Sunday, February 26, 2006
Meet Michelle Richmond!
Introducing my blog readers to Michelle Richmond may be like preaching to the choir, as I know many of you are already fans of her exquisite fiction. But in case you're not familiar with her novel, Dream of the Blue Room, here's a synopsis:
On a warm night in July, 32-year-old Jenny finds herself sitting on the deck of a Chinese cruise ship next to a charming but secretive stranger. In Jenny's lap is a tin containing the ashes of her best friend, Amanda Ruth, mysteriously murdered fourteen years earlier in a small Alabama town.
In this foreign landscape, filled with ancient cities that will soon be inundated by the rising waters of the Yangtze River, Jenny must confront her haunted past and decide the direction of her future. As the ship moves slowly upriver, from one abandoned village to another, Jenny journeys deeper into her own guilt and eroticism.
Dream of the Blue Room explores the nature of friendship and the intimacy that exists between young girls as they struggle toward adulthood. Set alternately against the impressive landscape of the Yangtze and in a small river town in Alabama, this stunning novel reflects on the human desire to control and tame what is ultimately untamable.
I have chills, okay? This sounds like a novel I'm going to do backflips over. Of course, the critics have been turning cartwheels since it first came out:
"A dreamy, haunting work with a deeply personal feel. Any time a work of fiction raises our sights to higher truths, as this one does, the writer has done her job." - Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Some childhood relationships are so fulfilling they shape our lives and leave us wondering why they didn't last longer. Richmond captures, explores, and intertwines these bonds so elegantly, you might even think the relationships are your own." - USA Today
"With the slow build-up of a mystery, the exquisite pain of a coming-of-age novel, the masterful images of a travel writer, and a darkness that is true to the Southern Gothic, Dream of a Blue Room is a work of wonderfully chimeric form." - Joanna Pearson, Small Spiral Notebook
"Intelligent, original, complex." - The San Francisco Chronicle
"A complex and nimbly fashioned first novel." - Kirkus Reviews
"The book is finely crafted and compelling, and its emotions resonate true and clear." - Booklist
Dream of the Blue Room, now available in paperback, can be purchased at your local chain or independent bookstore, or online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.