Monday, March 10, 2014

Pack Up the Moon by Rachael Herron

After being apart for a few years, Kate and Nolan, high school sweethearts, meet again at college.   Their relationship starts right off where it left off when Nolan was forced to move with his parents to Hawaii.  The only stipulation is not to talk about the past, to just move forward from their college years on.  

Fast forward many years later, they are married and have a son, Robin, who is not healthy and failing fast.   A tragedy tears their family apart, Kate and Nolan do not talk for three years. 

 As Kate starts to put her life back together, she hosts an art show and meets Pree, her daughter that she gave up for adoption. There are lots of questions to some very tough questions, questions Pree and Kate are not sure they are ready to ask or answer.  

My Review:

Pack Up the Moon is a book that is full of heartbreak, but despite the tough theme of the story it is so heartfelt and uplifting.  It is the story of a mother and wife who has lost her son and then found her daughter, who was never forgotten.   Even the sadness of losing Robin is told in way that does not pull the reader down.  Kate handles the loss with grace and dignity.   As expected, she has her days where it is impossible to even get out of bed and face life without Robin, but she manages to pull herself together and know that Robin needs her to keep living.  

Pree is the second part of this story.  Not really a secondary character, as her character had a huge part of the story.    Pree is the daughter that Kate gave up so that she could have a better life than a sixteen year old could give a child.   When she comes back into Kate’s life the reader can feel the hope coming back to Kate’s world.   Kate starts to come back alive and live life again.   Pree has a lot of tough questions and doesn’t hesitate to ask them and Kate is extremely honest with almost all the answers.   The question she doesn’t answer truthfully is who Pree’s biological father is.   That is a secret she has kept since she found out she was pregnant and isn’t sure how to tell the father or the daughter about each other.   I absolutely love Pree.  She has spunk and character, while keeping it real and not getting caught up in the I was adopted, poor me, attitude.  She understood better than many would why she was given up.

This is a book I could not put down and am sad that it is over.   I have no doubt that it is a book I will reflect on often and will stay with me for a long time.  Obviously, I highly recommend Pack Up the Moon and cannot wait to read more by Rachael Herron.

Rachael Herron is the internationally bestselling author of the Cypress Hollow series (HarperCollins/Random House Australia) and of the memoir, A Life in Stitches (Chronicle). Her newest novel, Pack Up The Moon, will be available in March 2014 from Penguin (USA) and Random House Australia (NZ/AUST). Rachael received her MFA in writing from Mills College and is a 911 fire/medical dispatcher when she's not scribbling. She lives with her wife, Lala, in Oakland, California, where they have more animals and instruments than are probably advisable. Rachael is struggling to learn the accordion and can probably play along with you on the ukulele. She's a New Zealander as well as an American. She's been known to knit
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