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Turtle Moon: 10/08/08

There is something about Florida that inspires a subset of American literature that is both tragic and comedic in the same breath. It's probably the closest that American literature comes to magical realism.

Turtle Moon by Alice Hoffman is a perfect example of a Floridian novel. It is set in the month of May when "girls run away from home, babies cry all night, [and] ficus hedges explode into flame." (p. 3). Set against the oppressive heat and humidity of May in Verity, Florida, Bethany Lee is murdered and the "meanest boy in Verity", a twelve-year-old named Keith becomes the reluctant ward of Bethany's infant daughter. Meanwhile, Keith's mother and an unofficial tracker for the police forge an alliance to clear Keith's name and to find the actual killer.

If this were a thriller there would be car chases, bullets flying in every chapter and villains constantly lurking Yes, there is danger but mostly there is just the heat and the frazzled nerves. Keith and baby Rachel find safety at the home of a woman who knows a thing or two about wayward children.

Although the ending isn't a happy one with all loose strings neatly tied up, it's a satisfying ending. Things work out and unfold in ways, some of which are expected and some which aren't but all of which seem to fit just right.

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Comment #1: Thursday, October, 9, 2008 at 08:53:28


Thanks for the recommendation. I'm always looking for a good book to read. :)

Comment #2: Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 12:06:22


You're welcome. Happy reading!

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