|photo from Amazon.com|
Blue Calhoun is a 1992 novel by Reynolds Price. from the back of the book:
"This starts with the happiest I ever was, though it brought down suffering on everybody near me. Short as it lasted and long ago, I've never laid it all out yet, not start to finish. But if I try and half succeed, you may wind up understanding things, choosing a better road for yourself and maybe not blaming the dead past but living for the here and now, each day a clean page."I started this book, having read and enjoyed novels by this author before, but I didn't finish it. I'll just say I agreed with these reviewers and let it go at that:
April 28, 1956, was the day Blue Calhoun met a sixteen-year-old girl named Luna. And for the next three decades, their love has borne consequences of the most shattering -- and ultimately, perhaps healing -- kind for everyone they know. As Blue recounts the years and their events for us -- fervently, tenderly, knowing full well his own deep responsibility -- we are made witnesses to a story of classic dimensions, a story of love and suffering, family and friendship, death and redemption.
The New York Times closes with this: "Reynolds Price is too good a novelist to continue in this vein very long. I would like to think that something more characteristic of his strengths is already in the works." Kirkus Reviews calls it a melodrama and concludes, "The characters speak to each other in conspicuously sad/wise parables; themes are paired too smoothly; and a certain gooey smugness -in the classical self-condemnatory/self-congratulatory mode- lurks everywhere."