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Stars Go Blue

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  546 Ratings  ·  119 Reviews
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 ...more
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published June 10th 2014 by Counterpoint (first published May 19th 2014)
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Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 emotional stars

While just 144 pages on my e-reader, it took some time for me to finish this short novel. Reason being: I had to stop and take breaks along the way before I could go back to it. This is one of the most heartbreaking stories I have read to date. And more than once, that lump in my throat was difficult to swallow.

This is the story of an elderly couple, Ben and Renny Cross. They are ranchers in Colorado, and are estranged…both still live on the ranch, just on opposite sides. Ben ha
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I first read this novel, Stars Go Blue by Laura Pritchett in 2017. Perhaps my mood was wrong at the time or my mind was not in a good place because although I admired Ms. Pritchett's beautiful writing, I was left feeling frustrated with the story and the characters. I put the novel aside until recently and upon re-reading it, I found I had a wholly different experience. This time, I read the book with a persistent lump in my throat and the words I am now writing are not so much a review but rath ...more
Diane S ☔
May 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
A brutally honest and unflinching look at a family tragedy and an elderly husbands descent into dementia. Beautifully and poignantly told, the cold weather, the snow and a man's last attempt to right a wrong. The love hate relationship Remy has as a caregiver to her husband of many years. Her resentment and impatience, all so real, as she contemplates the lack of a future they will not have. The notes, the reminders, the struggle as Ben tries so hard to hold on to his thoughts long enough to fin ...more
Laura Resau
Mar 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book was a profound experience that I don't think I'll ever forget. It made me FEEL so DEEPLY. It made me feel BIG things, like life and death and love and sorrow and laughter and landscape... Pritchett has this incredible ability to capture the expansive range of human experience and make readers feel it all, right down to their bones. I was already crying just a few pages in-- but the good kind of crying, the kind that lets you glimpse what matters about being a human on earth. Th ...more
May 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Despite having won a number of awards for her previous books, Laura Pritchett's newest novel may top them all. Stars Go Blue is wintery, passionate and poignant, with characters you want to sweep up in your arms to either heal, or to borrow some of their peaceful presence. This book is particularly moving if you have ever loved someone with dementia. It is full of love for animals and ranching and mountains; full of love of details of the Colorado landscape; full of love for the prickly people i ...more
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
What a brave and scary thing for a writer to do. By writing in the voice of a protagonist with Alzheimer's, Pritchett forced herself to live in her own father's head. Because both fathers (real and fictional) have the progressive disease, the bittersweet reality of love and loss are profound. But that's not all this novel has to offer. It's just the tip of the iceberg really. I stand in awe of the skill and guts it took to weave such a beautiful story.
Benjamin Dancer
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Stars Go Blue A Novel by Laura PritchettThe novel reads quickly for three reasons: it’s suspenseful (a bit of a thriller), the reader is captivated by the characters and its lean. A number of things impress me about Laura Pritchett’s story. Let’s start with Ben, one of the protagonists.

Ben wouldn't be a man you’d notice on the street. He's not somebody that would stand out. But because of the attentive focus of the narrative, the old man gets inside your heart and emerges as a hero, becomes somebody you wish you could know, have as a
Sep 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Despite a difficult subject matter, this book has a plot that sucks you right in and won't let you go until you finish the last page. The portrayal of dementia itself and also how it affects loved ones was real and haunting. I enjoyed references to local landmarks, like "Fern's". :)

You have to read this amazing book from local and wonderful author Laura Pritchett.
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary
One Book Billings
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Serious readers & writers
Recommended to mark by: Laura Pritchett
This novel is a Psychological Drama, and it is disturbing – you’ve been warned. It is about diseased minds, both genetically and environmentally caused, and the interaction of both and the dire consequences of diseased minds. Stars go Blue is about death, dying, and killing. It’s about small towns and rural ranch living, which hardly is living at all – but a slow, painful death that struggles to minimize suffering. It’s about being old and how to die. It is about stuff most of us don’t want to t ...more
Vera Neves (Sinfonia dos Livros)

