(defvar mona-build-mona-dir-path "~/mona" "*mona directory path")

説明文が * から始まる場合の挙動は知らなかったな。

defvar is a special form in `C source code'.

Define SYMBOL as a variable, and return SYMBOL.
You are not required to define a variable in order to use it,
but the definition can supply documentation and an initial value
in a way that tags can recognize.

INITVALUE is evaluated, and used to set SYMBOL, only if SYMBOL's value is void.
If SYMBOL is buffer-local, its default value is what is set;
 buffer-local values are not affected.
INITVALUE and DOCSTRING are optional.
If DOCSTRING starts with *, this variable is identified as a user option.
 This means that M-x set-variable recognizes it.
 See also `user-variable-p'.
If INITVALUE is missing, SYMBOL's value is not set.

If SYMBOL has a local binding, then this form affects the local
binding.  This is usually not what you want.  Thus, if you need to
load a file defining variables, with this form or with `defconst' or
`defcustom', you should always load that file _outside_ any bindings
for these variables.  (`defconst' and `defcustom' behave similarly in
this respect.)