Valley of the Moon

Valley of the Moon

A Novel

Book - 2016
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San Francisco, 1975. A single mother, Lux Lysander is overwhelmed, underpaid, and living on the edge of an emotional precipice. When her adored five-year-old son is away visiting his grandparents, Lux takes a solo trip to Sonoma Valley--a chance to both lose herself and find herself again. Awakened at midnight, Lux steps outside to see a fog settled over the Sonoma landscape. Wandering toward a point of light in the distance, she emerges into a meadow on a sunny day. There she meets a group of people whose sweetly simple clothing, speech, and manners almost make them feel like they are from another time. And then she realizes they are. Lux has stumbled upon an idyllic community cut off not only from the rest of the world but from time itself. The residents of Greengage tell a stunned and disoriented Lux that they've somehow been marooned in the early twentieth century. Having inexplicably stepped into the past, it is not long before Lux is drawn in by its peace and beauty. Unlike the people of Greengage, Lux discovers that she is able to come and go. And over the years, Lux finds herself increasingly torn between her two lives. Her beloved son is very much a child of the modern world, but she feels continually pulled back to the only place she has ever truly felt at home.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, [2016]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ♭2016
ISBN: 9780345539281
Characteristics: 394 pages


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Aug 20, 2017

In 1906, A large farm in California is suddenly cut off from everyone when an earthquake occurs followed by a dense fog surrounding the entire area. Leaving the farm is impossible, for anyone who tries dies within seconds after crossing into the fog.
Current day: While her son is visiting his grandparents, a single mother decides to evade her mounting personal problems to get away by herself and do some camping in a national park. When she wakes at midnight, she sees a heavy fog. Seeing a point of light beyond it, she goes into the fog and steps into a sunny day with people dressed as though living in another time. She cannot believe she has stumbled into the past but soon falls in love with the peaceful surroundings and lifestyle. After she learns she can come and go sometimes during a full moon, she begins to live two lives, one in the present and in 1906 where she falls in love. This is a deeply moving and beautiful story, not to be missed!

Aug 20, 2017

I have been searching a LONG time for a good novel, and this is it! Gideon's writing is incredible, captivating, and visual. I devoured the story in 3 days. No melodramatic turns, murders, or tragedy. Magic, valuable life lessons, and imagination. I loved the way she described the characters and the plot, I truly felt like I was right there in the story. A brilliant book!

Jul 12, 2017

This book was set aside on the Library shelf on it's own book holder (a clear sign that's it's staff recommended) and it sure was a fun read. It is a bit of a cross between Time Traveller's Wife, Leopold and Kate and the Outlander series. What I enjoyed the most was seeing the perspective of two cultures playing out simultaneously. You really have to stretch your imagination on this one; the math on the timeline was really weird and I was having a hard time trying to figure out the calculations. I felt that the ending flatlined; very disappointing but up until then, I was enamored.

Mar 12, 2017

-A sweeping love story, different periods in time, life crossroads stumbled over, anguished about and how we are made to choose in our lives - feature importantly in the transfixing novel The Valley of the Moon. In one sense, it is a broad swathe of a saga, touching first on the 19th century period in American history when idealists convened in farms to create the version of an egalitarian Utopia, wishing to leave an imprint and legacy for the best future possible. It peeks into San Francisco, when hippies were a counterculture, the Vietnam War a damning issue and single motherhood, multi-racial couples and change from the conservative status quo was viewed with suspicion if not hostility. Wishfully, it fleetingly glimpses at the possible future - and generations of the saga's family travelling with time.

A lovely, satisfying tale... Lux Leylander, 25, down on her luck and stretched beyond her inner resources decides to take a camping trip outside of her home city of San Francisco when her son is flown across country to spend a week with her mother on the east coast. Happenstance leads her through a cloud bank, into a beautiful valley where she meets Josh Bell, 43, the owner of the Greengage Farm. What she discovers impacts all facets of her life in meaningful ways, and changes her forever.

Valley of the Moon uses the device of time travel impressively. Juxtaposing the eras' attitudes, the characters' needs and beliefs against each other, the human story becomes most central and very captivating. The prospect of doomed love and unfathomable losses hold our characters close to our hearts, as situations become increasingly more complex and seemingly without possible closure.

Author Melanie Gideon lets her imagination fly boldly, though. Lux finds a kind of redemption in her harried world; Josh regains his zest for life, a bit of magic settles over the story and it all seems to have been a wispy dreamy probability of a wrinkle in time.

Five stars... one of the best novels that I've come across in its genre.

Jan 10, 2017

Predictable, but totally charming and a lovely read.

MCPL_Maxine Oct 19, 2016

Good read.

Oct 01, 2016

Great read, well written book.

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