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The Girl Who Chased the Moon

Cover of The Girl Who Chased the Moon

The Girl Who Chased the Moon

A Novel
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In her latest enchanting novel, New York Times bestelling 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.



From the Hardcover edition.
In her latest enchanting novel, New York Times bestelling 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.



From the Hardcover edition.
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    Chapter One


    It took a moment for Emily to realize the car had come to a stop. She looked up from her charm bracelet, which she'd been worrying in slow circles around her wrist, and stared out the window. The two giant oaks in the front yard looked like flustered ladies caught mid-curtsy, their starched green leaf-dresses swaying in the wind.

    "This is it?" she asked the taxi driver.

    "Six Shelby Road. Mullaby. This is it."

    Emily hesitated, then paid him and got out. The air outside was tomato-sweet and hickory-smoked, all at once delicious and strange. It automatically made her touch her tongue to her lips. It was dusk, but the streetlights weren't on yet. She was taken aback by how quiet everything was. It suddenly made her head feel light. No street sounds. No kids playing. No music or television. There was this sensation of otherworldliness, like she'd traveled some impossible distance.

    She looked around the neighborhood while the taxi driver took her two overstuffed duffel bags out of the trunk. The street consisted of large old homes, most of which were showpieces in true old-movie Southern fashion with their elaborate trim work and painted porches.

    The driver set her bags on the sidewalk beside her, nodded, then got behind the wheel and drove off.

    Emily watched him disappear. She tucked back some hair that had fallen out of her short ponytail, then grabbed the handles of the duffel bags. She dragged them behind her as she followed the walkway from the sidewalk, through the yard and under the canopy of fat trees. It grew dark and cold under the trees, so she picked up her pace. But when she emerged from under the canopy on the other side, she stopped short at the sight before her.

    The house looked nothing like the rest of the houses in the neighborhood.

    It had probably been an opulent white at one time, but now it was gray, and its Gothic Revival pointed-arch windows were dusty and opaque. It was outrageously flaunting its age, spitting paint chips and old roofing shingles into the yard. There was a large wraparound porch on the first floor, the roof of which served as a balcony for the second floor, and years of crumbling oak leaves were covering both. If not for the single clear path formed by use up the center of the steps, it would have looked like no one lived there.

    This was where her mother grew up?

    She could feel her arms trembling, which she told herself was from the weight of the bags. She walked up the steps to the porch, dragging the duffel bags and a good many leaves with her. She set the bags down and walked to the door, then knocked once.

    No answer.

    She tried again.

    Nothing.

    She tucked her hair back again, then looked behind her as if to find an answer. She turned back and opened the rusty screen door and called into the house, "Hello?" The space sounded hollow.

    No answer.

    She entered cautiously. No lights were on, but the last sunlight of the day was coughing through the dining room windows, directly to her left. The dining room furniture was dark and rich and ornate, but it seemed incredibly large to her, as if made for a giant. To her right was obviously another room, but there was an accordion door closing off the archway. Straight in front of her was a hallway leading to the kitchen and a wide staircase leading to the second story. She went to the base of the stairs and called up, "Hello?"

    At that moment, the accordion door flew open and Emily jumped back. An elderly man with coin-silver hair walked out, ducking under the archway to avoid hitting his head. He was fantastically tall and walked with a rigid gait, his...

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine After losing her mother in a car accident, Boston teen Emily Benedict moves to North Carolina to live with her grandfather. Her arrival overlaps the short stay of pastry chef Julia Winterson, who is running her late father's barbecue restaurant until she can pay off his mortgage and return to Baltimore. Rebecca Lowman presents an understated narration of this sensitive story of loss and love, conveying the sadness and hope of both young women. Thankfully, Lowman rarely delves into the regional dialect of the rural village, offering instead a straight narration of the various characters' voices. While the audio initially sounds a bit too subdued, the listener soon comes to appreciate its subtlety and grace. R.L.L. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine
  • Booklist, Starred Review, on Garden Spells "Spell-bindingly charming, Allen's impressively accomplished debut novel will bewitch fans of Alice Hoffman and Sarah Esquivel, as her entrancing brand of magical realism nimbly blends the evanescent desires of hopeless romantics with the inherent wariness of those who have been hurt once too often."
  • Christian Science Monitor on Garden Spells "Charming...Imbued with a Southern charm that readers won't want to resist."
  • Publishers Weekly on The Sugar Queen "Bewitching."
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Sarah Addison Allen
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Sarah Addison Allen
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