The Girl Who Chased The Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

About The Girl Who Chased the Moon

In her latest enchanting novel, New York Times bestselling author Sarah Addison Allen invites you to a quirky little Southern town with more magic than a full Carolina moon. Here two very different women discover how to find their place in the world…no matter how out of place they feel.

Emily Benedict came to Mullaby, North Carolina, hoping to solve at least some of the riddles surrounding her mother’s life. For instance, why did Dulcie Shelby leave her hometown so suddenly? Why did she vow never to return? But the moment Emily enters the house where her mother grew up and meets the grandfather she never knew—a reclusive, real-life gentle giant—she realizes that mysteries aren’t solved in Mullaby, they’re a way of life.

Here are rooms where the wallpaper changes to suit your mood. Unexplained lights skip across the yard at midnight. And a neighbor bakes hope in the form of cakes.

Everyone in Mullaby adores Julia Winterson’s cakes. She offers them to satisfy the town’s sweet tooth and in the hope of bringing back the love she fears she’s lost forever. In Julia, Emily may have found a link to her mother’s past. But why is everyone trying to discourage Emily’s growing relationship with the handsome and mysterious son of Mullaby’s most prominent family? Emily came to Mullaby to get answers, but all she’s found so far are more questions.

Is there really a ghost dancing in her backyard? Can a cake really bring back a lost love?

In this town of lovable misfits, maybe the right answer is the one that just feels…different.

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My review: Sarah Addison Allen has worked her magic again. There’s an enchanting vibe to each of her novels yet I find them quite believable (ok, the apple tree in Garden Spells and the wallpaper in The Girl Who Chased The Moon are exceptions). You could call them modern fairy tales.

The Girl Who Chased The Moon has interesting characters. There’s Emily who, after her mother’s death, goes to live with Vance – her very tall grandfather – in Mullaby, North Carolina. He’s a bit odd but very nice. Emily finds that many of the people in Mullaby are a little on the quirky side and dealing with their own issues. One of those people is Win, a member of the most prominent family in town. Win’s uncle died because of Emily’s mother – at least that is the story he’s heard all his life. What is Win’s quirk? You’ll have to read the book.

Although it may seem like this is Emily’s story I think it is equally Julia’s. She is a neighbor to Emily and bakes cakes in hopes of attracting a certain person. She leaves the window in her kitchen open so the aroma will bring that person to her. There’s so much more to her story but I’ll just say I really enjoyed it.

Many other characters add to this sweet tale of hope and second chances. My only complaint is that it was too short. I wanted to keep reading about Emily, Vance, Win, Julia and all the people of Mullaby. This is one of those novels I just know I’ll read again.

About Sarah Addison Allen

Sarah Addison Allen is the New York Times bestselling author of Garden Spells andThe Sugar Queen. She was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina, where she is currently at work on her next novel. You can visit Sarah Addison Allen’s website at:

Review copy from Random House and Pump Up Your Book

Angel Lane by Sheila Roberts – Blog Tour

The small town of Heart Lake is beginning to lose its friendly, small town feeling, according to Sarah Goodwin, who owns the town bakery, Jamie Moore, owner of The Chocolate Bar, and Emma Swanson of Emma’s Quilt Corner decide it’s time to find a way to help people feel more connected. Their solution: random acts of kindness. And not just from them. The women sponsor a town meeting, encouraging the few people who turn out to start a movement. Soon people all over town are extending kindness to each other in heartwarming small ways. But as the three friends cope with lost cats, mixed signals, business challenges, and unexpected romance, they learn that no good deed goes unpunished. Most important, though, they learn that the only way to get a better life, a better town, a better world, is to give your heart.

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Sheila Roberts takes us back to Heart Lake, the small town we got to know in Love In Bloom, and introduces us to three interesting women: Sarah, Jamie, and Emma.

Sarah is in her 50s and married. Her grown children live out of town and she needs to feel needed. She’s the owner of a bakery and decides to use her skills to do a good deed. Sarah’s niece Jamie is a chocolatier and business is good. She’s glad to be busy and doesn’t need to have a social life unless it involves the “Have a Heart” campaign. Emma, owner of a quilt shop, is Jamie’s friend. She has mostly given up on her own “happily ever after” so in her free time she watches old movies and lives vicariously. She has a good heart and can’t quite figure out why things don’t work out in real life the way they do in movies. I enjoyed all three characters but found Sarah to be a bit of a kindred spirit – we’re in the same age demographic. She has a good sense of humor and I related to her feelings about her kids living too far away.

The “acts of kindness” program is a lovely theme that brings people together at the perfect time of year – the holidays. No matter how small, an act of kindness can have a huge effect on people. Each of the women find out that it can have a positive effect or it can produce a totally unexpected result.

A town was like a quilt – one big piece made of many smaller pieces. When you fit all the pieces together just the right way you got a thing of beauty. Why couldn’t they try and fit the pieces together just right? If each little piece did his or her part . . .

“The timing is perfect, just as we’re coming into giving season, when people feel most generous.”

Emma frowned. “We don’t want to limit this to a season, do we? I mean giving season should last all year.”

There are serious as well as funny moments as the plan is put into action. Angel Lane is an entertaining and heart-warming novel – perfect for the holidays or any time of year. I feel inspired by this novel and more aware of my own ability to do random acts of kindness. I recommend Angel Lane.

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You can visit Sheila Roberts’ website at

Review copy from the author.

Thanks to Dorothy at Pump Up Your Book Promotion.

Summer House by Nancy Thayer

The wealthy Wheelwright family meets each summer at their home on Nantucket. Matriarch Anne (called Nona by everyone) lives there year-round along with her nurse/housekeeper, Glorious. Nona’s granddaughter Charlotte also lives there and maintains a prosperous organic garden. The men (who all work for the family-owned bank in Boston) commute to the island on the weekends while their wives and children move in for the season. This creates an opportunity for plenty of interesting interactions. I enjoyed reading about the multigenerational relationships.

I like Nancy Thayer’s writing. I think she is spot on with her portrayal of extended family dynamics. I come from a large family and I easily related to a few things. Importance is given to the issues involving each main character – and they’re all dealing with some personal struggle.

Thirty-year-old Charlotte isn’t taken seriously by her family and she feels pressured to settle down and marry the right man. Her mother Helen has just discovered a betrayal and is trying to figure out what to do. Nona is feeling every bit of her ninety years. Her days consist mostly of trying to avoid family strife. She dozes during the day and dreams about things that happened in her life (which fills in a lot of family background for the reader). She’s not looking forward to Family Meeting – the annual discussion of family investments, etc. that usually results in disagreements. And then there’s the relationship between Helen’s youngest child Teddy and his father. Worth refuses to believe that Teddy has changed his errant ways. As the book progresses, secrets are revealed and some are life-changing.

Summer House is exactly what I love a novel to be – I found it almost impossible to put down. I recommend it to any fan of Women’s Fiction and anyone looking for a good book to read on vacation (or any other time).

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Nancy Thayer is the New York Times-bestselling author of The Hot Flash Club, The Hot Flash Club Strikes Again, Hot Flash Holidays, The Hot Flash Club Chills Out, and Moon Shell Beach. Nancy lives on Nantucket. You can visit her website at

Thanks to Pump Up Your Book Promotion and Ballantine Books for sending the review copy.