Recently, I tried to explain the plot of Kristin Hannah’s Waiting for the Moon to the Rockville 8. When I started explaining it, I realized that my description didn’t do this book justice. The plot is impossibly implausible—in the opening scene, the heroine, Selena, tries to commit suicide by jumping off a cliff into the rocky waters of the Maine coast. The fisherman who rescues her decides to leave her at a nearby insane asylum where the hero, Ian, lives with his mentally ill mother and an assortment of other equally mentally challenged patients. She has lost her memory as a result of the blow to her head in the fall. The hero has psychic abilities that manifest when he touches someone. Once a gifted surgeon, he cannot practice anymore due to the fact he is afraid to touch his patients. He has retreated to his boyhood home to run a mental institution in his widowed mother’s home.
I know—sounds improbable, right? And yet it works. It’s in the details. The small moments that the author describes are so achingly real. This book takes its time drawing you in, savoring the details. Here’s one of my favorite parts. In this scene, Ian has been away while Selena’s bruises and scrapes healed. This is his first time seeing her since her initial injuries, coming up for air after a swim in the Atlantic.
Selena came up, flipping her soggy hair away from her face like some ancient mermaid. For a split second, he saw her profile, then the curtain of her hair descended again. Sparkling droplets flew behind her in a shimmering, sunlight-brightened veil.
She collected an armful of trinkets and shells, then looped a thick, slimy strand of kelp around her neck and turned toward the beach.
She splashed through the ice-cold Atlantic water as if it were the sun-drenched Caribbean Sea. With one hand, she shoved the tangled brown hair from her face.
For the first time in his life, Ian’s knees went weak at the sight of a woman. She was exquisitely, unexpectedly beautiful. Long, mahogany-hued hair cascaded over her arms, dripping plump, silvery tears down the white lawn of her shirt. Her face was a pale oval, dominated by the largest, most liquid brown eyes Ian had ever seen. Her full lips looked ready to smile at any second.
By the time that Ian and Selena succumb to their feelings, you’re rooting for them. You’re waiting for Ian to come to his senses and claim her and for Selena to relearn how to communicate. The dark moment is a wonderful twist and the ending feels so right it’s like coming home.
What books have swept you away lately? What about it drew you in?