Touching adoption story could have been longer

Published: March 16 2014 | 7:00 am - Updated: 1 April 2014 | 9:41 am in

When faced with a major life decision, most choose the option they believe will have the best repercussions for all involved. In Rachael Herron’s new novel “Pack Up the Moon” she explores the aftermath of a number of major decisions, including adoption, secrets and deceptions — all made, mostly, with the best of intentions.

When noted artist Kate Monroe has her first art opening since the death of her son, there is an unexpected guest in the audience: Pree, the daughter Kate gave up for adoption 22 years ago. “Pack Up the Moon” is both the story of the beginning of Kate’s life with her adult daughter and the ending of Kate’s relationship with her son, who died at an early age. Told through chapters alternating in point of view from Pree, Kate and Kate’s ex-husband, the novel is remarkable in its poignancy and style.

It’s not an exaggeration to say “Pack Up the Moon” is an emotional roller coaster, with nearly every chapter structured around a suspenseful event, including near-death experiences, infidelity, life-changing secrets and revelations. Given the rapid pace, it’s no wonder the book is a quick read; however, the sheer number of emotional events and revelations means there are few chapters dedicated to simple day-to-day moments, making it difficult to understand some of the larger choices the characters make, especially Pree.

However, this doesn’t keep readers from feeling the punch of each twist and turn. Herron writes beautifully about the love between a parent and child, and the passages detailing Pree’s adoptive parents are especially moving.

“Pack Up the Moon” is a wonderful weekend read about love, loss, forgiveness and family that leaves readers feeling grateful for their dear ones — and reaching for the tissues.

Book reading

  • What: Rachael Herron will read from “Pack Up the Moon”
  • When: 7 p.m. Wednesday
  • Where: New Bo Books, 1105 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids
  • Cost: Free

Book reading

Subheader:

FYI body with bullets_44: l What: Rachael Herron will read from “Pack Up the Moon”

FYI body with bullets_44: l When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

FYI body with bullets_44: l Where: New Bo Books, 1105 Third St. SE, Cedar Rapids

FYI body with bullets_44: l Cost: Free

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