Lou Aronica: Blue

March 5, 2011 by  
Filed under Fiction, WritersCast

978-1936558001  – paperback – The Fiction Studio –  $16.95 (e-book versions available $7.99)

Lou Aronica’s Blue is an unusual novel, combining elements of science fiction, fantasy, romance and serious fiction, to create a moving story that focuses on the relationship between a daughter and her father in a terrifically moving and affecting way.  Lou is an experienced and skillful writer who deftly manages to tell a story that is full of sadness and emotion and manages to avoid the deeply sentimental that might otherwise overtake the reader.  Which is not to say it is not a story that will affect the reader – and some may find it difficult going, to say the least.

Reviewers and interviewers must always be careful in describing any novel’s storyline, to avoid ruining the book for prospective readers.  For those who don’t want to know too much, let’s just say that Blue takes on family relationships in the face of grave illness in a beautifully imagined way.  There is plenty of sadness in this novel, but Aronica succeeds in the true storyteller’s art, the transformation within a story to something greater than the experience itself.

The book is set in a contemporary suburban Connecticut much like the one the author actually lives in, so the characters and settings are all familiar and well told.  At the heart of the story is the relationship between Chris Astor and his fourteen-year-old daughter, Becky, and her mother, from whom Chris is now divorced.   Facing the greatest challenge of their lives, they must all learn to trust each other, and ultimately to believe in imagination and its transformational power, in order to come to terms with what is happening to them.

Blue is a remarkable and uplifting novel.  I think Lou Aronica has succeeded in his goal for this book (from his website): “I wanted to write a novel that conveyed my feelings about the incomparable value of imagination and hope. Blue puts its characters through the wringer, but it is at its heart an extremely optimistic novel.”

Full disclosure: I am happy to say that Lou is someone whose friendship I value.  I do want to say, also, that even if I just like a book and don’t love it, I’m unlikely to want to write about it and certainly won’t want to talk about it with the author.  I feel my responsibility as an interviewer requires that I really get into a book in order to be able to ask meaningful questions about it and talk about it intelligently.  I don’t love every book I read, but I truly do deeply enjoy and admire every book I write about here and talk about with their authors.  For me, there is no question that Blue is a terrific book and my conversation with Lou reflects that assessment. This is a book I am happy to recommend to readers, and I think it will be especially moving to anyone who is the parent of children of any age.

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