When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
McLemore writes magical realism very well. Her first novel, The Weight of Feathers took me a little while to get used to and then I loved it. This book I found did the opposite. I fell in love from the start, and then it slowed down considerably and I would have liked to see a braver edit to keep a more steady, albeit still relatively slow, pace.
The author explains in her Author's Note that her husband is transgender and this, along with her interest in bacha posh (a cultural practice in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan in which families who only have daughters dress one as a boy in order to be the "son" of the family) became the inspiration for this story about a girl called Miel who appeared out of the water on day with roses growing from her arm, and Sam the boy who has secrets he wants to keep.
It is a Young Adult book so there was a bit of teen angst, and beyond the magical realism there was also the "mean girls" story with a group of four perfect sisters who want to ruin what Miel and Sam have.
I would recommend to anyone who enjoys magical realism or stories about identity and truth. I look forward to the next novel the author releases.
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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