Olivia’s emerging attraction to Hobbes felt disturbing rather than sweet and I kept getting distracted about it being “wrong” than the story coming together.

Perhaps I’m being too rigid or wasn’t in the right frame of mind to be open to the thoughts Therese Walsh brought forward- this is entirely possible, spring seemed to be never to be coming in my neck of the woods so I admittedly was probably having a hard time being open to new thoughts- spring usually brings me more openness! 

I wish I’d related more to this novel as on the whole I felt that Walsh had a fascinating story to tell that unfolded lovingly and I can recognise that The Moon Sisters is a great book.  It just wasn’t for me.

Thank you to Random House for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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