The New Moon's Arms

The New Moon's Arms

Nalo Hopkinson / Apr 07, 2020

The New Moon s Arms First it s her mother s missing gold brooch Then a blue and white dish she hasn t seen in years Followed by an entire grove of cashew trees When objects begin appearing out of nowhere Calamity knows

  • Title: The New Moon's Arms
  • Author: Nalo Hopkinson
  • ISBN: 9780446581974
  • Page: 342
  • Format: Paperback
  • First it s her mother s missing gold brooch Then, a blue and white dish she hasn t seen in years Followed by an entire grove of cashew trees When objects begin appearing out of nowhere, Calamity knows that the special gift she has not felt since childhood has returned her ability to find lost things Calamity, a woman as contrary as the tides around her Caribbean islanFirst it s her mother s missing gold brooch Then, a blue and white dish she hasn t seen in years Followed by an entire grove of cashew trees When objects begin appearing out of nowhere, Calamity knows that the special gift she has not felt since childhood has returned her ability to find lost things Calamity, a woman as contrary as the tides around her Caribbean island home, is confronting two of life s biggest dramas First is the death of her father, who raised her alone until a pregnant Calamity rejected him when she was sixteen years old The second drama she s starting menopause Now when she has a hot flash and feels a tingling in her hands, she knows it s a lost object calling to her Then she finds something unexpected a four year old boy washes up on the shore, his dreadlocked hair matted with shells Calamity decides to take the orphaned child into her care, which brings unexpected upheaval into her life and further strains her relationship with her adult daughter Fostering this child will force her to confront all the memories of her own childhood and the disappearance of her mother so many years before.

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    About "Nalo Hopkinson"

      • Nalo Hopkinson

        Nalo Hopkinson is a Jamaican born writer and editor who lives in Canada Her science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories often draw on Caribbean history and language, and its traditions of oral and written storytelling.


    1. Nalo Hopkinson is not Margaret Atwood.This may seem like a strange and perhaps obvious epiphany to have. Indeed, some of you might be advanced enough not to need to read an entire book before arriving at it. Some of you might be even further advanced (say, doctorate in philosophy) and question the veracity of this proposition. So allow me to explain what I mean, and you philosophers can decide for yourself.I should explain that there are things about Nalo Hopkinson, or specifically about The New [...]

    2. An extraordinary read. More magic realist than fantasy, with the inexplicable happenings woven into the fabric of life. Gorgeously written. Calamity, our narrator, is a profoundly flawed character, causing a lot of pain and damage (particularly in her homophobia and biphobia, which are really hard moments to witness), yet we still root for her to stop being her own worst enemy (and a dick). This is very much a redemption story, one of sea change and escaping shackles--in Calamity's case, of bitt [...]

    3. In her usual unique style, Nalo Hopkinson takes the often-told folk belief that humans and seals are related, and creates a great story. I loved her protagonist Calamity (formerly Chastity) who, instead of experiencing menopause in the usual manner, discovers that she has regained her prepubescent power as a finder of lost things. When she finds a child wrapped in seaweed, she is drawn into a world she briefly experienced as a child. Calamity is far from perfect - she is hostile to gay people be [...]

    4. The New Moon's Arms is a perfect summer read. Set in the Caribbean, it is light splashy and fun and makes you feel like hanging out on the beach while reading it. Yet at the same time it is deep and touches on a number of issues. Parts are humorous, other parts very sad. Calamity, the leading character, experiences many life changing events at once; her father, who she has taken care of for years, dies, she starts menopause and every time she has a hot flash something she lost years ago appears [...]

    5. As a child, Chastity Lambkin could “find” almost anything; a mislaid book, lost change, missing keys – all she had to do was concentrate on the item and wait for the last two fingers of her left hand to tingle. The day Chastity’s mother’s empty rowboat drifted ashore, Chastity stopped finding things forever. She dared not find the thing she missed most, so she couldn’t find anything at all. Years later, 52-year old Chastity (now called “Calamity”) rediscovers her long-gone talent [...]

