Shinelle's Reviews > Up From the Blue

Up From the Blue by Susan  Henderson
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's review
Jan 09, 2011

really liked it

Henderson takes the familiar bones of so many stories: emotionally distant father, army brat struggles, dysfunctional family life, and covers them with new, clean flesh. Her writing style is deceptively simple, so that even when she is telling instead of showing, she is still showing you something. This is not a civil issues novel, yet she weaves in truths about desegregation without ever getting didactic or preachy. Though this is, in some ways, a feminist novel, males are not really the enemy (though some of the women are.) She uses stock characters, who in some cases are almost caricatures, and gives them tints and shades of depth until they feel real. I particularly enjoyed the parallel she drew between the manner in which many health professionals treat expectant mothers and the way the Colonel treats Mara's depression. In doing so, she illuminates an disquieting truth: that those on the outside of a traumatic experience tend to expect those on the inside to just "snap out of it," and those on the inside are more likely to snap themselves or the ones they love.

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