Have you ever felt quieted and contented in the aura of a place, lulled into its sights and scents, acutely aware of its currents? If so, then you should take a good look at THE GIRL WHO CHASED THE MOON, set in a small town with exactly that kind of quality.
Written by bestselling author Sarah Addison Allen, the novel is about the magic of Mullaby, North Carolina. The story's two protagonists are newcomers Emily Shelby and Julia Winterson. They're ordinary people in a place that could be any small town in America, its residents caught up in the humdrum and the trifles. No one has any secrets here, and everyone knows everybody else. Amid this chaos and peculiarity, Emily and Julia are trying to quietly cope with what life has handed them.
Emily is a cute but awkward teenager who has been orphaned, her mom having been killed in a car accident recently. She was the only person Emily was ever close to, and Emily is now being sent to live with her grandfather, Vance Shelby. Her mother rarely spoke of Emily's grandfather, and Emily had never met him before now. But after the funeral, Mullaby has become her home. The man is older, stoic and mild-tempered, and he towers over her at a height above 8 feet. Vance is known locally as the "gentle giant" and never speaks of what he's lost.
Julia is a 30ish-year-old woman whose home is in Baltimore. She grew up in Mullaby and moved away as soon as the opportunity presented itself. The death of her father a few months ago has necessitated her return to settle his business affairs, and she has moved in with her friend, Stella, next door to Vance. Julia's father was a prominent figurehead here as the owner of a small cafe that all the locals frequent. He was always welcoming and friendly to everyone, and his place remains a favorite hangout for many. His was the best smokehouse barbecue on Main Street, the sweet aroma drawing people in.
Julia is still grieving but has mixed feelings about returning, remembering her reputation as "the goth freak" years ago. Both her notoriety and her home life became so unbearable that, by age 16, she grew emotionally disturbed and began habitually harming herself. The discovery of her scars by her s