Friday, September 19, 2014

Bright Coin Moon by Kirsten Lopresti

What They Say.....Seventeen-year-old Lindsey Allen is an A-student who has her heart set on becoming an astronomer. But first she must break away from her mother, an eccentric failed beauty queen who has set up a phony psychic reading shop in their Oregon garage.
Lindsey is biding time until she graduates high school, reading tarot cards for the neighbors in her mother’s shop and recording the phases of the moon in her Moon Sign notebook. Her life changes
when her mother, Debbie, decides they should move to California to become Hollywood psychics to the stars. As they pull out of the driveway, Lindsey looks up at the silver morning moon. It’s a bright coin moon, which means only one thing: what you leave behind today will rise up tomorrow.
When mother and daughter arrive in Los Angeles with new identities, they move into a leaky, run-down building and spend their nights stalking restaurants and movie premieres to catch that one celebrity they hope will be their ticket. When it seems they will never make it in LA, Lindsey is assigned a new mentor through her school. Joan is a lonely, wealthy widow who can’t get past the death of her husband, Saul. Debbie is convinced they’ve hit the jackpot, and plans for a future séance commence.
As Lindsey grows closer to Joan, guilt over the scam consumes her, and she must make the ultimate decision. But can she really betray her mother?

What I Say..... This book had it's moments where I really thought it would take off.  Lindsey is stuck in a dead end life in Oregon with her mother, Debbie, whose first appearance in the book is when she is fired from Sizzler Steakhouse for stealing from the cash register.

Debbie and Lindsey also make ends meet by running a psychic business in their garage, and have an elderly client who they run a money tree scam on.  

This scam gives Debbie the money (after she burns her house down when Lindsey protests moving in her senior year) and the backstory to convince Lindsey that the police are after them and that they must run away to L.A. with only a few belongings.

And so they end up in a run down apartment (still in L.A., how much money did that old man bury under the tree?), where Lindsey is lucky enough to get a scholarship to a private school, thanks to a rich mentor, Joan.

The setup was good, and I loved Lindsey and Paco, and the story of their school and friends.  This felt the most compelling and believable part of the book.

But I never really believed in the story of Debbie and Joan becoming friends, certainly not to the point where Joan would invite them to stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel and let them continue to order everything under the sun on her tab.

The setup for the physical seance - flying trombones? just got more and more unbelievable.  

I was happy with the ending, Lindsey needed to get away from her mom, but as the story showed while it's easy to physically move away, it's hard to make the emotional break from a toxic parent.


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