MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON by I.J. Kay

MOUNTAINS OF THE MOON

KIRKUS REVIEW

Cruel parenting, violence and rootlessness fail to sap a young woman’s spirit of survival in a striking debut.

Imagination can blossom in the grimmest environment is one lesson of Kay’s appealing, often painful first novel, which captures the creative language and irrepressible spirit of Lulu King, an English child whose horribly abusive, neglectful home life deprives her of education, money, freedom and family. In spite of all this, Lulu has a full fantasy life in which she’s a Masai Mara warrior living in a treehouse above the African grasslands. Lulu’s perilous childhood is intercut with the story of Louise/Catherine/Beverley/Kim, the woman with many names who, after 10 years in prison, is trying to rebuild her life. The cataclysmic events that bridge these two existences emerge slowly as Kay dodges back and forth in time and style, sometimes phonetic, sometimes poetic, challenging the reader to keep up. Lulu grows up on the run, scavenging, meeting kind or thoughtless folk, working a range of jobs in various towns, living in substandard housing, sometimes suicidal. But a sudden windfall frees her to achieve her dream of visiting Africa, where she will find more threats but also friends and a kind of release.        

A wild, sometimes disorienting but impressively crafted novel.

Pub Date: July 9th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-670-02367-7
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2012




TOP 25 JULY FICTION:

Mystery HELL OR HIGH WATER by Joy Castro
by Joy Castro
Fiction GOLD by Chris Cleave
by Chris Cleave
Mystery BROKEN HARBOR by Tana French
by Tana French
Fiction ADVENT by James Treadwell
by James Treadwell

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

FictionLITTLE BEE by Chris Cleave
by Chris Cleave
FictionWIDE OPEN by Nicola Barker
by Nicola Barker
FictionWHITE OLEANDER by Janet Fitch
by Janet Fitch