Thursday, January 8, 2009

Title Twelve: The Slow Moon by Elizabeth Cox

The Slow Moon was a Christmas gift, and one of the nicest things I can say about it is that it was a quick read. Boring, but quick. The premise is somewhat interesting - Sophie and Crow, teen sweethearts, decide to have sex for the first time on the outskirts of a party in a small Tennessee town; when Crow leaves Sophie to get a condom from his truck, he returns to find her brutally beaten and raped. Sophie is so emotionally paralyzed by her assault that she cannot name her attackers, and Crow is accused of the crime.

There isn't much suspense in this regard since it's clearly established in the first chapter that Crow was not the rapist; the mystery is who, exactly, was involved. The story focuses on what such a shocking attack does to the small, close-knit Southern community and how suspicious neighbors can turn on each other. Well, it tries to. Instead Cox turns out a jumbled mess of peripheral characters and their problems: there's the teen boy who finds out that the father he always believed was dead is really alive, having recently been released from jail; another who experiments with homosexuality with Crow's younger brother; another being raised by his grandparents who fear that he'll be persecuted for Sophie's attack because he's black (mmm, throw in some Southern racism for flavor!); etc. Really, all I wanted to know was when Sophie would remember who brutalized her and who they were.

Eventually, Sophie recovers her memory and the culprits are revealed. Unsurprisingly, they are three of the boys who called themselves Crow's friends. With no other choice, they turn themselves in and are tried and convicted. Sophie and Crow go to a carnival and tentatively restart their romance. The end.

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