Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Review:The Blue Star by Tony Earley
From Hatchette Book Group.com
Seven years ago, readers everywhere fell in love with Jim Glass, the precocious ten-year-old at the heart of Tony Earley's bestseller Jim the Boy. Now a teenager, Jim returns in another tender and wise story of young love on the eve of World War Two. Jim Glass has fallen in love, as only a teenage boy can fall in love, with his classmate Chrissie Steppe. Unfortunately, Chrissie is Bucky Bucklaw's girlfriend, and Bucky has joined the Navy on the eve of war. Jim vows to win Chrissie's heart in his absence, but the war makes high school less than a safe haven, and gives a young man's emotions a grown man's gravity. With the uncanny insight into the well-intentioned heart that made Jim the Boy a favorite novel for thousands of readers, Tony Earley has fashioned another nuanced and unforgettable portrait of America in another time--making it again even realer than our own day. This is a timeless and moving story of discovery, loss and growing up, proving why Tony Earley's writing "radiates with a largeness of heart" (Esquire).
I've carried this book about with me for the past week.
If work and Life hadn't got in the way, I would have finished it long before now.
Truthfully, it flowed along so easily that I didn't really want it to end.
The story is set in 1940's America just before World War II.
Jim Glass is poised to graduate high school and take his place alongside his kinfolk, and more than likely live out the life he has always known in the small town of Aliceville.
Jim has also fallen in love.
He's fallen the way that we all fall when we are young and hormones are raging.
Of course Chrissie Steppe is not the perfect girl for Jim. Slightly wrong side of the tracks and all, so to speak, with a boyfriend overseas to boot.
And that naturally, is what makes her all the more desirable.
This is a beautifully written novel, I felt like I was watching it happen, and even if you wern't born or raised in that time, you are drawn back to it.
This book is sweet, funny and sad.
And as corny as it sounds, Tony Earley has written a Norman Rockwell painting.
I don't know how else to describe it. Just read it.
My thanks to Valerie from The Hatchette Book Group for this review copy.
About the author from hatchettebookgroup.com
Tony Earley is the author of four books: Here We Are in Paradise, a collection of stories; the novel Jim the Boy; the personal essay collection Somehow Form a Family; and The Blue Star, a novel forthcoming in Spring, 2008. A winner of a National Magazine Award for fiction, he was named one of the twenty best writers of his generation by both Granta, in 1996, and The New Yorker in 1999. His fiction and/or nonfiction have appeared in Harper's, Esquire, The New Yorker, The Oxford American, The New York Times Book Review, Tin House, Best American Short Stories, New Stories from the South and many other magazines and anthologies. He is a native of western North Carolina and a graduate of Warren Wilson College and The University of Alabama. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife and daughter, where he is the Samuel Milton Fleming Associate Professor of English at Vanderbilt University.
Posted by Dixie at 12:07 PM