Monday, August 8, 2016

Valley of the Moon by Melanie Gideon

Summary from Amazon:

San Francisco, 1975. A single mother, Lux Lysander is overwhelmed, underpaid, and living on the edge of an emotional precipice. When her adored five-year-old son goes away to visit his grandparents, Lux takes a solo trip to Sonoma Valley—a chance to both lose herself and find herself again.

Awakened at midnight, Lux steps outside to see a fog settled over the Sonoma landscape. Wandering toward a point of light in the distance, she emerges into a meadow on a sunny day. There she meets a group of people whose sweetly simple clothing, speech, and manners almost make them seem as if they are from another time.

And then she realizes they are.

Lux has stumbled upon an idyllic community cut off not only from the rest of the world but from time itself. The residents of Greengage tell a stunned and disoriented Lux that they’ve somehow been marooned in the early twentieth century. Now that she has inexplicably stepped into the past, it is not long before Lux is drawn in by its peace and beauty.

Unlike the people of Greengage, Lux discovers that she is able to come and go. And over the years, Lux finds herself increasingly torn between her two lives. Her beloved son is very much a child of the modern world, but she feels continually pulled back to the only place she has ever truly felt at home.

My Thoughts:

     Lux is a single mom of a mixed race child in Seventies San Francisco trying to work her waitress job, make ends meet, and raise a little boy almost completely alone.  She has friends but not many and has almost no relationship with her parents. 

     When summer hits and Lux’s mom decides that she would like to spend some time with her grandson, Benno, for two weeks Lux decides to go camping and spend some time alone.  This decision and the decision of where to camp change her life forever! 

     Once a thick fog engulfs her campsite, Lux finds herself wandering through it and coming upon what she thinks is a beautiful, modern compound/farm.  After running into and speaking to some of the farm’s inhabitants (mainly, Joseph, the owner) though she discovers that she is still outside of San Francisco but that it is no longer 1975…it’s 1906!?!?

     Lux is a good character in that she has had to be tough and resourceful in raising a child alone but she feels lost most of the time.  I can relate to that having raised a child on my own for nearly eight years.  I also liked the character of Joseph in that he was very forwarding thinking for his time and he is a very quiet and thoughtful man.  There are also many side characters in this story and in both “worlds” that are very interesting and entertaining. 

     I would guess that this would be considered and almost fantasy-type novel with the time hopping aspect.  I thought this was a very interesting concept much like Outlander but unlike Outlander we don’t get a lot of history and the depth of the characters just wasn’t there.  It took my quite a bit to get into the book as I had a hard time connecting with and caring much for the characters.  It is an interesting read once you do get into it and a great concept.  I kept thinking I knew what was going to happen in the end and I was wrong so that was a nice surprise but this was overall just an “all right” read for me.
2.5/5 stars

Author's website:

No comments:

Post a Comment