The Slow Moon by Elizabeth Cox


Elizabeth Cox’s novel The Slow Moon was a huge disappointment to me. I was really looking forward to reading it but it turned out to be really, really mediocre.

Central to the story is the relationship between Crow, 16,  (the son of wealthy, well-respected parents) and Sophie, 14, (daughter of a widow). The story opens as they sneak off from a high school party to have some alone-time in the woods. Crow and Sophie really like each other and they have decided that they want to take their relationship to the next level. The next level requires condoms though, and Crow has forgotten those in his truck. He leaves Sophie alone to retrieve them and she is brutally attacked.

This rape isn’t enough for Cox to make a meal on, however. So instead of giving us any real insight into how Sophie feels and how Crow, wrongfully accused, feels, she fills the novel with a bunch of stupid subplots: Crow’s parent’s cracked marriage, his father’s infidelity, his mother’s pre-marriage pregnancy (so the man who Crow thinks is his Dad, isn’t his Dad.) Crow’s best friends all have their own problems – one is trying to come to terms with the fact that he may be gay, another finds out the father he thought was dead is actually in prison.

And can I just say a word about the writing.  What 14 and 16 year olds (loss of innocence not withstanding) actually “like[d] examining the frailty of others.” (294)  The novel is filled with passages like this: “Another car went by, throwing light onto the walls and ceiling, and the light felt heavy, like a horse running fast into his room; the threat of being crushed came to his mind.” (247) Um, what?

Jodi Picoult’s endorsement on the front of the book says “I found myself pausing over the beauty of this book, and wishing I’d been the one to think of it.” Jodi, honey, you did think of it and you wrote it and called it The Tenth Circle. That book is infinitely better.

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