“A 16-year-old girl has gone missing. A girl with a tragic past. A girl who is concealing secrets. A girl who is remarkably intelligent. And investigator Patrick Kenzie is the man who must face unimaginable drama and danger to find her…”
It’s a very weird way to sell a book, if you ask me. Because based on what’s written at the back of the book, you don’t really get a grasp of what the story is about. Good thing I really liked Shutter Island, and I was looking for a crime novel to get me in the mood for my next writing assignment.
Wait, I might have gotten off on the wrong foot there. I liked the book. It was easy to read, easy to follow, and I really like how author Dennis Lehane developed his character. And the humor. It felt like Joss Whedon was writing the dialogue for the protagonist. Suffice to say, I really liked the book. And there’s no “but…” coming.
Moonlight Mile is the story of a teen-aged girl who disappears off the face of the earth. Because of circumstances, everyone believed that she was abducted. Again. Twelve years after she was kidnapped and found, as a young girl. But, right off the bat, things take an interesting turn.
I don’t know about you guys, but when I read a mystery/crime novel, I try to solve the case alongside the main character. I like to see if I can solve the case, which I often don’t. During those times, I try to see why I wasn’t able to solve the case.
For Moonlight Mile, I gave up trying to solve the case when I realized that the novel wasn’t so much about finding the missing girl, as it was about Patrick Kenzie’s self-actualization. That’s what you call a coming-of-age story when it’s not under the young adult genre, right? Because Moonlight Mile, as I see it, is about coming of age. About finding out that the place you carved out for yourself might not be the place for you.
At first, I admit that I got annoyed. I really was expecting a crime story. A mystery to solve. But that was a mistake I made, assuming that it was a crime novel. It is, but it’s not–if you get what I mean. And that’s what makes Moonlight Mile work for me: because we do get to read about the missing-person story promised by the book, but it’s so much more in the end.
It’s about a person re-evaluating his life for what he has done: whether wrong or right, whether good or bad. It’s about a person accepting all that he has done, and knowing when to step back and step out. Or not knowing. Moonlight Mile is full of characters who all go through the same things, but chose different paths to take.
And that’s why I really liked the book: because it’s not about being perfect, or about being right. It’s choosing what makes most sense to a person. It’s choosing what’s best for you.
Granted, I do think the ending is a little too easy. It’s not something to get riled up over though. Especially since I gave up the idea that this was a crime novel. I do wish it was tidier, and I can see where edits would benefit the novel, but at the end of the day, what’s important is the fact that the book delivered.
Okay, now that I’ve read the reviews– I didn’t know that Moonlight Mile is actually a sequel. Reading the book that came before might give me a different attitude towards this book. But I maintain my stand. I liked the book as the character study it was. Regardless of the flaws.
Actually, even more because of the flaws.
What about you? What did you think about the book?