Friday, May 4, 2012

Undressing the Moon by T. Greenwood

Summary (courtesy of GoodReads):   As a child, Piper Kincaid always felt her mother was on the edge of leaving. And then the summer Piper turns fourteen, it really happens. Devastated by this loss, and the rejection she feels from her increasingly distant father, she finds an uneasy comfort with an older man who is equally riddled with sorrow. Discovering desire for the first time, Piper is at first fascinated and strengthened by the attention. But with time, the growing weight of their secret and his need begin a devastating avalanche of events neither is able to control nor understand.

Now, Piper is thirty years old and dying of breast cancer. Reflecting on her life, she is drawn ineluctably back to that summer and haunted with regret. As she attempts to reassemble the fragments of her history, what emerges is the kaleidoscopic portrait of a young woman whose indefatigable spirit prevails, despite shattered dreams.


And here's what I thought:  Recently, I've discovered this author, and in no time at all, have read several of her books, gulping them down one at a time.   There's something about the way that she writes, and the relationships between her characters that just keeps me turning the pages, and then reaching for another one of her books.   To date, I've read this book, Undressing the Moon, Two Rivers, The Glittering World, The Hungry Season, Nearer Than the Sky, and Grace.  It all started with Grace, actually, and then I had to find more of her books. 

I didn't really feel like writing reviews of all of her books, but I just finished this one, and found that the story really affected me.   As you can see from the summary, this book's main character is 30, and is dying of cancer --- so it's a back-and-forth in time between when she's growing up, and in the present time.  I found Piper to be an interesting character, and I got completely caught up in her life --- and I guess that's what I've been enjoying about her books: I get completely caught up in the lives of her characters.  Twice now, I've started and finished a book in the same day .... staying up way too late past my bedtime, both times.  The author has a beautifully descriptive writing style --- evocative, without being over the top.   Example, in this part, where Piper is talking about her mother, who collected broken glass: "She never bought the glass; there were so many things already broken here.  Beer bottles break when thrown; so do glasses and vases and lamps.  Windows shatter with angry fists.  Debris is easy to come by in a place where people are sad."  p 9

Obviously, this is not a happy story (at least, not all the time), and it's pretty clear that Piper probably won't make a full, happy recovery by the last page.  However, the author leaves some things open to possibility at the end of the book, which I like, and which I found she did in the other books I read, as well. 

If this book sounds interesting to you, maybe check out this author and her books on GoodReads, or on her website.   I'm planning to look for any other books I haven't read, just to see if they're as consistently enjoyable as the others have been.


First lines:  When you know you are dying, things begin to make sense.  In the surprising bright light moment of one more day (stolen or granted, you don't know which), there is suddenly coherence where chaos used to reside, clarity where there once was confusion.  When you list your arms, amazed that they still work, and see your familiar face reflected - remarkably - in your bathroom mirror, coincidence promptly becomes destiny.

3 comments:

Kate@Midnight Book Girl said...

First off, the title and the cover of the book really grabbed my attention! I have not heard of this author, but your review convinced me to add it to Goodreads! Thank you! :)

Carin Siegfried said...

I have heard good things about this author (I even have one of her books on my shelf) but I haven't gotten to her yet. Your review makes me tempted to move her up on my TBR list!

Anonymous said...

Why did she say that Mr. Hammer raped her?

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