Turtle Moon

by Alice Hoffman

Hardcover, 1992

Call number




Putnam Pub Group (1992), Edition: First Edition


Turtle Moon transports the listener to Verity, Florida, a place where anything can happen during the month of May, when migrating sea turtles come to town, mistaking the glow of the streetlights for the moon. A young single mother is murdered in her apartment and her baby is gone. Keith, a 12-year-old boy in the same apartment building--the self-styled "meanest boy" in town--also disappears. In pursuit of the baby, the boy and the killer, are Keith's divorced mother and a cop who himself was once considered the meanest boy in town. Their search leads them down the humid byways of a Florida populated almost exclusively by people from somewhere else; emotional refugees seeking sanctuary along the swampy coast.

User reviews

LibraryThing member SugarCreekRanch
Turtle Moon refers to the month of May in a small Florida town, where full-moon type behavior happens all month long. This May, there's a murder, a missing toddler, a runaway teenager, a recent divorcee, a troubled K9 officer, and a ghost. It's an interesting mix, told well.

I realized partway
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through this book that I'd read it before. I remembered certain small details, but not the overall plot. So apparently even though it's a very enjoyable read, it's not a particularly memorable one.
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LibraryThing member ccookie
First line:
~ The last major crime in the town of Verity was in 1958, when one of the Platts shot his brother in an argument over a Chevy Nomad they had bought together on time ~

This is one my all time favourite books and I am very glad I was prompted to read it again. I fell in love with it many
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years ago when my mother recommended it to me and I just re-read it in August and loved it still.

This book is filled with lyrical prose, beautiful descriptions of people and places and things. There is magic in this world Hoffman has created. I don’t mean witchcraft but some strange things happen and there is something magical about them. Magical realism. And there is romance and humour and murder and mystery all wrapped up in one nice magical package.

If you want something to bring you joy and happiness on a soft summer’s evening or a sunshiny fall day, pick this up. You won’t be disappointed.

I need to read some more Alice Hoffman, for sure.
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LibraryThing member Nazgullie
Alice Hoffman is one of my favorite female writers. But she blew me away with Turtle moon. She blows me away each time, but I really really really loved this book. I fell in love with it's male leading character Julian, and still almost a week after reading it, I can't shake Hoffman's language from
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my mind. It's a beautiful story, beautifully written, and I recommend it to everyone.
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LibraryThing member Peggy72
Alice Hoffman is one of my favourite authors so thank god she's so prolific in her writing! She weaves magical illogical scenarios into the everyday with breathtaking results in her books similar to Joanne Harris and Isabel Allende. Turtle Moon is set in a scorchingly humid little town in Southern
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Florida, combining a murder thriller with a love story. Very evocative with a nail biting ending.
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LibraryThing member sdunford
Alice Hoffman is a word magician -- This was a wonderful summer read.
LibraryThing member jayne_charles
I enjoyed this very much, in spite of its reliance on the sort of coincidence that would have made Charles Dickens blush, not to mention gaping inconsistencies in the plot (SPOILERS...) like the guy who goes out partying despite his wife having been murdered and his daughter going missing. I also
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found the bits with the children and the foster mother stretched credibility, as well as being slightly cheesy. So having slagged it off, I've got to now say something positive about it, because it kept me up well into the night, wanting to know what happened. Probably best of all was the characterisation, which included a sort of personality for the town itself, where it is said that people go slightly mad during the month of May. The main protagonists have an interesting balance of light and shade about them, and the ghost bit, whilst odd in a story of this type, was handled quite well. I would definitely read more by this author.
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LibraryThing member courtb
A little predictable, but fun.
LibraryThing member hethie
Not my cup of tea. Wasnt in a very good mood whilst reading it and felt it didnt have enough substance to the story. Reminded my of an Alice Sebold novel;
LibraryThing member briannad84
It's been a little while since I've read an Alice Hoffman book since Blue Diary, and she is still one of my favorites! This was a really good story and I liked its setting and how alot of weird things happened in the month of May. Kind of wish it had mentioned some more about the young mother who
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was killed though.
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LibraryThing member whitewavedarling
Turtle Moon is a book about tragedy, and about what a belief in fate...or unbelief in fate, for that matter...can do to a person. But all that said, it is not itself a tragedy. Similarly, there's no doubt that the book is also heart-wrenching at many moments...but in good ways (and, just so you
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know, this is coming from someone who doesn't like sad books).

