Sunday, July 8, 2007

Alice Sebold channels Shakespeare

I've just finished an advance readers' copy (thank you Jessica!) of Alice Sebold's follow up to the incredible Lovely Bones. The Almost Moon won't be released until October and you can bet there will be scads of holds on this book. I haven't read any pre-release information about it but the controversial subject matter and Sebold's reputation tell me that book discussion groups will be clamouring to get their hands on it. The book jacket notes that the author will soon begin a 5-city tour and I can't wait to catch an interview or two. I suspect she will be fielding some very awkward questions. Note to fellow librarians: I'll start lending this out tomorrow.

I thought Shakespeare had a lock on family tragedy but The Almost Moon is explosive. Helen Knightly's crime is so appalling that I felt myself physically recoiling from the pages even as I couldn't get enough of them. In a single 24-hour period Sebold lays out Helen's childhood, adulthood and likely future in a movie quality tableau.
Anyone familiar with Alice Sebold's autobiography, Lucky, which deals with the aftermath of the rape and beating she suffered while a student at Syracuse University, understands that, in Sebold, readers are dealing with an author who doesn't shirk from horrific truths. Her honesty as a writer is as admirable as it is devastating. I don't want to say any more about the plot of this book - even a few sentences of explanation would spoil it. Suffice to say, I read this book in two days - probably a record for me - and I'm anxious for you all to read it too so we can talk! Hurry up Maryellen.


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Ann said...

Sounds interesting. I have added it to my to read list. The first one in my spiffy new book!

Anonymous said...

Well, I can't decide whether I loved this book or hated it! Guess that's the sign of a good book. I couldn't put it down!Sebold's writing is beautiful. My opinions of the characters kept changing as I read. Helen was a real puzzle to me,and I thought her reactions were weird to say the least. We need to get together to talk about this one.

Sallyb said...

Hey Maryellen,
Good excuse for an evening out!!