Valley of the Moon

Valley of the Moon

A Novel

Book - 2016
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The author of the critically acclaimed Wife 22 has written a captivating novel about a love that transcends time--perfect for readers of The Time Traveler's Wife, Time and Again, and the novels of Alice Hoffman.

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 goes away to visit 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 seem as if 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. Now that she has 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.

A gorgeous, original, and deeply moving novel about love and longing and the power that time holds over all of us, Valley of the Moon is unforgettable.

Praise for Valley of the Moon

"The literary equivalent of a farm-to-table delicacy: lovingly handcrafted, delectable and transcendent, becoming more than just a tasty appetizer but a full-course experience of love and time and all the mystical beauty that the region has to offer." -- San Francisco Chronicle

"Beautifully written . . . [ Valley of the Moon is] a wonderful story about belonging, love and the aching certainty that there's something more out there . . . sure to appeal to fans of Time and Again or The Time Traveler's Wife ." -- Shelf Awareness (starred review)

"With lovely shades of The Time Traveler's Wife , Valley of the Moon is a magical, cinematic novel, breathlessly romantic and alive with the love of language." --Sarah Addison Allen

"An enjoyable magic carpet ride . . . Two narrators, separated by nearly a century, tell a tale of old-time charm and contemporary agita." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Captivating." -- Booklist

"Gripping . . . This update of Brigadoon is recommended because of its well-crafted twists and thought-provoking insights into different times and cultures." -- Historical Novels Review

"A propulsive and at times deeply suspenseful novel . . . [ Valley of the Moon ] offer[s] powerful and perceptive considerations about the passage of time, the shape of our lives and the often unintended effects our actions have on the people and communities around us." -- Bookreporter
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, c2016
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780345539281
Branch Call Number: GID
Characteristics: 394 p. ;,25 cm

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geniegu859
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!

j
jdrinic
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!

l
Liselara
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.

d
debover60
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.

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laurenwang
Jan 10, 2017

Predictable, but totally charming and a lovely read.

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love88
Oct 01, 2016

Great read, well written book.

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