Admittedly, it took me longer to get into Turtle Moon that Hoffman's other books have required, perhaps because of the many main characters and subplots. But, in the end, I read the last 175 pages (of 275) in a single sitting. Hoffman's touch in this book is pitch-perfect, and the magic on every other page is tantalizing. This wouldn't be the first book of Hoffman's that I'd recommend to a new reader, but for someone who has already fallen a little bit in love with her work, I'd put this book in their hands in a moment. Simply, it is recommended, and it is one I'll reread.
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LibraryThing member EmmaWatson
Turtle Moon is my first Alice Hoffman book and remains my favorite. Good story, intriguing characters (like the meanest boy in Verity) and beautiful and vivid imagery. I enjoyed her use of lush and humid Florida as a setting .
LibraryThing member JenJ.
Februrary 2011 COTC Book Club selection. Listened to the audio narrated by Sandra Burr which was excellent, partly due to Burr's fantastic narration. Burr delineated voices very nicely, something I've been disappointed in with some of my other recent audio listens. Had to switch to the book to
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finish for book club, but I was enjoying the audio so much that I went ahead and finished listening as well. I really liked this and may seek out more of Hoffman's books on audio. The town of Verity itself is almost a character, kind of a malevelant one at that sometimes, and all the human characters are complex; many shouldn't even be all that likeable and yet I found myself sympathizing with almost everyone. One of the cool things is that Turtle Moon can be enjoyed simply as a suspense/mystery read or you could delve into the symbolism and other literary layers. I wonder if this could work as a high school or college novel study or maybe just as a book club read? Could be hard to place it in a high school since there's a sex scene or two, but it definitely works as a crossover for those teenagers mature enough to handle it.
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LibraryThing member Kristelh
Good, somewhat suspenseful story.
LibraryThing member cait815
This book was enjoyable enough, but it kind of petered out at the end. The angel storyline was kind of weird too. I did enjoy the touches of magical realism, though (I think I see where Sarah Addison Allen gets at least some of her inspiration). I'm still interested in a number of Hoffman books and
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I will keep her in mind when I need something light.
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LibraryThing member JackieCraven
Alice Hoffman captures the sweltering heat of the south and elevates it to a fable of passion and compulsion. The fairy tale voice is haunting. For awhile, mid-way through the book, fantasy yields to a fairly pedestrian mystery-thriller. Some of the charm of the book fell away when its characters
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went north. When they found their way back to the steamy south, fantasy mingled with brutal realism. Sweet and sour, deeply satisfying.
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LibraryThing member tnociti
The first 3/4 of the book alternated between 2 and 3 stars for me. The last 1/4 really pulled me in and the magical elements were gorgeous. 4 stars for the last bit...maybe 5.

