Starred review from Booklist...
“Gretchen lives for the moments of pure delight when she can be with Joe. Joe revels in loving Gretchen out in the mountaintop meadow where their passion can be witnessed only by stars and the bears who patiently watch from the ringing forest. Ruben’s gentle touch with animals also extends to the humans who come into his orbit, like Lillie, not quite old enough to be his mother but still young enough to covet his attention. Violet and Ollie, Flannery and Di, Sergio, Jess, Zach, Dandelion, and all the other residents of Blue Moon Mountain are connected, not only by the sheer beauty of their surroundings and their reverence for nature but by the shocking suicide of Sy, the local vet, whose death mystifies them and sends them digging deep within themselves to recover that essential life force that can prevent them from following in his tracks. Within this close-knit community, Pritchett (Red Lightning, 2015) finds the core of the humanity—love, lust, loyalty, compassion, companionship, caring—wondrously bound in the stories of these incandescent characters, who want to survive on their own terms but who also learn that sustenance is only possible when supported by community. A richly sensual, tenderly proffered portrait of the most vulnerable yet appealing aspects of the human condition.”
The Blue Hour
In Laura Pritchett’s new novel, The Blue Hour, readers are introduced to the tight-knit residents of Blue Moon Mountain, nestled high in the Colorado Mountains. These neighbors form an interconnected community of those living off the land, drawn by the beauty and isolation all around them. So when, at the onset of winter, the beloved town veterinarian commits a violent act, the repercussions of that tragedy are felt all across the mountainside, upending their lives and causing their paths to twist and collide in unexpected ways.
As the residents seek to recover, they dig deeper and more fully into their lives: the housecleaner who rediscovers her sexual appetite, the farrier who must take in his niece, and the ragged couple trapped in a cycle of addiction and violence. They will all rise and converge upon the blue hour—the l’heure bleu—the hour of twilight, a time of desire, lust, and honesty. These strong, spirited people of Blue Moon Mountain must learn to navigate the line between violence and sex, tenderness and the hard edge of yearning, and the often confusing paths of mourning and lust.
Writing with passion for rural lives and the natural world, Laura Pritchett, who has been called “one of the most accomplished writers of the American West,” graces the land of desire in vivid prose, exploring the lengths these moving, deeply felt characters —some of whom we’ve met in Pritchett’s previous work — will traverse to protect their own.
What others are saying . . . .
“Desire, passion, and unexpected violence simmer in Pritchett’s dazzling new novel about the denizens of a tightly knit rural community grappling with a horrific tragedy. Graced with characters so alive, so full of quirky humanity, you miss them when you’ve finished the book, and written in prose as clear and gorgeous as a mountain afternoon, The Blue Hour isn’t just about the many ways love can end—it’s about how connection jumpstarts when you least expect it, too." —Caroline Leavitt, author of Cruel Beautiful World and the New York Times Bestsellers Is This Tomorrow and Pictures of You
“Laura Pritchett's exquisitely-linked novel of short stories—Jumpha Lahiri comes to mind—manages to be all at once poetic and funny, heart-breaking and true. And the theme of sex—its role as social bonder, marriage breaker—is so beautifully, rarely addressed. This is a snapshot of the new West, as seen from that most breathtaking perspective—the inside out.”–Alexandra Fuller, author of Leaving Before the Rains
“How many books does each of us come across in a year, a decade, a lifetime? No matter how many you’ve picked up before now, The Blue Hour is one you should disappear with into a quiet room right now. The terrifically talented Laura Pritchett has written an immersive, sexy, singular novel, each of its characters beautifully drawn and direly infused with desire and sadness and joy. They are trying to find a way to love each other and the world and not be driven mad by these desires. This is the kind of book I am always looking for and am very grateful to have found in the lyrical and heartbreaking pages of The Blue Hour.” --Christine Sneed, author of Paris, He Said
"Laura Pritchett has taken on love in all its complexity. Reminiscent of Charles Baxter’s Feast of Love, every chapter of this beautifully linked novel gives us a story of conjugal love, passionate love, unrequited love. Just when love is lost, somewhere else it is regained. It reminds me of Alice Hoffman’s Turtle Moon and the classic Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio, but Pritchett’s work feels unique in its humor and its exquisite writing on sex. I loved it in its parts and in its whole. A novel I’ll hold on to in my heart for a long time.” —Mary Morris, author of the award-winning The Jazz Palace.
“In Laura Pritchett’s new novel, The Blue Hour, women and men enter the crucible of fate and violence and desire, sex and the obscure reaches of near comprehension. They emerge as if bound in mist, walking the mountain they love, naming one another holy, calling out across an abyss of loneliness and unrest. In this place charged with dusk, still held by light, The Blue Hour sets lightning on the sky.” –Shann Ray, author of American Copper
“I adore this community and the tender bonds among the characters. It is spiritual, sensual, emotional, erotic, all within a vivid landscape. Here, we have what it is to be a human in love: fear that love will end, unrequited love, violence in love, regret and loss, pain and mental illness, fantasy, perversion, swingin’, the end of love, brand new love, and responsibilities in love. Gorgeous and honest and profound. Gems of wisdom and beauty.” —Laura Resau, author of Red Glass
“This piercing novel in stories . . . [where] Pritchett strives to interweave eros and pathos. . . An original meditation on sex, love, and death.” – Kirkus