BLUE by Lou Aronica
Paperback, 400 pages; Kindle
Published January 8th 2011 by The Fiction Studio
*This book is being reviewed through Pump Up Your Book Virtual Tours. Book was provided for review. No compensation was received for review. All opinions are my own.*
Before I begin my review I would like to say that I purchased a Kindle version of Blue. The author provided a paperback print copy. I am donating this copy to Bartlett Regional Hospital' s Chemotherapy Lab in my hometown of Juneau, Alaska. Tamara, who runs the lab, keeps a library for patient use. We are a small community. Books for the patients are donated or bought out of pocket - not through the hospital. I hope the author does not mind this donation.
This is my second time reading Blue. What I discovered reading it a second time is that it is a lot like reading Charles Dickens for me. What I mean by that is every time I re-read a Charles Dickens book, I come away with something new. Some little thing I did not get a previous time. A new perspective based on my life experience since reading it a previous time. Blue did that for me. Not every book I read does. Another thing I have noticed with this book is that when you read a review or talk with someone who has read it, most likely they will have a different view from you. The book is amazing like that. I think this makes it the perfect book club choice. Everyone who reads it comes away with their own views and thoughts on it. I know, every book does that. What makes Blue unique in this is how different those views are. The story doesn't change. You do and what you get from it does.
Blue is the story of a family dealing with divorce, a child with cancer, coming together and letting go. It is a book of reality, of fantasy and how the blurring of the two can lead us out of the dark and into the light. It is a book about sorrow, hope, faith and joy that can even be found in letting go.
Becky is a young girl with leukemia. She was just six when her battle first begun. She won that round. Now years later the leukemia has returned for a new battle. As so often happens in the face of a serious illness the stress on the family was too much. The family that stood united and strong to face the battle now does not know how or what to be in the face of victory. And so, Becky's parents are now divorced. She is living with her mother. Blue revolves around Becky and her father. When she was six, her father made up stories to distract her while she received treatments. He encouraged Becky to participate in building this fantasy world. Chris would transport Becky there nightly. Sometimes when reality is too harsh, fantasy is what can become salvation. Chris and Becky create a new reality. One in which cancer is unknown. Pain and illness are not a part of this new reality. Good health, happiness and love are what are real in this world. It is this world that gets them through the treatment. It is this world that connects Chris and Becky. It is this world which leaves her mother feeling left out.
Four years after the divorce finds Chris feeling as if he is the one left out. He has moved away to another town and sees Becky on his visiting days. He feels as if the little girl he knew so well is becoming a stranger. Another man has filled his placed inside the home and he fears he may lose Becky to him too. He spends his time trying to find a way back to his daughter. Then comes the news that the leukemia has returned. Once more the family must wage war but this time the family is divided. Chris and Becky once more retreat to their fantasy - reality world. Only this time a blight is upon the kingdom. Saving the kingdom becomes the focus because saving the kingdom is saving Becky. Except that sometimes saving the ones we love may mean we let go and let them fly on the wings of love.
Blue is an amazing love story. One that will touch you deeply and stay with you long after you close the book. I do not know the author. I do not know his history with leukemia or a seriously ill child. I do not even know if he has ever personally dealt with these issues. I do know he writes as one who has intimately known both cancer and a seriously ill child. Blue is one book I would give a sky full of stars to.
Blue has a prequel book out now. Until Again is a short novella which gives us the background of the breakup weekend. It is not necessary to read it before you read Blue but it helps.
Lou Aronica is also the author of the Full Spectrum Anthology Series:
He is also an accomplished publisher. He is part of The Fiction Studio and The Story Plant. More information on Lou Aronica and his work may be found at:
Comments Always Welcome