“It is the word that could not stick in your mind, but it is the word that defines your life. As it has defined mine.” ~ Grandmama Xan, The Girl Who Drank The Moon
“Knowledge is powerful, but it is a terrible power when it is hoarded and hidden.” ~ Ethyne, The Girl Who Drank The Moon
This book was magical, but it was not just about MAGIC. For me, the story was about loving another in such a great way that you willingly give up your life, your future, for this other. It was expressed in the love of a mentor for a student, a grandmother for her grandchild, and parents for their child.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (image above from Goodreads) was my first read for 2019 and although it was a slow start, it had a great finish. A witch taking abandoned babies from the forest and giving them to loving families. A girl enmagiked as a baby because she mistakenly drank from the moon and whose magic grew to be so strong that it had to be locked away, hidden from her memory, until she turned 13. A mother forced to give up her child and then locked away in a tower, called crazy by the town, but who was always, always looking for her child. A young man once forced to take a child from its family, now having to give up his own. So many interesting characters in this book whose lives cross with each other, so much love between them.
My favorite character in this tale is Ethyne, a cheerful, positive soul. She did not allow sorrow to overwhelm her, she sought knowledge, and she was a strong woman who went up against a system that no one else even thought to question. But what really endeared her to me was that she wanted knowledge to be shared, given to others, and not just kept between an elite few.
Like I said, this book had a slow start but it had me crying towards the end. If you’re the kind of reader who likes neat happy endings, you won’t get that here. After turning the last page I found myself staring into space for a little while, with a slight ache in my heart. In my opinion, that was the best feeling-at-the-end this book could have had.