Back cover copy: Welcome to Verity – home of more divorced women from New York than any other town in the state of Florida. Where Lucy Rosen has moved to get away from her ex. Where Officer Julian Cash watches over the town with a fierce German shepherd and even fiercer expression. Where Lucy's son Keith hates everything: the heat, the school, and sometimes his mother. He can't wait to get away. And then he does, when a woman is murdered and her baby is left behind. Keith takes off with the baby. Lucy and Julian take off after him. And TURTLE MOON takes off on a funny, touching, and exhilarating journey.
Stats for my copy: Mass market paperback, A Berkley Book, G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1993.
How acquired: Bought.
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.
My thoughts: Turtle Moon started out a little slow, as the characters were introduced and their lives begin to intersect, but quickly picked up steam. There's Bethany, hiding from her husband with her baby daughter. There's Lucy, trying to put her life back together after a divorce, fighting with and continually at odds with her twelve year old juvenile delinquent son, Keith. There's Julian, quiet, morose, driving around in his patrol car with his K9 tracker, Loretta, who lives in his house and loves his company, or scouting across the countryside with his cadaver dog, Arrow, who has no use for human kindness and no qualms about biting the hand that feeds him. There's Mrs. Giles, who raised Julian and hundreds of foster children after him. There's Bobby, who can't leave the tree where he died.
One hot Florida night, Bethany is murdered in her apartment, and Lucy's son disappears with Bethany's baby daughter, sending Lucy and Julian on a quest for the truth, coming together and falling apart.
The ending was anticipated and expected, and then suddenly wasn't, leaving me a little unsettled, but with hope for everyone's futures.
Alice Hoffman's writing has such a wandering, meandering, dreamy, mesmerizing quality. There are often long stretches where nothing actually happens, and yet you're glued to the page. While I've enjoyed almost everything I've read by her, I think this is one of her better books.