Literature / The Girl Who Chased The Moon

The Girl Who Chased The Moon is a Young Adult romance novel by Sarah Addison Allen.

Emily Benedict has just come to Mullaby, North Carolina, after the death of her mother. Mullaby is where her mother grew up, and she's hoping to learn more about her and solve some of the mysteries of her past. Shy and unsure at first, she's quickly drawn into the whimsy and bustle of Mullaby courtesy of a new neighbor, her shy grandfather and a handsome boy with a secret.

Julia Winterson takes an instant liking to Emily, who reminds her a bit of her as a teenager. A woman who struggled through her teen years filled with pain, anguish and self-hatred, she pours her heart into the legacy her father left her in the town's restaurant and bakes cake after cake, hoping to bring a lost love back to her life.

To top it all off, Emily keeps seeing strange lights in the backyard and is sure she's not just imagining things. The source of the lights is the last thing she could have ever expected.

Tropes include:

  • Alpha Bitch: Emily's mother, Dulcie, was this to Julia in their teen years. Emily is shocked, as the mother she knew was kind and always fighting for a selfless cause.
  • Broken Bird: Julia lost her mother, her father remarried to a selfish woman and she was unpopular in school to the point where she started self-harming. This got her sent to boarding school by her stepmother and during her first summer home, she slept with Sawyer and became pregnant. He dumped her to go back to his girlfriend, and she was forced to put her baby up for adoption. It takes the entirety of the story to heal her wounds.
  • Food Porn: So, so much. One edition of the book even includes recipes for three of Julia's cakes.
  • Gentle Giant: Emily's grandfather Vance, the tallest man in Mullaby, is very shy and has always been rather passive.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Stella used to be part of Dulcie's Girl Posse who gave Julia a bad time in high school, but she matured as an adult and became Julia's closest friend.
  • Hidden Depths: Vance, normally shy and reserved, speaks very passionately when it comes to the subject of North Carolina barbecue.
  • Missing Mom: Dulcie's death is what kicks off the plot, with Emily's move to Mullaby.
  • Sins Of The Mother: Dulcie dated Logan Coffey when they were teenagers, and for years it was thought that she forced him to reveal the Coffey family's secret. Logan killed himself, and his father Morgan as well as the rest of the town blamed Dulcie to the point where she had to leave Mullaby. As a result, Morgan tries to keep Win away from Emily, thinking Dulcie's daughter will cause history to repeat itself. It turns out things went a lot differently than Morgan assumed all those years.
    • Averted with Julia, who loves Emily like a daughter despite how Dulcie treated her in high school.
  • Rich Bitch / Wicked Stepmother: Beverly, who wants to take the restaurant from Julia and treats her like shit over the problems she caused as a teenager. She winds up being chased away by Julia's loyal staff at the end.
  • Sweet Tooth: Brought up by Saywer, who claims to have a sweet sense that lets him know, no matter how far away he is, that someone's baked a cake.
  • Teen Pregnancy: Julia. She finally meets her daughter, Maddie, in the final chapter.
  • Through His Stomach: This turns out to be one of the catalysts for Saywer and Julia's reunion.