Review: The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh

About the book, The Moon Sisters

The Moon Sisters

Hardcover: 336 pages

Publisher: Crown (March 4, 2014)

This mesmerizing coming-of-age novel, with its sheen of near-magical realism, is a moving tale of family and the power of stories.

After their mother’s probable suicide, sisters Olivia and Jazz take steps to move on with their lives. Jazz, logical and forward-thinking, decides to get a new job, but spirited, strong-willed Olivia—who can see sounds, taste words, and smell sights—is determined to travel to the remote setting of their mother’s unfinished novel to lay her spirit properly to rest.

Already resentful of Olivia’s foolish quest and her family’s insistence upon her involvement, Jazz is further aggravated when they run into trouble along the way and Olivia latches to a worldly train-hopper who warns he shouldn’t be trusted. As they near their destination, the tension builds between the two sisters, each hiding something from the other, until they are finally forced to face everything between them and decide what is really important.

Buy a copy, and enjoy the story:

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About the author, Therese Walsh

Therese Walsh

Therese Walsh is the author of The Last Will of Moira Leahy and the cofounder of Writer Unboxed. She lives in upstate New York with her husband and two children.

Connect with Therese

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My Thoughts

What does hope taste like? How does love smell? For a synesthete, these are valid questions. Actually they’re valid questions for me, as well, and I don’t consider myself synesthetic at all, merely imaginative. For me, for example, comfort smells like the waxy-metallic-papery aroma of slightly sun-warmed Crayola crayons.

But I digress.

In The Moon Sisters Therese Walsh gives us a lovely, provocative story of two sisters, one of whom is a synesthete, and the other of whom tries to be a pragmatist. Olivia knows what hope smells like, and she’s on a mission to find it – considering it the unfinished business of her recently-deceased mother, while Jazz, responsible for her younger sister, is the practical one.

Author Walsh has given us, in Olivia and Jazz, two incredibly real young women, who seem vastly different from each other, but at the same could never be anything but sisters.

The use of synesthesia could have been a gross malfunction; instead, Walsh has blended lyrical reality with wistful magical realism, and a very human poignance.

I wanted to find the cranberry bog with Olivia, and I also wanted to hold her back, like Jazz. I wanted sit in their kitchen and play synesthetic memes with both women – “What color is friendship? Describe the taste of snow.” Instead, I’ll have to settle for re-reading the book – I was originally given an ARC and the hardcover, final edition came much later – and then devouring Walsh’s other work.

As for The Moon Sisters…my best advice is that you read it, because it will make you see life and death, sisterhood, and even your own senses, in a completely different way.

Goes well with Sun-brewed iced tea and lemon pound cake with fresh blueberries.

TLC Book Tours

This review is part of a blog tour hosted by TLC Book Tours. For more information, and the complete list of tour stops, click here.

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