The Blue Hour takes you to a tiny town nestled into big mountains. Laura Pritchett's prose are crisp and elegant, her characters' voices are clear and true, and the pictures she paints of the Colorado mountains and meadows are beautiful. This book speaks to things people are too often afraid to talk about. It is quietly courageous.
Winner of the 2018 Colorado Book Award, "Pritchett writes with an evident love for the mountains and the people that call them home (Westword).
The residents of Blue Moon Mountain form a tight–knit 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 are 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, a time of desire, lust, honesty—and learn to navigate the often confusing paths of mourning and love.
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 characters—some of whom we've met in Pritchett's previous work—will traverse to protect their own.
About the Author
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
Winner of the 2018 Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction
Named One of Ten Great Books by Colorado Authors in 2017 by Westword
"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
"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
“I really think [The Blue Hour] is fabulous . . . It’s one of those interesting books that looks both forward and backward . . . The writing is so, so splendid.” —Nancy Pearl, guest on Libsyn
"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)
"Within this close–knit community, Pritchett 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." —Booklist (starred review)
"Pritchett writes with an evident love for the mountains and the people that call them home." —Westword, One of Ten Great Books by Colorado Authors in 2017
"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." —Daily Camera
"Piercing . . . An original meditation on sex, love, and death." —Kirkus Reviews
"Pritchett is boldly lyrical, whether she is writing about the eyes of archangels or the dawning of a new day, or especially the love lives of her diverse cast of characters, united in both a quest for love and residence around the beautiful Blue Moon Mountain . . . In this elegant book, there’s an appealing verisimilitude in the way the characters are variously, tentatively connected." —Publishers Weekly
"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, heartbreaking 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
"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. Actually there are so many wonderful works that this novel made me think of—Alice Hoffman’s Turtle Moon and 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, award–winning author of The Jazz Palace