The Moon Sisters

Therese Walsh, Author
Therese Walsh. Crown, $25 (336p) ISBN 978-0-307-46160-5
Reviewed on: 12/16/2013
Release date: 03/04/2014
Open Ebook - 223 pages - 978-0-307-46162-9
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-47483-2
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Walsh’s luminous second novel (after The Last Will of Moira Leahy) examines the disparate emotional and physical journeys undertaken by two sisters from the town of Tramp, W.Va., after their mother’s death. Because Olivia Moon is cursed (or, arguably, blessed) with synesthesia, a condition that causes her to taste sounds and see smells, her mother, Beth, decides to homeschool her. Beth is a dreamer who writes letters to her estranged father that she never mails and works on a fantasy story that she is afraid to finish. Olivia’s no-nonsense older sister, Jazz, is adamant about not following in their mother’s footsteps. When Beth dies from inhaling gas from a stove—whether she does so accidentally or willfully is not known—Olivia sets out on the daylong trip that her mother had planned on making, to a cranberry bog where Beth hoped to see “ghost lights” and be inspired to finish her book. Jazz secretly follows her sister and they end up joining a small group of “train hoppers” who spend their lives riding the rails. Walsh explores how the sisters’ experience of the outside world transforms their views of each other and themselves, in a book packed with invention and rich characterizations. Agent: Elisabeth Weed, Weed Literary. (Mar.)
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