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The Blue Hour

A Novel

List Price: $0.00

ON SALE: February 13, 2018 | Paperback | 6 x 9, 256 Pages | ISBN 9781619026049

The tight-knit residents of Blue Moon Mountain, nestled high in the Colorado Mountains, form an interconnected community of those living off the land, stunned by the beauty and isolation all around them. So when, at the onset of winter, the town veterinarian commits a violent act, the repercussions of that tragedy will be felt all across the mountainside, upending their lives and causing their paths to twist and collide in unexpected ways.

The housecleaner rediscovering her sexual appetite, the farrier who must take in his traumatized niece, the grocer and her daughter, the therapist and the teacher, reaching out to the world in new and surprising ways, 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, honesty. The 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.

LAURA PRITCHETT is the acclaimed author of Stars Go Blue, Red Lightning, Hell’s Bottom, Colorado, and Sky Bridge as well as several books of nonfiction. Her work has garnered several awards, including the PEN USA Award for Fiction, the WILLA, the High Plains Book Award, and others. Learn more at laurapritchett.com

Praise

“In this deeply emotional and sensual novel, Pritchett reminds us that even in dark moments there are sparks of joy and renewal. Each character gets their own chapter, and together their stories form a tapestry of a community blessed with love and humanity. Pritchett’s book will let you forget the turmoil in the world around us, and luxuriate in what it means to be simply and beautifully human.”—Arsen Kashkashian, KGNU-Boulder Book Store Radio

“In this deeply emotional and sensual novel, Pritchett reminds us that we can go on in bleak times and that even in dark moments there are sparks of joy and renewal… Pritchett’s book will help you forget the turmoil in the world around us, and luxuriate in the glory of what it means to be simply and beautifully human.”—PBS NewsHour (1 of 5 Books that will Make You Think About What It Means to be Human)

“PEN USA/High Plains award winner Pritchett links her characters in a seamless tale of uneasy lives poised for change in one Colorado mountain community. A pitch-perfect story from a superb writer.”—Library Journal (starred review)

“In delicately balancing concerns about love and sex with the real life — sick animals, dying brothers, work, children, the annual community bird count — Pritchett paints a remarkably realistic portrait of how the erotic and the ordinary constantly intertwine in most human lives. As in her previous work (fans will enjoy cameos by characters from other novels and stories), she also balances the human struggles with nature’s astounding, abundant beauty, so powerful, yet so needful of protection… Sex and passion, mental illness and mourning, birds and bears, a couple dozen viewpoint characters — it’s a lot to weave into a smooth, compelling tapestry, but Pritchett pulls it off beautifully.”—The Daily Camera

“There’s a sexiness to the danger in this town (and this novel). A shocking act of violence is the catalyst to the local population’s sudden need to connect. Some people react by getting too close; some toe lines of fidelity and sanity; all are trying to find something real. And that’s when the tenuous nature of what binds the neighbors in this close community together reveals itself.”—Marie Claire

“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.”—Starred Booklist

“Pritchett is boldly lyrical… In this elegant book, there’s an appealing verisimilitude in the way the characters are variously, tentatively connected.”—Publishers Weekly

“[A] piercing novel in stories… [I]ntersecting sweet-and-sour relationships.. shape the novel, which is also anchored by plenty of blue imagery: the setting is Blue Moon Mountain, the mood is often blue, and sky and water themes are plentiful… An original meditation on sex, love, and death.”—Kirkus

“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.  Actually there are so many wonderful works that this novel made me think of – Alice Hoffman’s Turtle Moon and one of my favorites, the classic Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio – yet Pritchett’s work feels unique in its humor, its exquisite writing on sex, and in just how blue her world manages to be.  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 novel, The Jazz Palace

“In Laura Pritchett’s new novel, 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, 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 Balefire and American Masculine

“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 today, 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 their desires. This is the kind of book I’m always searching for and am very grateful to have found in the lyrical and heartbreaking pages of The Blue Hour.” —Christine Sneed, author of The Virginity of Famous Men

“In Laura Pritchett’s new novel, 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, 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 Balefire and American Masculine

“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 —Jhumpa 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 Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight and Leaving Before the Rains

“I adore this community and the tender bonds among the characters. Their stories are by turns spiritual, sensual, emotional, and erotic, all set within a vividly rendered landscape. Here, we explore  what it means 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, swinging, the end of love, brand new love, and responsibilities in love. Gorgeous and honest and profound. Sparkles with gems of wisdom and beauty.” –Laura Resau, author of The Queen of Water and Red Glass

 

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