Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Girl Who Chased the Moon - Sarah Addison Allen

The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel
The Girl Who Chased the Moon
 By Sarah Addison Allen

Oh this book, this sweet, delicious book. I have to admit that when I first picked it up I didn’t really know what it was about. I had skimmed the summary as I posted it under my "Waiting On" Wednesday but that was it. I didn’t need to know because it’s Sarah Addison Allen and I love her. Besides, summaries don’t do her books justice, so I didn’t pay much attention. That is until I opened to her dedication page and went “huh?”

To the memory of famous gentle giant Robert Pershing Wadlow (1918-1940). At the time of his death at age twenty-two, he was eight feet eleven inches tall—a world record that has never been broken.

So yes, there is a giant in this book, and the wallpaper changes to suit your mood, and baking a cake may do magical things. Do these things matter? Sure they do, but you would know about them just by reading the summary, the truly magical parts are within. Seriously…just go read the book.

Do I love this book even more because it is about North Carolina and all the things I actually love about North Carolina and will miss desperately when I leave but refuse to think about because I’ll be sad so I focus on the things I can’t stand? Maybe. But it is also because this book is filled with everything sweet and magical you could wish for.

The only issue I had was with the ending. It was one of those “I’ll lead you right up to the point of what you know is going to happen so you know how it's going to end but that’s it. I’m not going to write out that final scene because you know how it goes, you can see it in your head right now. You have been playing it out for the last two pages.” Unacceptable! I want to see it on the paper. What if Armageddon hits at that very moment and the ending I’m imagining never happens? It’s too risky; I need to see it on paper just to be safe. But then I thought...really Jess, could she have written it any better than I am imagining it? (well duh yes, but…) No, because I am imagining it in my perfect world with all the emotion and moments that I need, so it’s my ending. So…okay Sarah, I’ll allow it…just this once.

I will leave you with one of my favorite parts. It is one of my favorites because I have lived it. I grew up in California and barbecue was what you did on a nice summer day. It consisted of meat on a bun, there were no fancy sauces, just ketchup and mustard...if you were lucky, if not, it was still delicious. When I came to the east coast, I was enlightened…and confused.

“This isn’t barbecue,” Emily said. “Barbecue is hot dogs and hamburgers on a grill.”
Vance laughed, which automatically made Emily smile. “Ha! Blasphemy! In North Carolina, barbecue means pork child. Hot dogs and hamburgers on a grill—that’s called ‘cooking out’ around here,” he explained with sudden enthusiasm. “And there are two types of North Carolina barbecue sauce—Lexington and Eastern North Carolina. Here, look.” He excitedly found a container of sauce and showed her, accidentally spilling some on the table.


Jenny said...

Barbecue obviously varies widely by region. In my family, barbecue means boudin-stuffed pork, drunk chicken, and blood sausage. And ribs. (I am making my mouth water.) (It may have been a mistake to comment about this when hungry.)

nat @book, line, and sinker said...

recently, i've read a few novels set down south--i'm partial to the setting! love the excerpt and know exactly what vance is talking about (my cousin lives in raleigh).

in new jersey, bbq means dogs, burgers, chicken, and corn on the cob on the grill--a KETTLE one, no gas grills at my house.