The Almost Moon is a short two ninety page novel. It’s simple to read, not very complicated. I finish books like these in two-three working days strictly (That was meant as a joke to keep up the tradition), yet somehow it took me almost two weeks to finish The Almost Moon. It’s not because I didn’t enjoy the book, but I’ve been unable to fully appreciate reading for quite some time now when compared to writing or video gaming, especially when I’ve been tired. But with The Almost Moon and now “Last Chance Saloon” (Which seems as a book good enough to command its own Book Recommendation), I think I’m coming back to the groove.
The Almost Moon is a book I have never come across before. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book like this before. It’s an entirely character driven affair. The whole story is set by the impulses, whims and thinking of the characters. They are irrational, fearful, scared, angry, scarred. There are no huge moments, no huge sequences where the characters become larger than life or so on, the usual schbang. There are just the characters, their pasts, which drives the present. And the past is there in massive abundance.
This is why I have never read such a story. Not a lot of story takes place in the present. Most of the story is set in the past. The past of the character(s), primarily of Claire Knightley, the protagonist, and everyone with her (the past they share with Claire for most part).
At the start of the book, bit of a spoiler here, though this does happen at the first page and the whole plot is set upon this, so not as big a spoiler, Claire kills her mother. Claire then talks about her past. All her little things, her scarring, her sufferings and all the things she went through. All her thoughts, all the oddities she encountered in her family and at times herself. The prejudices and habits she grew up with. Then it is up to you to justify Claire’s action. To judge whether she was right or wrong.
Claire’s tale is a highly jolting and beautifully articulated one. Every aspect you can possibly think of about a girl’s life has been covered. And some things that can only happen to people with a very weird parent.
Honestly, despite the fact that Claire killed her mother, I felt sympathetic towards her. The way she talks about her life, made me think had I been in her place, I would have done the same thing she did, but sooner. It’s the strength of the prose that lets you get there.
This is a fantastic piece of prose. All the while I was reading this book, I was reminded fondly of Sleeping on Jupiter by Anuradha Roy, a book which I regard as having maybe one of the smoothest and well written prose, up there with A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. There are so many similarities in the prose between The Almost Moon and Sleeping on Jupiter, besides them having celestial objects in the title. They are gripping and just so beautiful. So effortless with characters so comprehendingly complicated, with the irrationality and complicatedness showing in their split second decisions.
I frankly don’t know what else to write about this book. It’s one of those things I am at a loss to describe. It’s a beautiful book that you should read. It takes some effort to get into the groove but is completely worth it.