My interest in this book is that Laura Pritchett is an award-winning Colorado author who lives outside of Fort Collins. My book club is reading this for their next selection and I’m looking forward to the discussion. Also, my aunt’s husband has Alzheimer’s disease and so does the main character in Pritchett’s story.
The novel is about an elderly estranged couple living in different quarters on their Colorado ranch. Like the ranch, Ben Cross’s mind is declining and he’s having trouble remembering and identifying things. His hardened wife, Renny, is a reluctant caretaker and is pushed to her brink. In the meantime, they find out that the man who killed their daughter is being released from prison and that stirs up bad memories for them and the daughter’s children. While Ben still has some cognizance, he plans to revenge the killer and sets off in a snowstorm to find him armed with reminder notes in his pocket, some cash he stole from his wife, and two syringes to get the deed done.
This story is emotional in how much a relationship can deteriorate and be strained as a result of Alzheimer’s, and is touching when there are break-through remembering moments. It also brings up the question of how can one die with dignity after being an able, intelligent person. The Renny character struck a chord since she reminded me of people I know who are hard on the outside, but aching for love in the inside.
The setting is palpable, you get a good sense of life on a ranch.
I recommend Stars Go Blue particularly for people who know someone with Alzheimer’s disease, couples who are estranged, and ranchers. There are some gentle reminders that there is still a human being underneath all that forgetfulness, and that love still exists, even when life gets hard.
Word is there’s a movie option on this book so let’s hope it makes it to the big screen. I had thoughts of the movie Nebraska while reading this.
Counterpoint, June 2014
Buy it on Amazon
To learn more about Laura and her books go to her website.