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Stars Go Blue: A Novel av Laura Pritchett
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Stars Go Blue: A Novel (utgåvan 2014)

av Laura Pritchett

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
555374,878 (4.04)32
"Laura Pritchett is an award-winning author who has quickly become one of the west's defining literary voices. We first met hardscrabble ranchers Renny and Ben Cross in Laura's debut collection, and now in Stars Go Blue, they are estranged, elderly spouses living on opposite ends of their sprawling ranch, faced with the particular decline of a fading farm and Ben's struggle with Alzheimer's disease. He is just on the cusp of dementia, able to recognize he is sick but unable to do anything about it -the notes he leaves in his pockets and around the house to remind him of himself, his family, and his responsibilities are no longer as helpful as they used to be. Watching his estranged wife forced into care-taking and brought to her breaking point, Ben decides to leave his life with whatever dignity and grace remains. As Ben makes his decision, a new horrible truth comes to light: Ray, the abusive husband of their late daughter is being released from prison early. This opens old wounds in Ben, his wife, his surviving daughter, and four grandchildren. Branded with a need for justice, Ben must act before his mind leaves him, and sets off during a brutal snowstorm to confront the man who murdered his daughter. Renny, realizing he is missing, sets off to either stop or witness her husband's act of vengeance. Stars Go Blue is a triumphant novel of the American family, buffered by the workings of a ranch and the music offered by the landscape and animal life upon it. "--… (mer)
Medlem:Lori_Eshleman
Titel:Stars Go Blue: A Novel
Författare:Laura Pritchett
Info:Counterpoint (2014), Hardcover, 208 pages
Samlingar:Lästa men inte ägda
Betyg:*****
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Stars Go Blue: A Novel av Laura Pritchett

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» Se även 32 omnämnanden

Visar 5 av 5
Poignant story of complex marriage, love, family, and revenge set in vividly-drawn Rocky Mountain close-knit community, skilfully, lyrically, written. ( )
  nwreader | Jan 22, 2018 |
"It comes to her then: She knows the ranch like a chart. But Ben knows it like a poem. She hopes he's the wiser one, because it gives her permission to leave it up to him to make the right decision." (51)

Ben and Renny Cross have lived all of their married life, some five decades, on Hell’s Bottom Ranch, twelve hundred acres of pastureland below the Colorado Rocky Mountains – a slice of heaven. Theirs has been a fine life, whole and beautiful and strong. Until Rachel. Their daughter’s murder rips them apart, and, while they decide to remain on the ranch, they separate, each living at one end of the sprawling property. When time has finally begun to assuage the pain, and Ben wonders whether they might once again have a life together, he is struck with Alzheimer’s. Renny cares for him, but it is, ironically, his teenage granddaughter, Jess, who best understands both Ben and his disease. When news comes that Rachel’s murderer, a man well known to the family, is to be released from prison, more turmoil ensues. And with the turmoil comes yet more pain – but alas, this time it is not without hope:

“I love that we had a life together on Hell’s Bottom Ranch, and I love the stories that took place there. All except the story of Rachel, which was a sad one, too sad to bear. But the rest were good and beautiful. I love that we had a history together. But I want to go out knowing who I am. That, I am sure you can understand. Please bury me by the willows. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to have the bald eagle or the owls watching.” (181)

Stars Go Blue is beautifully written, its storyline compelling. Ben and Renny Cross, for all of their flaws (or more likely because of them), are unforgettable, and I love that Hell’s Bottom Ranch, like its family, is part of the cast. Pritchett very effectively uses Jess, a minor character, to narrate the final Part of the novel – Ben has disappeared into his disease by this time, and the fact that Jess sees life with her grandfather’s quiet gentleness makes her narration particularly soothing. I was reminded often as I read of Kent Haruf, his characters, and Holt, Colorado – all of whom I love. Highly recommended! ( )
1 rösta lit_chick | Jan 23, 2016 |
Renny and Ben are an older couple, ranchers in Colorado, who have already experienced tragedy. A big, explosive one. Now they are dealing with one much quieter and more insidious - Ben's Alzheimer's which is progressing steadily. This novel is told in alternating chapters narrated by Renny and Ben and what is most striking is how well Pritchett writes Ben and the affects of his disease. It's very powerful, as is her rendering of Renny's anger and sense of helplessness.

