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A Solitary Blue, Cynthia Voigt

2010/04/02

“A Solitary Blue” is a companion novel to “Dicey’s Song,” Cynthia Voigt’s most well known work. It follows the childhood and coming of age of Jeff Greene, a young boy abandoned by his mother and left to live with his father, an emotionally distant professor.

Jeff is a somber, responsible young boy, and growing up without a mother, becomes only more so as he reaches adolescence and rarely interacts with his father. One day, his mother, Melody, contacts them and asks Jeff to come visit her for the summer. Over the course of the summer, Jeff falls in love with his mother, hoping and wishing that she will ask him to stay with her permanently, but at the end of the season, he is sent back home to his father. Over the next few years, Jeff begins to realize how Melody has manipulated them, and slowly begins to communicate and develop a relationship with his father.

As with many older books, the plot is somewhat slow but rich — Voigt captures Jeff’s introspective manner and thinking, and beautifully describes the places where he lives and passes through. Towards the end of the book, the events overlap with those of “Dicey’s Song,” so readers are introduced to Dicey and Mina from Jeff’s perspective. This book has a similar feel to some of Madeleline L’Engle’s works, though the settings and issues addressed are different.

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