A synopsis feels almost impossible. I'm not even sure who the main character is. There are so many storylines and maybe
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that's why I didn't enjoy the first part of the book. I had a hard time figuring out why this was even written. It just felt very disjointed. But Hoffman finds a way to bring it all together, beautifully.
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LibraryThing member dara85
I am not really fond of magic realism, but I really enjoyed this book. What is not to like? It has a little romance, a baby, a murder and the magic realism. This is one of the better books I have read by Alice Hoffman.
LibraryThing member John_Warner
Recently divorced Lucy Rosen searches for the murderer of a young woman and neighbor after her troubled son flees with the woman's daughter and is presumed guilty of the crime. Alice Hoffman demonstrates again her mastery of the magical realism genre.
LibraryThing member lilibrarian
A young divorcee is murdered in the small town of Verity, Florida, and her baby girl is missing. Almost missing is a teen boy with a bad reputation who lives in the same building. A local officer and the boy's mother are on a quest to find the children.
LibraryThing member nancynova
A story about Keith, a troubled boy living with his divorced mother in Florida and Julian, a troubled foster child, now a K9 cop in the town. May is a troubled month with the turtles hatching and moving toward the moon, oppressive heat and humidity that matches the mood of everyone in town. And
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there's an angel in the Gumbo-Limbo tree in the Burger King parking lot. A magical tale that will keep you turning the pages and rooting for the troubled kid and cop.
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LibraryThing member JReynolds1959
Verity, FL is the home to more divorced women from New York than any other city in Florida. Lucy Rosen now lives there with her son, Keith. She becomes a little friendly with some of the other women in the building and even shares some form of history with some of them.
Keith hates living in
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Verity. He is consistently in trouble, and Lucy doesn't know what to do about it. One night, there is a murder in the building and Lucy knows that the woman is the one who was always in the laundry room, caring so hard for her infant daughter. Now, Keith and the infant girl are missing.
Lucy comes into contact with Julian Cash and his dogs, Arrow & Loretta. These dogs are so vicious that most people avoid Julian and the dogs. There is a siting of Keith and the infant girl and we go from there.
Well written and a good story.
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LibraryThing member JaneReading
This older Hoffman story was ok but not her best. I liked River King and Red Garden and others of hers better. This is more or less a murder mystery, and you could really spot every plot turn a mile away. Typical Hoffman touches - adolescent boy, adults who are slightly wounded by life events,
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magical realism- this time a young man killed in a car accident who lives as an angel near the tree where he died. I don't know - there was something a little contrived, a little too predictable, a little too unreal and unbelievable about it all. The old woman who takes care of foster children who put the baby born in tragic circumstances in the oven to bring him back to life, then raises him after his mother appears at her window several times? all seemed too neat and story-like. But, a fun listen, and if you missed big chunks of it, it didn't matter, I could still enjoy the overall storytelling.
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LibraryThing member bastet
Another lovely book by Alice Hoffman. This was written during her good phase before she got weird with "The Ice Queen."
LibraryThing member SeriousGrace
In a nutshell: a woman runs away from her abusive husband, taking her infant daughter to Florida. It is not a spoiler alert to say she doesn't stay hidden for long and winds up dead. The daughter goes missing. Another woman in the same apartment complex has a surly son who has also gone missing.
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Police think this is not a coincidence. Now mom needs to find the identity of the murdered woman, find the missing baby, and clear her son's name in the process. The magical realism in this story is an angel sitting up in a tree. This other-worldly figure of bright light doesn't factor into the story all that much. As an aside (albeit a snarky one), another element of magical realism could be the jetlag Lucy claims to experience traveling from Florida to New York...which are in the same time zone.
Confessional: I am a stickler for human nature that makes sense. I didn't get Julian Cash at all. I got Lucy Rosen even less. I'll tackle Julian first. As a former foster kid, Julian is riddled by guilt over a car accident he survived, but his cousin did not. Hence the angel in the tree. Julian is now a K9 cop with very little to say. The chip on his shoulder is the size of a boulder. He has so many issues that he is described like an exaggerated caricature. As mentioned before, a young mother has been murdered and her under-two-year-old baby has gone missing. It's up to Julian and his vicious dogs to find the infant. Except, Julian falls for mother of angsty son, Lucy, and decides he needs to drive her car from Florida to New York. And speaking of Lucy. Her son has been fingered for the crime so she figures the only way to clear his name is to find the real killer. She doesn't know the baby-mama's name but what a coincidence! She was married to someone Lucy went to high school with in upstate New York! The story really started to fall apart when Lucy traced her Florida neighbor back to her hometown because I didn't care for Lucy's treatment of her ex-husband, Evan. Evan has moved on and is even dating someone new, yet Lucy doesn't see anything wrong with 1) staying with Evan, 2) borrowing his car (because remember, she left hers in Florida), 3) making Evan take her to their high school reunion (?!) even though he had plans to take the girlfriend), and 4) inviting Julian into Evan's home to take a shower and have breakfast.
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Hammett Prize (Nominee — 1992)


0399137203 / 9780399137204
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