Search This Blog

2024 Bookish Books Reading Challenge (Hosted by Yours Truly)

2024 Challenge Sign-Up Post

January Reviews Link-Up

February Reviews Link-Up

March Reviews Link-Up

April Reviews Link-Up

May Reviews Link-Up

June Reviews Link-Up

July Reviews Link-Up

August Reviews Link-Up

September Reviews Link-Up

October Reviews Link-Up

November Reviews Link-Up

December Reviews Link-Up

My Progress:


5 / 30 books. 17% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

- Alabama
- Alaska
- Arizona
- Arkansas
- California (1)
- Colorado (1)
- Connecticut
- Delaware
- Florida
- Georgia
- Hawaii
- Idaho (2)
- Illinois
- Indiana
- Iowa
- Kansas
- Kentucky
- Louisiana
- Maine (1)
- Maryland
- Massachusetts (1)
- Michigan
- Minnesota
- Mississippi
- Missouri
- Montana
- Nebraska
- Nevada
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina (1)
- North Dakota
- Ohio
- Oklahoma
- Oregon (2)
- Pennsylvania
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- Tennessee
- Texas (1)
- Utah
- Vermont
- Virginia (1)
- Washington
- West Virginia
- Wisconsin
- Wyoming
- Washington, D.C.*

International:
- Australia (1)
- England (3)
- Ireland (1)
- Scotland (1)
- The Netherlands (1)

My Progress:


9 / 51 states. 18% done!

2024 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

My Progress:


6 / 50 books. 12% done!

2024 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge


12 / 50 books. 24% done!

Booklist Queen's 2024 Reading Challenge

My Progress:


23 / 50 books. 46% done!

2024 52 Club Reading Challenge

My Progress:


20 / 52 books. 38% done!

2024 Build Your Library Reading Challenge

My Progress:


16 / 40 books. 40% done!

2024 Pioneer Book Reading Challenge


13 / 40 books. 33% done!

2024 Craving for Cozies Reading Challenge

My Progress:


2 / 25 books. 8% done!

2024 Medical Examiner's Mystery Reading Challenge

2024 Mystery Marathon Reading Challenge

My Progress


11 / 26.2 miles. 42% done!

Mount TBR Reading Challenge

My Progress


11 / 100 books. 11% done!

2024 Pick Your Poison Reading Challenge

My Progress:


24 / 104 books. 23% done!

Around the Year in 52 Books Reading Challenge

My Progress


23 / 52 books. 44% done!

Disney Animated Movies Reading Challenge

My Progress


23 / 165 books. 14% done!
Thursday, May 28, 2020

Luminous and Lovely, The Last Blue Captures Both My Interest and My Heart

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

"At her expense, readers will snatch up magazines and entertain themselves, using her as a measure against their own deficiencies, as a consolation for their incredible fortune of being ordinary" (161*).

Despite winning a Pulitzer Prize for a photograph depicting the grimness of The Great Depression, 32-year-old photographer Clay Havens is feeling uninspired.  His creative juices have turned to sludge and he's fairly sure his newest assignment isn't going to provide the spark to get them flowing again.  As part of President Roosevelt's plan to sell his country on his New Deal, he's sending journalists into Appalachia to "capture the rugged, steadfast nature of hill people, whether they possess it or not, and to portray their hardship in a way that will make the public sympathetic to their plight and ready to cast their votes accordingly" (14*).  Feeling more like a propagandist than a photographer, Havens nevertheless travels to eastern Kentucky with his reporter friend, Ulys Massey.  Another prize-winning photo may not be hiding in the hollers, but at least the assignment will keep Havens and Massey out of the breadline.

When the pair arrives in Chance, an offhand remark from one of the small town's more unsavory residents piques their curiosity.  Rumors of a scorned family of people with blue skin send them traipsing through the woods to Spooklight Holler.  Havens is immediately entranced when he and Massey come across a skittish young woman with skin the color of a robin's egg.  A deadly snakebite lands Havens in the extended care of the woman's family.  As he and Massey spend more time with the infamous Blues, they become fascinated by their way of life and horrified by how the family has been treated by their White neighbors.  While Havens spends his time wooing kind, gentle Jubilee, Massey's itching to sell the Blues' remarkable story to the highest bidder.  Reluctant to oust the already hunted people who have been so good to him, Havens searches frantically for a way to stop his partner from causing more trouble for Jubilee and her family.  The city slickers' presence has already prompted violence locally; what will happen if Jubilee's beautiful blue face is splashed across the cover of Time?  Caught between duty and love, Havens scrambles frantically for a solution that will stop Massey, protect the Blues, and convince Jubilee to give him a chance with her fragile heart.  With Chance's White population already whipped into a heated frenzy against the Blues, Havens' time is rapidly running out ...

Earlier this year, I read and adored The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson, which featured the Blue people of Kentucky.  So, when Isla Morley contacted me about reviewing her newest novel, which was inspired by the same fascinating clan, I jumped at the chance to grab myself an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) of The Last Blue.  I'm so glad I did because just as The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek did, this one immediately captured not just my interest but also my heart.  I loved everything about it, from its engaging heroine to its atmospheric setting to its tender love story to the ending that almost undid me entirely.  While the book touches on issues of prejudice, fear, exposure vs. exploitation, identity, family, and self-discovery, at its heart, it's really about love in all its messy, life-changing glory.  If you, too, are intrigued by the Blue people, or if you just enjoy rich, immersive historical fiction, I absolutely recommend picking up a copy of this luminous, lovely novel.

Intrigued?  Good.  Learn more by checking out this interview with Isla Morley:


(Readalikes:  The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson and Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (two F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, disturbing subject matter, scenes of peril, and mild sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of The Last Blue from the always generous Isla Morley.  Thank you!

*Quotes are from an uncorrected proof and may be changed in the final version of The Last Blue

Blog Widget by LinkWithin


Reading

<i>Reading</i>
Kill Her Twice by Stacey Lee

Listening

<i>Listening</i>
My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand, and Jodi Meadows



Followin' with Bloglovin'

Follow

Followin' with Feedly

follow us in feedly



Grab my Button!


Blog Design by:


Blog Archive