Five years ago, Alice Sebold merged Norman Rockwell with Buffy the Vampire Slayer to give us The Lovely Bones, in which a wry, delectable teenager narrates the aftermath of her own rape and murder. Now Sebold is back—and again with a pretty tale of death in suburbia. In The Almost Moon, Helen Knightley, a middle-aged nude artist’s model, kills her senile mother (we’re not giving anything away here; it’s in the first sentence) and wraps her like a piece of pork in several layers of blanket. Over the next 24 hours, Knightley narrates a stream of flashbacks into her co-dependent childhood and failed marriage, as the police circle in. Think the living-room tragedy of Long Day’s Journey Into Night fused with the sunny, surly, dark-funny domesticity of Six Feet Under.
The Almost Moon
By Alice Sebold, Little, Brown; October 16.