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The Almost Moon

It seems impossible to say anything about The Almost Moon without mentioning its opening sentence: "When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily."

It is as good an opening line as I can remember reading and neatly encapsulates the story of Helen, the middle-aged heroine, and how she comes to suffocate her invalid and dementia-ridden mother.

But in truth I was hooked on this book before I even got to that line after reading Alice Sebold's previous novel, The Lovely Bones - the story of a murdered girl narrated from beyond the grave.

(I recently found out that this dark theme running through the author's work stems from her own experience after she was the victim of a brutal sexual attack when she was at college.)

However, even though the subject matter is unsettling, the books themselves are never short of fascinating.

The action in The Almost Moon, for instance, takes place in a single 24-hour period after the killing, as Helen struggles to come to terms with what she's done.

And in a series of reminiscences on her life, she allows us to understand the motivations that drove her to this point and even empathise with the position she is now in.

A really enthralling read.