The Basics: The Almost Moon, Alice Sebold, 2007, 291 pages, hardcover
How I found it: I believe this was on some bestseller lists last year. I also read Sebold's previous book, The Lovely Bones, a few years ago. I didn't love it, but since it was okay I thought I would read her next one.
What's it about?: This novel is about a woman who kills her elderly mother rather than send her to a 'home'. She spends the rest of the book trying to cover up the murder and reliving her terrible childhood and her relationship with her mother.
Did I like it?: I hated this book. While it was competently written, the plot was not engaging. Instead it was just grim and tiresome. The protagonist was not likable, despite the fact that Sebold obviously wanted the reader to sympathize with her. Although the book itself is not scary, I found myself having nightmares while I was reading it, which is never a good sign. I couldn't wait to finish reading this so I didn't have to think about its deplorable characters anymore.
Will you like it?: I suppose it is obvious that I don't recommend this book. Unless you enjoy morbidity and relate to people who murder their parents, stay away. Sebold's The Lovely Bones was also a bit morbid, so perhaps stay away from Sebold altogether.
But don't take my word for it: The usual blurbs (one of which actually calls the book disappointing) and reader reviews (which are almost all negative) from Amazon, a review from Mostly Fiction, a more positive one from the San Fransisco Chronicle, one from New York's The Village Voice, another from The New York Times, and one from PopMatters.com.