Pub Date 14 Mar 2017
Prose with rules of its own captures the joy of friends in harmony, and the special hell of their discord.
Rachel is a young single mother living with her son, Tristan, on a lake that borders the unchanneled north – remote, nearly inhospitable. She does what she has to do to keep them alive. But soon, and unexpectedly, Tristan will have to live alone, his youth unprotected and rough, even brutal, mirroring the wild open place that is his only home, and that will be overrun by strangers — strangers inhabiting the lodge that has replaced his home, strangers that make him fight, or talk, or even love, when he doesn't want to.
A resonant book of first love, first loss, then second love, Shot-Blue brings to life the dance of consciousness, how in mind and heart we do not exist alone on our own terms.
The road was like a portage: an opening that lets you in but makes no promise to bring you out on another side. Maybe the road narrowed to a dead end or was blocked by a swamp raised by a beaver dam. Maybe it led to a place they weren't welcome. She walked through the cut slowly and stopped, her dark hair falling across her shoulders heavily, and Tristan imagined that she meant to let her hair sweep the ground as it did. Most boys would have run out to meet their mothers. But he knew he couldn't understand. She was always telling him, you can't understand everything.
‘This poetically written book is full of riddles, of characters talking
past each other and misunderstanding one another in the vein of a
Shakespearean love tangle. Loneliness, the very human inability to
communicate with one another in a way that reveals our deepest selves,
is the point. The novel is a fine corrective to fiction that assumes
that people are rational actors and that motive is straightforward or
– Publishers Weekly
A moving, lyrical novel. [...] A searing debut.’
– Kirkus Reviews‘
‘Shot-Blue is that rarest species, a genuinely wise novel.’
– Rivka Galchen