Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review: Pack Up the Moon by Rachael Herron

Rating: ★★★★★ stars
Date published: March 3rd, 2014
Publisher: NAL
Synopsis: A poignant novel about loss, lies, and the unbreakable bonds of family.

Three years after a horrible tragedy took her son and tore her family apart, artist Kate Monroe is beginning to pick up the pieces of her life and move on. At a gala showcasing her triumphant return to the art world, Kate’s world is rocked again when the daughter she gave up for adoption twenty-two years ago introduces herself.
Pree is the child Kate never knew and never forgot. But Pree has questions that Kate isn’t sure she’s ready to answer. For one thing, she never told Pree’s father, her high school sweetheart and ex-husband, Nolan, that they had a daughter. For another, Kate hasn’t spoken to Nolan for three years, not since the accident which took their nine-year-old son from them. But to keep Pree from leaving forever, Kate will have to confront the secrets that have haunted her since her son died and discover if the love of her family is strong enough to survive even the most heartbreaking of betrayals…
What I Thought:

I'm not even sure where to start describing how amazing this book is.  I've become accustomed to becoming emotional while reading Rachael Herron's novels, especially since she writes characters you can't help but love.  However I had no idea how emotionally devastating this book would be.  I read this book while I was out and about and will admit to crying unashamedly in public.  

I'm not sure how to categorize this book.  It doesn't really fall into any one genre.  It's not really a romance, nor pure literary fiction.  There's a bit of a mystery and calling it women's ficton doesn't work either.  It's like Rachael put all the best parts of all these genres together and created Pack Up the Moon.

I may not have always understood or agreed with what motivated people to do things, (especially Kate when it came to Pree) but I loved the characters in this book.  Kate, Nolan, and Pree are normal, flawed people who are trying to make sense and the best of their lives. Kate and Nolan have been through so much.  I can't even begin to comprehend the devastation they experienced and it broke my heart that it tore them apart.  It was so hard to choose who was right and wrong.  Even using the word choose is wrong.  How does one decide which actions done out of love and concern are wrong/evil/criminal?  This book made me feel so much and really think about many things.

I might have sobbed as I read, but I was unable to put the book down.  I wanted to know what had happened to split two lovers who loved each other completely, I had to see if there was some sort of resolution for Nolan and Kate, and if Pree found the answers to the questions she was looking for.  Rachael has always written characters you love with real issues, but with Pack Up the Moon, she's written something extraordinarily amazing.  Give this book a try, but have the tissues ready.  

Purchase Links:

About the Author
Rachael Herron is the internationally bestselling author of the Cypress Hollow series (HarperCollins/Random House Australia) and of the memoir, A Life in Stitches (Chronicle). Her newest novel, Pack Up The Moon, will be available in March 2014 from Penguin (USA) and Random House Australia (NZ/AUST). Rachael received her MFA in writing from Mills College and is a 911 fire/medical dispatcher when she's not scribbling. She lives with her wife, Lala, in Oakland, California, where they have more animals and instruments than are probably advisable. Rachael is struggling to learn the accordion and can probably play along with you on the ukulele. She's a New Zealander as well as an American. She's been known to knit. 

* I purchased a paperback from Barnes & Noble.  All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them in any manner.*

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