    6. Engaging and breezily quick read, the first I've read by Hopkinson and won't be the last. She has a smooth, liquid style that works really well with the story she's telling, and the character of Calamity--who is difficult and knows it--is fun to watch, though she probably wouldn't be all that much fun to actually live with. Indeed, most of the people around her, including her daughter, seem to find her a trial, and Calamity's own resistant and irresolute attitude to the inevitability of age begi [...]

    7. an masterfully realized narrative, expertly producing a vivid sense of character and place. calamity seems at once unique, with her full-force charm and flair up character flaws. and yet there is something slightly archetypal about her--nothing so strong as to raise the specter of 'stock character,' but surrounded by images and concerns of fertility or lack their of, one gets the sense of having met her before. likely in a local grocery store, but maybe in a particular culture's mythology, or ma [...]

    8. Obligatory SJW alphabet soup notice: this book is by a QWOC and stars older WOC and QMOC. It is set in the Caribbean. Hooray.This was a fun listen, although I had reservations at the beginning when the opening scene was the protagonist's father's funeral. Almost immediately, though, one learns that this isn't a sit around and cry kind of book. Our protagonist, originally named Chastity, renamed herself Calamity and intends to carry on that way. Indeed, things are getting increasingly calamitous [...]

    9. I picked this from my bookshelves (one of the many to-read) to take on a trip to the Bahamas, and ended up reading most of it on the ship. The premise is interesting - a woman's father dies and as she mourns and hits menopause, her old "finding" abilities start coming back. Items from her childhood start reappearing (often dropping from the sky, but also an entire cashew orchard) and then a little boy washes up on shore. I liked the setting although the island, Dolorosse, is imagined. The langua [...]

    10. I love the way Nalo Hopkinson writes complex and imperfect characters. As in many of her books, Hopkinson focuses on the fraught relationships between headstrong women: independent daughters, and sharp tongued mothers. The strong bond of love that exists even as too quick insults fray its edges. The main character is a woman in her 50s who was born Chastity and renamed herself the much more fitting Calamity. Because she's certainly not interested in being chaste and tends to let her mouth get he [...]

    11. (listened on audio book. the reader was Gin Hammond, and she was amazing!)the book has a great tone and a generous sprinkling of several everyday/modern issues of caribbean life, along with neat layers of mythological history and faerie-type magic. i actually liked that the main character is infuriatingly self-centered. that, at 53, she's still figuring out how to be a grown-up. i struggled with the flow of the plot i found all the sudden offers of help and folks showing back up in her life kind [...]

    12. A clever, brave and deftly crafted book, witty as well as humorous, equally magical and realistic, and every word ringing true to boot. I feel like it should have been a five-star book, pinging as it does, so many of my fictional bells: rounded protagonist and characters of colour! Middle-aged feisty but certainly imperfect female lead! Non-Western mythologies! Juicy themes of family/friendship, changes and chances! but it inexplicably fell short of the all-out love I should've felt. Maybe the w [...]

    13. This was a quick, light read. Lovely prose, with many excellent characters. Really enjoyed Calamity, the wonderfully likable, if undeniably flawed protagonist who despite her wisdom is learning all sorts of new, mysterious things -- the onset of menopause, a re-discovery of her magical power to "find" things, new perspectives on her deceased or absent parents, introductions to new people who force her to rethink long-ingrained prejudices, reclamation of maternal feelings, the revival of her beli [...]

    14. I wish I could have liked this. The story had potential. I always hate using that word, because I certainly am no expert. I just know what I like and I feel I could have liked this story but it didn't seem to go anywhere. My biggest problem with this book was the writing. It read like a log. There was a lot of, this happened, then we went here, and there we saw that, yada, yada, yada. The characters were like stick figures going through motions. I didn't feel connected to any of them and I didn' [...]

    15. I enjoyed The New Moon's Arms very much, it's a friendly book with an atypical (and welcome) protagonist. She's likable, but difficult and flawed - one of those flaws is that she likes herself rather too much. Hopkinson is great at creating characters, and I'm happy I've finally read some of her work.However, I don't think the book ever came together. It felt a bit uncooked, and the mythology and minor strands of the story were never as incorporated as they should have been.

