Valley of the Moon tells the story of a single mother whose heart straddles two worlds. Lux lives in San Francisco with her son, Benno. When Benno goes back east to visit Lux’s mother and estranged father, she goes camping and happens on Greengage, a utopian society that is stuck in the early 1900s, with no escape for its members. Lux is intrigued by the equality, the hard, fulfilling work, and the society’s leader, Joseph Bell. Lux visits Greengage again and again, always returning to the present to take care of her son. But on one tragic night, Lux misses the return window back to her world, wreaking havoc on her son’s life, enraging her parents, and causing her to re-evaluate the importance of Greengage in her own heart.
The strength of this book lies in its interesting people and plot. The writing, however, is not terribly elegant, and lacks the ability to find different voices for Lux and Joseph, who tell the story in alternate chapters. This book is a good escapist pick, or a beach or plane book.