Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Valley of the Moon by Melanie Gideon

Lux is a single mom struggling to make her way when she discovers an idyllic community in the Sonoma Valley. It seems like a place from another time until she realizes it actually is.

Lux must keep one foot in her world, raising her son as well as she can with the odds stacked against her, but every day she is more strongly drawn in by the sweet simplicity of life in Greengage, and by the irresistible connection she feels with a man born decades before her. Soon she finds herself torn between her ties to the modern world, her adored son and the first place she has ever felt truly at home.

I picked this book up from my local library, with the cover picture catching my eye, the blurb drawing me in, and the fact that it stated that readers who loved The Time Traveler's Wife would love this title is what led me to leave the library with this book in tow. The Time Traveler's Wife is one of my all time favourite books (I've lost count how many times I've reread it) and, in this instance, the comparison was definitely valid.
One of the first things that I noted when delving into Valley of the Moon was the depth to the writing - the detail in the time periods (1906 + 1970's and beyond), the build up of characters, and the emotion injected into the narrative. There is a richness to the writing that I can't quite put in to words.

I think what allowed me to feel a connection with this book, and the character of Lux, was how as a reader we were able to follow her journey and life path. With each turning page, her story evolved and we see her blossom as a person - in part, thanks to her stumbling upon the Greengage community, and in turn, Joseph.
Lux's story is a really powerful one, with the author tackling some difficult themes, especially those pertaining to parenthood: prejudices faced being a single parent, the hard side to parenting, the intricacies of shifting parent-child relationships and more.
The relationships that surround the main character, Lux, are not perfect, with dynamics being problematic at times - especially when it comes to parental responsibility and her own relationship with her parents - however the way in which they are depicted is flawless. The relationships, in varying forms, is one of the reasons I loved this book so much.
Greengage is a community, a very forward thinking community, stuck in time - literally. The community itself was founded by Joseph, and although he is a prominent figure in the progressing plot, I feel like we really got a sense of all the inhabitants within the community - and how events affected them.
The ending was just perfect, kind of heart breaking, but perfect.
Typically I'm not one for science fiction books, however the exception to that would be books with the theme of time travel... Not just any time travel books though, ones that specifically deal with relationships (romantic or not) alongside the time travel element. There is just something about that mash up that I really like to read.
Initially borrowed from the library, I fully intend to get a copy of Valley of the Moon for my own book collection.


  1. I like time-travel books, so a community stuck in time sounds amazing. I’m adding this one to my TBR list. Thanks for the review!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. Oh, if you like time travel books then I think you'll be in for a treat with this one... I'd love to read your thoughts if you do read it.


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