Magical realism is one of my favorite genres to read. Some authors can so seamlessly insert that little bit of wonder into an everyday world, that I am often left struck with that wonder myself. I just finished a book that fits into this category so perfectly and was done so well that I couldn’t help but sigh as I closed it.
When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore follows Miel and Sam, best friends with oddities all their own. Miel spilled out of a water tower when she was seven and roses grow from her wrist. Sam is a boy with secrets and is known for the moons he paints and hangs all over their small town.
Miel and Sam are as close as friends can be; they grew up together but recently both have felt more. We follow Sam and Miel as they work through feelings that could ruin their friendship forever, but that is not all they are facing. Sam is tortured by his secret self and would rather live in denial then face his own heart. While Miel is hounded by the Bonner girls, four sisters who can make anyone fall in love with them. Now the Bonner sisters want Miel’s roses and are willing to do anything to get them, including spilling secrets that would ruin both Miel’s and Sam’s lives.
Miel and Sam are running from something. Will they be able to escape the truth or will they face it together?
I did not realize until I wrote this review that The Weight of Feathers and When the Moon Was Ours was written by the same person. What a difference! I wasn’t a fan of the former but I loved the latter. When the Moon Was Ours was magical and entrancing.
This book is about discovery; journeying inside ones core to read to soul within. Finding oneself and not being afraid to love what is found. The author deals with a lot of social issues in this book, many of which are only entering the literary scene. We look at gender issues, identity and what this all means in a modern society.
The audio for this book was fantastic! The narrator was soft and yet seductive, like she was letting you in on the secret–like she was allowing you to glimpse behind the curtains. Without changing the tone of her voice, you could feel the tension, the happiness, the despair… Just really well done.
Ultimately, this book was beautiful–beautifully written, a beautiful story and beautifully handled from end to end. When the Moon Was Ours was written with a YA audience in mind but it would be a great read for anyone over 13. This one gets 4.5 stars from me.
That’s all for now!