Emily has returned to her mother's childhood home searching for anything that would tell her about her mother's mysterious past. She's moved in with her Grandpa Vance, a man of mythical stature, whom she had never met. Upon Emily's arrival, she is faced with more questions than answers. The trouble isn't that the people of Mullaby don't remember her mother, Dulcie, it's that they remember her too well, and not very fondly. The circumstances of Dulcie's departure are still a hot topic in town, all these years later. These rumors are contradictory to everything Emily knew of her mother. She turns to Julia, Dulcie's old classmate, for answers.
Julia is the town baker and everyone is willing to wait in line for her amazing cakes. Despite her bakery's success, Julia is far from satisfied. Julia has escaped this town once already and she won't let anything keep her from going back to her "real" home in Baltimore where she is going to open her dream bakery. Julia is only here to make sure her father's legendary barbeque restaurant doesn't fall into the wrong hands when she leaves. In the meantime, Julia keeps baking, believing that her cakes will draw the treasured secret from her past back to her.
I loved guessing all the answers to the mysteries and secrets that pepper the pages of this book. What are the Mullaby lights that shine outside Emily's window? Why does Julia really bake her cakes? Why does the most prestigious family in town stay in after sunset? What's the answer behind the wallpaper that constantly changes patterns in Emily's bedroom? The answers are not what you expect, not even close.
"If she'd been a color, she would have been bright green. If she'd been a scent, she would have been new paper. She was happy and intelligent and afraid of nothing." This poignant description of Grandpa Vance's late wife, Lily is one of the many from Sarah Addison Allen that stuck in my mind long after I'd finished reading the book. The Girl Who Chased the Moon is full of southern charm and lovable, quirky characters. The writing is so fresh and vivid that even the town of Mullaby itself feels like a character.
Recommended by Lacey MacMurray