I’m not sure why I’ve been so attracted to novels that deal with memory lately. But I have been, which has led to me reading some really interesting books.
Like Lisa Jahn-Clough’s Nothing But Blue — which is a novel I highly recommend, by the way.
Blue doesn’t know what happened. All she remembers is that her parents were planning on forcing her to move — to leave her home and her boyfriend behind. She doesn’t know how she ended up walking down a road in a pair of shorts and flip-flops. And she doesn’t know why all she can keep thinking is that nobody survived.
Nothing But Blue flips between the past and the present, slowly revealing what led Blue to her walk down the side of the road. The story is at some moments intense, and at others sad.
While I couldn’t help feeling sympathetic to Blue’s past-self, I also — at times — couldn’t help wanting to knock a little sense into her. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. It made past-Blue a well-rounded character.
As for present-Blue, I have to admit that I couldn’t help admiring her, in a way. She was faced with a situation that not many people would have been able to survive — myself likely included. She grew a lot in the short time-frame of the novel, and in a way that was both natural and a little bit extraordinary.
But then, she was in a slightly extraordinary situation. Extraordinary, and yet at the same time, scarily possible.
All dead. No one survived. All dead.
This morbid chant haunts seventeen-year-old Blue as she trudges through the countryside with just the clothes on her back, heading to her childhood home on the ocean. Something absolutely awful has happened, she knows it, but she doesn’t know what. She can’t even remember her name, so she calls herself Blue. This gripping survival story—peppered with flashbacks to bittersweet times with her boyfriend, Jake—strips life down to its bare bones. Blue learns, with the help of a seemingly magical stray dog and kind people along the road, that the important thing is to live.