Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman

It has been a few weeks since I have posted my books. I have been reading, but also traveling and need to catch up with the reviews. I think I am finally home for a while now. Turtle Moon was the October selection for the Flower Memorial Book Club. I enjoy the book club because it does force one to read outside one's comfort zone. I have only read one Alice Hoffman book and that was the YA novel, Green Angel. Turtle Moon embraced many of the same ideas and themes - the struggle to overcome a horrible lot in life and the presence of a supernatural being that helps in that struggle.

Coming to Verity, FL, home to more NY divorcees than any other place on Earth, Lucy
Rosen and her soon Keith have escaped from Long Island, NY. It is the month of May when the heat and humidity are nearly unbearable and when strange occurrences are the norm. One never questions what happens in May when the turtles begin their ritual migration. During this month babies wail and rattlesnakes have been known to roost on top of a phone booth and refuse to come down. It is May that is the reason for the murder of Karen Wright, a neighbor in Lucy's apartment. At the same time Karen's baby and Keith have disappeared. Hoffman then spins a tangled web of pursuit, intrigue, and introspection as she unveils what has happened in the small town. The story goes from Florida to Long Island and back as she solves the two crimes. The characters are well-developed, but it is the lyrical descriptions that really impressed me about the book. Hoffman's use of metaphor, simile, and personification in her prose beg to be read aloud at times.

It would be natural for the reader to dislike Keith for his actions at school and home. However, he, for me, was a very sympathetic character. I liked him for what he was down deep inside and for his really knowing right from wrong when it counted. He, like so many teens today, have had a very difficult road to travel in a short life and one can empathize with him and the other teens we have encountered.

A very satisfying read and an author to read again.