This is an intimate story and as such, I wanted to feel more connected to both characters. For much of the novel, they seemed distant even though fully real. Towards the end, the connection grew, and I raced through the last 50 or so pages with my heart in my throat. It's a beautiful story of misunderstanding and miscommunication, loss and grief, and strength and love. Read it, but do read Hell's Bottom, Colorado first as it provides some important background and contributes to the fullness of Renny and Ben. ( )
  katiekrug | May 21, 2015 |
I raced through Stars Go Blue by Laura Pritchett in two days, because I could hardly put it down. One of the best novels I've read recently, it's the story of a ranching couple in old age, their personal history and family. Like all families there are skeletons in the closet, which keep popping out, and conflict between people who basically love each other. The novel highlights the challenges we all face when growing old and approaching death and leaving the places and people we love. Particularly challenging is the "first death" of Alzheimer's, which has clouded the memory of Renny's husband, Ben. Renny herself is a hard-bitten and tough woman whose sharp ways conceal strong emotions. Neither Ben nor her family are quite the way Renny would like--and a terrible family event has driven the husband and wife apart. But Ben has something important to do before he dies, if only he can remember it. He tracks this goal with the tenacity of a rancher who has killed and saved many animals in his life. What follows changes everyone's lives. Written in rhythmic and powerful prose, the novel not only captures the inner thoughts and emotions of Ben and Renny, but also the harsh and beautiful world of the Colorado plains--the fierce snow, the orange willows, the spring greening, and the stars that turn blue. If you read no other novel this year, read this one. ( )
  Lori_Eshleman | Apr 27, 2015 |
Laura Pritchett's Hell's Bottom, Colorado was one of my top reads last year and I was thrilled to learn that her latest book returns to the same characters whom I'd come to care about so much. Stars Go Blue revisits the Cross family several years after we left them in Hell's Bottom. Renny and Ben are older and still estranged, but now the two biggest obstacles they face are Ben's Alzheimer's diagnosis and the upcoming release of their daughter's ex-husband from prison. Pritchett alternates the first person narration between Renny and Ben, tricky with Ben's increasing loss of memory. The final chapter is told by another character and I read the last few pages through tears.

I went to see the author speak last spring where she talked about her own father's recent Alzheimer's diagnosis. Writing from Ben's point of view must have been emotionally wrenching for her but somehow the novel is not ground down by that but is instead full of love - ornery love, oftentimes, that Renny is a tough bird - but also true and unrelentingly heartfelt and ultimately satisfying.

If you like contemporary western stories, think Haruf for instance, give her a chance. ( )
  Copperskye | Jan 4, 2015 |
Visar 5 av 5
Pritchett has a remarkable talent for laying down the harshness of ranch — and human — life without letting the narrative itself descend into bitterness, and the novel ends not on the kind of saccharine note one might expect, but survival and acceptance. Her clean prose draws the reader into painfully real evocations of all who suffer, even as she lets the beauty of the world blossom.
tillagd av Copperskye | ändraThe Daily Camera, Clay Evans (Jun 14, 2014)
 
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"Laura Pritchett is an award-winning author who has quickly become one of the west's defining literary voices. We first met hardscrabble ranchers Renny and Ben Cross in Laura's debut collection, and now in Stars Go Blue, they are estranged, elderly spouses living on opposite ends of their sprawling ranch, faced with the particular decline of a fading farm and Ben's struggle with Alzheimer's disease. He is just on the cusp of dementia, able to recognize he is sick but unable to do anything about it -the notes he leaves in his pockets and around the house to remind him of himself, his family, and his responsibilities are no longer as helpful as they used to be. Watching his estranged wife forced into care-taking and brought to her breaking point, Ben decides to leave his life with whatever dignity and grace remains. As Ben makes his decision, a new horrible truth comes to light: Ray, the abusive husband of their late daughter is being released from prison early. This opens old wounds in Ben, his wife, his surviving daughter, and four grandchildren. Branded with a need for justice, Ben must act before his mind leaves him, and sets off during a brutal snowstorm to confront the man who murdered his daughter. Renny, realizing he is missing, sets off to either stop or witness her husband's act of vengeance. Stars Go Blue is a triumphant novel of the American family, buffered by the workings of a ranch and the music offered by the landscape and animal life upon it. "--

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