Hello lovelies! I recently read When The Moon Was Ours, which was the Dragons and Tea Book Club pick for April. Anna-Marie McLemore is an author who I’ve wanted to try for a while, as I had a feeling I would love her magical realism stories. Let’s see what I thought of this, her debut novel!
To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.
This book is purple prose at its most flowery. Don’t get me wrong, I love that style of writing; all that lyrical, metaphorical stuff gives me the biggest heart eyes. But this was really laid on thick and I was worried it would be too much even for me. I did love it though and found that it made for an amazing sensory reading experience. The imagery, the sights and smells – McLemore’s details were exquisite.
This is definitely a character-focused book. The plot is totally secondary to the exploration of these individuals. I loved Aracely’s character and I thought Sam was an absolute darling. His is some of the best trans rep I’ve ever read. It was clear, even before I read the author’s note, that this is a subject McLemore is passionate about. And wow, was that author’s note a thing of beauty. So much heart right there.
I did find that I had to concentrate quite hard while reading this book; it wasn’t an effortless read. The imagery was beautiful but I did find it hard to wrap my head around some of it. I also thought that some sentences were a little bit clunky and awkward to read; the phrasings would take me a couple of tries to get right in my head. It meant things didn’t flow as I would have liked.
Have you read this one? Or any of McLemore’s other books? What did you think? Let me know in the comments! x