    16. Beautiful book, with a wonderful strong, human, vibrant woman lead character. Takes place on a fictional Caribbean island, and gives you a real feel for the lives of the people who live there. A contemporary setting that blends love,mother/daughter relationships, and other complex emotions with magical realism,

    17. I picked this one up because Hopkinson was going to be at WisCon and I wanted a book I could get signed. This one is about a women at the front edge of menopause--something I can relate to, unfortunately. Great story about finding lost things, though.

    18. It was really exciting to read a book written in the kind of language I was born in to. While I have long ago lost my Jamaican accent, it all came back in reading this.Unfortunately, the story of mysterious children etc etc did little to appeal to me.

    19. This story follows a cranky and 'hot mouthed' older woman who finds her finding ability returning after her father dies and she enters menopause. One of the things she finds is a small boy, half-drowned on the beach, and he points to a whole raft of secrets that may or may not be connected to her family. I really struggled to star this one. Considering my wobble between 3 and 4, it's probably a 3.75? So I'll grant it the four. Some things didn't quite work for me, but enough of it did that I don [...]

    20. I enjoyed this book, for the most part; let me just say: Nalo Hopkinson really has a knack for writing witty, flavorful dialogue. Having read a fair bit of her catalogue, I definitely think that's my favorite aspect of her style, & this novel surely puts it to work (especially when it comes to the foul-mouthed protagonist).& speaking of the foul-mouthed protagonist: I happened to peek a little glance at the study-guide-section at the back of the book & catch a big, strong whiff of "i [...]

    21. Fascinating story. The main character is a 53-year-old woman on a Caribbean island. It opens with a mishap at her father's funeral-- one that is hilarious because it doesn't happen to Calamity, the heroine. She is a mess-- eccentric, funny, kind at heart, but hot tempered. An interesting character. Her grown daughter, her neighbors, the man she meets at the funeral, are all characters in the story about the boy she finds on beach after a bed storm. And like all good stories, it's also about othe [...]

    22. This book was fantastic. I listened to it, and the audiobook narrator was also fantastic (and rarely do I say that!). It doesn't happen often that I love a book. And even less often, I love a book despite a main character who is in some ways utterly despicable. But there were still aspects to Calamity that were very relatable, whether how she interacts with her parents (and/or her memories of them) or how she deals with aging. This was a beautiful story. You should go read it. Better yet - liste [...]

    23. I loved the first part of "The New Moon's Arms". I hadn't read a book set in the Caribbean in ages, the writing was exquisite, and the characters dynamic. Then I realized that the story just didn't make sense, and while the characters were dynamic, Calamity is inherently unlikable. Indeed, her fights with others sets the stage for most of the book. After I finished, I felt like none of the questions in the book had actually been answered- I'm not sure if I missed some subtleties, but I really sc [...]

    24. This wound up being more magical realism than the straight-up fantasy that expected after having read "Brown Girl in the Ring" recently. The main character is deeply flawed, and often truly unlikable, especially if you are bothered by homophobia and biphobia (which I am). However, all of the characters feel real and fully fleshed out, and the writing is absorbing and evocative.

    25. A lovely and down-to-earth fantasy that is reminiscent of magical realism. Gentle but at the same time throws a lot of heavy things to contemplate about imperfect people changing how they think. The protagonist Calamity shows us that menopause can be a powerful transition and--it's not too late to change perspective.

    26. Very interesting and beautifully written tale of an Island woman's discovery of a child on the beach the night after her father's funeral. Her voyage of self discovery and the history and lore of local mer-people is well told.

    27. Not my favorite Nalo Hopkinson book, but not my least favorite either. Similar in theme to Margo Lanagan's The Brides of Rollrock Island, but with a very different cultural milieu. The ending leaves some questions unanswered, and I'm not sure that's a bad thing.

    28. I love this author - and this is a new favourite of mine.What I particularly love how to blends genres and worlds, how she uses magic and mythology to build her stories.

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