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Stars Go Blue

A Novel

List Price: $15.95

June 9, 2015 | Paperback | 5.6 x 8.7, 208 pages | ISBN 9781619025486
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Laura Pritchett is an award-winning author who has quickly become one of the west’s defining literary voices. We first met hardscrabble ranchers Renny and Ben Cross in Laura’s debut collection, and now in Stars Go Blue, they are estranged, elderly spouses living on opposite ends of their sprawling ranch, faced with the particular decline of a fading farm and Ben’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease. He is just on the cusp of dementia, able to recognize he is sick but unable to do anything about it –the notes he leaves in his pockets and around the house to remind him of himself, his family, and his responsibilities are no longer as helpful as they used to be. Watching his estranged wife forced into care-taking and brought to her breaking point, Ben decides to leave his life with whatever dignity and grace remains.

As Ben makes his decision, a new horrible truth comes to light: Ray, the abusive husband of their late daughter is being released from prison early. This opens old wounds in Ben, his wife, his surviving daughter, and four grandchildren. Branded with a need for justice, Ben must act before his mind leaves him, and sets off during a brutal snowstorm to confront the man who murdered his daughter. Renny, realizing he is missing, sets off to either stop or witness her husband’s act of vengeance.

Stars Go Blue is a triumphant novel of the American family, buffered by the workings of a ranch and the music offered by the landscape and animal life upon it.

About Laura Pritchett

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. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, Salon, High Country News, The Sun, Orion, and many others.

Praise

"Pritchett delivers a brilliant novel, filled with heartache and humor, that will strike a chord with many readers. A heart-wrenching exploration of a family in crisis."—Library Journal, Starred Review

"Pritchett has a remarkable talent for laying down the harshness of ranch -- and human -- life without letting the narrative itself descend into bitterness, and the novel ends not on the kind of saccharine note one might expect, but survival and acceptance. Her clean prose draws the reader into painfully real evocations of all who suffer, even as she lets the beauty of the world blossom."—Boulder Daily Camera

"Laura Pritchett's is a fine new voice, fully her own, with wise sensibilities. The deep territory mapped here in the triangular boundary between regret and endurance and hope is well illuminated and finely wrought."—Rick Bass, author of The Stars

"Stars Go Blue manages to be both warm-hearted and violent at once -- a complex deeply-imagined family tale which finds unexpected gifts at its conclusion. Laura Pritchett is a writer who knows country life on the Rocky Mountain front range thoroughly and she conveys this physical world expertly, beautifully out of her long experience. Within this specific place her clear depiction of character and suspenseful delivery of story compel us to the last exact word."—Kent Haruf, author of Plainsong and Eventide

"Laura Pritchett's new book is a novel about family and the Western spirit to which they are born; her characters bound off the page as if released from the pull of gravity. In prose as bright as mountain air we meet a retired rancher whose memory is failing and his estranged, hard-bitten wife, as each attempts to prepare for the release from prison of the stranger who murdered their daughter. Their narratives are as gripping as they are intelligent, as wise as they are funny, as unsentimental as they are tender. What results is proof positive that Pritchett is one of Colorado's best-kept literary secrets, a superb writer who not only knows her people and the world they come from, but respects and loves them."—Laura Hendrie, author of Stygo

"Pritchett's debut is an admirable, steely-eyed collection of stories and vignettes featuring a family of ranchers in mountain-shadowed Colorado. . . . Pritchett, raised a rancher herself, writes beautifully about the hard work and casual cruelty of ranch life. . . . Fans of Annie Proulx's Close Range and Jon Billman's When We Were Wolves should enjoy this visceral, accomplished collection."—Publishers Weekly

"Displays the talent of a brilliant, new writer."—The Rocky Mountain News

"Pritchett excels at juxtaposing the sensuous with the severe, the rapturous with the repugnant."—Booklist

"Vividly conveys a world where decency and humanity are challenged repeatedly, and diminished, yet still manage to gain small, significant victories."—Kirkus

"[a] compassionate, finely observed first novel... [whose] graceful, leisurely pace and genial characters overlay darker, tenser narrative threads. Pritchett, who proved herself an astute observer of rural Colorado's hardy inhabitants in her award-winning story collection, Hell's Bottom, Colorado, offers an amiable, moving story of love, duty and family."—Publishers Weekly

"From beginning to end, Sky Bridge grabs you by the heart and never lets you go."—The Denver Post

"In this spare yet haunting portrait of the American West, Pritchett's powerful, poetic voice speaks with clarity, wisdom, and passion about country, family, and one young woman's majestic spirit."—Booklist

"[A] captivating first novel . . Reminiscent of Billie Letts's Where the Heart Is, this book offers a gritty but redeeming picture of a family that never quite lets go of hope, and characters who are not soon forgotten."—Library Journal

"At the center of Laura Pritchett's Sky Bridge is the courageous notion that a world that makes us all strangers makes us also, necessarily, family. The beauty of the book lies in the way Pritchett, quietly and without fanfare, explores this difficult balance."—Kent Meyers

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