Emily Shelby has never met her grandfather, but after her mother dies unexpectedly she has nowhere else to go. Returning to the small North Carolina town that her mother fled as a teenager, Emily discovers that the past is still very much alive, that Mullaby NC is a town that is both ordinary and magical and that family ties can strangle you or free you.
Filled with vibrant characters and a sprinkling of magical realism, The Girl Who Chased the Moon follows Emily’s quest to learn more about her mother and to fit into her new home. Her grandfather Vance is, literally, a giant, so tall he can “see into tomorrow”. The wallpaper in her bedroom changes according to her mood – lilacs when she’s calm, colorful, fluttering butterflies when she’s worried – and a mysterious bright light moves through the garden at night. Her neighbor Julia, who has her own painful secrets in Mullaby’s past, bakes cakes, trying to summon what she once lost.
Throughout, the characters must learn to make peace with the past, accept how it’s shaped them into the people they’ve become, and move on to the future. That this future holds so much more than they imagined – or thought they wanted – is part of the magic of this book.