Mature Coming of Age
Therese Walsh's poignant and mesmerizing novel is a moving tale of family, love, and the power of stories. After their mother's probable suicide, sisters Olivia and Jazz are figuring out how 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 say her final goodbyes and lay their mother's spirit to rest.
Though they see things very differently, Jazz is forced by her sense of duty to help Olivia reach her goal. Bitter and frustrated by the attention heaped on her sunny sister whose world is so unique, Jazz is even more upset when they run into trouble along the way and Olivia latches to a worldly train-hopper. Though Hobbs warns Olivia that he's a thief who shouldn't be trusted, he agrees to help with their journey. As they near their destination, the tension builds between the two sisters, each hiding something from the other, and they will finally be forced to face everything between them and decide what is really important.
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What readers are saying about The Moon Sisters:
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.
Emotionally taut and intricately woven, The Moon Sisters takes us on a dreamlike journey that is at once literal and literary. A story of family ties stretched to their limits and the underlying wound that both binds and breaks them. Therese Walsh has created a compelling read I couldn’t put down and a world of authentic travelers who linger long beyond the final pages. A tale of true sisterhood.”
-Brunonia Barry, New York Times and International bestselling author of The Lace Reader and The Map of True Places
The Moon Sisters by Therese Walsh shimmers on the precipice where the grief-stricken teeter between loss and recovery, a place that often resembles madness. Sisters Olivia and Jazz battle as they hold each other tight in this touching coming of age tale that weighs family loyalty against distinctive truths. Walsh leavens magic realism with humor, balances enchantment and pragmatic truth, and stirs them into a poignant family story.”
-Randy Susan Meyers, author of The Murderer’s Daughters
They say opposites attract — unless those opposites are sisters. In that case, the electricity between them can make them crackle and spark so hard they may fly apart forever. Olivia and Jazz are as different as sisters can be and still come from the same family. In lyrical prose, Therese Walsh crafts an enchanting, mesmerizing tale of two women whose fight to go their separate ways during a time of loss may be the only thing that can hold them together.
-Liz Michalski, author of Evenfall
Therese Walsh's debut novel, The Last Will of Moira Leahy, was published in 2009 by Shaye Areheart books (Random House). Her second novel, The Moon Sisters, will be published by Crown (Penguin Random House) in March 2014.
Therese is the co-founder of Writer Unboxed, a blog for writers about the craft and business of fiction. Before turning to novels, she was a researcher and writer for Prevention magazine, and then a freelance writer. She’s had hundreds of articles on nutrition and fitness published in consumer magazines and online.
She has a master's degree in psychology.
Aside from writing, Therese’s favorite things include music, art, crab legs, Whose Line is it Anyway?, dark chocolate, photography, unique movies and novels, people watching, strong Irish tea, and spending time with her husband, two kids and their bouncy Jack Russell
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