I’ll keep this review short and sweet — kind of like Sarah Addison Allen’s books. This is Allen’s third book and much like Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen, it has elements of fairy tale mixed with small town North Carolina flavor and a pinch of romance. Emily Benedict returns to quirky Mullaby, North Carolina in search of a solution to the puzzle of her mother’s life. Why did Dulcie Shelby leave Mullaby and never return? Why was she so reluctant to discuss the grandfather Emily never knew, or the house she grew up in? And why are the eccentric townspeople so angry at Emily for something that Dulcie did years ago?
Like the two other books before it, The Girl Who Chased the Moon is filled with magic, like the wallpaper in Emily’s room that changes with her moods, the bewitching aroma of the sugary cakes that Julia, owner of the local barbeque joint, bakes in an effort to lure lost love back to her, and the mysterious Mullaby lights that appear in the woods outside of Emily’s window each evening. Emily’s grandfather is a gentle giant and her boyfriend’s entire family mysteriously refuses to be seen by moonlight.
Even though this time around Allen’s book was a bit predictable and some of it was a little silly (the explanation of the Mullaby lights for example), I still enjoyed it for what it was — a light enjoyable read as sweet as one of Julia Winterson’s cakes.