O tema deste livro é assim um pouco difícil e complicado de abordar, uma vez que fala de uma doença que nos dias de hoje está a tornar-se cada vez mais frequente. Quando falamos com alguém que já não vemos há algum tempo e perguntamos: "Então como está a família?" e a resposta, eventualmente, acaba por ser "Está tudo bem, tirando o meu pai a quem foi diagnosticado Alzheimer.". Quantos de nós já não se pôs a pensar "E se um dia eu sofrer de Alzheimer? Quem cuidará de mim com a paciência e
a continuation and opening up of pritchett's short stories centered around ben and renny cross's ranch on the east side of the rockies. Hell's Bottom, Colorado you know what's on the east side of the rockies right? flat earth, no rain, constant wind, 2 inch tall grass. and families. so the old couple are facing bad bad health and a small small window for justice. will justice be done? is more death and heartache worth the satisfaction? hard people, hard life and histories, hard choices in compel ...more
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A story about a family broken by two tragedies -- a brutal death and a life-changing dementia diagnosis. I liked and "knew" the characters immediately -- they existed in my family and they probably do in yours, as well. Halfway through the book, I was interrupted by the curveballs of my own life, but I picked it up again last night and couldn't put it down until I had finished. It's achingly sad, sadly tragic, tragically real. Yet, I closed the book feeling proud of the main characters and how t ...more
Carla Faleiro
Tinha tudo para ser excelente, mas no fim só o achei cansativo!
Isa Bel | Manta de Histórias
"Já te digo o que vou fazer."
O que vos digo é que este livro, apesar das suas 203 páginas, não é uma leitura rápida nem fácil. É um livro para se ir lendo. A doença de Alzheimer é a grande protagonista desta história. Uma doença que vai tirando aos poucos o conhecimento de nós próprios e que nos deixa completamente abandonados. Ben, o portador da doença e protagonista da história tem muito a dizer-nos. A lição de vida aqui deixada é fantástica e corajosa. Laura Pritchett construiu bem a história
Adelaide Silva
A perspectiva do doente e a do cuidador. A certeza de que se está morto antes de morrer. Um tema actual e pertinente mas em que faltou algo.
Karen West
Jun 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was so moved by this short novel. It is about Renny and Ben who are estranged. Ben is struggling with Alzheimer's, and his wife is struggling with being his caretaker. They are both struggling with the murder of their daughter and the release of her murderer from prison. The book is beautifully written, and the characters are well developed. I cried as the characters let me into their lives. A story of family love and the tragedies that life deals us. Set in Colorado, the setting became one of ...more
Paula Margulies
Dec 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A poignant, mesmerizing tale about a rancher with Alzheimer's who seeks revenge for his daughter's death. Beautifully written, with characters whose voices resonate long after the final pages.
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Aug 01, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars
Kris Dinkel
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book captured me for so many reasons. I totally related to Renny and Ben's broken relationship. It reminded me so much of my grandparents at the end of their life. I am fearfully interested in dementia and Alzheimer's disease. As a working mom of two very busy boys with demanding schedules, I often feel I am struggling with early signs of the disease. The contrast of city life against the beauty and significance of a rancher's life intrigued me. While I understand the deep connection the ch ...more
Marcia Miller
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
With her usual poetic turns of phrase and strong, independent characters, Laura Pritchett has crafted a harrowing story about family, love, loss, memory, change, and the devastating effects of Alzheimer's disease. Told in alternating chapters, this novel presents its story from the points of view of Ben and his wife of 40 years, Renny, who witnessed the terrible murder of one of their daughters by her outraged husband. Their struggle to to handle their grief, anger, and care of the grandchildren ...more
Natalie Russell
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book for a class in college. It resonated with me due to my familiarity with the area in which the story is set, and my work with Alzheimer's patients while I was a CNA. It was very tough for me to read, but I would recommend it. The way Pritchett wrote from the perspective of a man with Alzheimer's gave me a deeper understanding of the residents I worked with. Because of my class, I was able to go listen to Pritchett give a reading, and she mentioned briefly her personal familial ex ...more
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The first 6 months I lived in Fort Collins, I lived in Laura Pritchett's house while her family was away on her husband' sabbatical. I always told myself I would read her books but have just now gotten around to it. I loved so much that I could pick out certain details (Fern's/Vern's Diner) that Pritchett obviously holds dear. However, even without that extra bit of sentimentality this book is amazing. Its heart wrenching and devastating and yet hopeful at the same time. Such an amazing read.
Aug 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
JP can hold my attention, pluck my heart and cast me into memories and dreams in one swoop. This story carries the true depth of living and the beauty of death together.
The Bookies Bookstore
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Local author. Story set on a Colorado ranch. Aging rancher, family relationships and a blizzard. Very fine story." Bookie Dona
Sep 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story about a family in Colorado who is aging. Illness, hate, and love permeate their lives as the murder of their daughter takes front stage. Very poetically written.
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A beautifully written book about love and loss, the loss being dementia. The previous reviewers are so eloquent, I cannot add more words of praise. A book I will reread.
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written novel where its sorrow seeps into your soul. I am beginning to treasure concise, powerful storytelling and the skill of an author to move the reader to deep emotion with fewer, rather than lengthy, prose. Pritchett accomplished this in 183 simple but elegant pages.
Ben and Renny Cross are ranchers and farmers, on their ranch Hell's Bottom, in Colorado. They have two adult daughters, Carolyn and Rachel. Each daughter has two children. Rachel's husband, Ray Steele, kills Rachel
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Laura Pritchett is the author of nine books. She began her writing journey with the short story collection Hell’s Bottom, Colorado, which won the PEN USA Award for Fiction and the Milkweed National Fiction Prize. This was followed by the novels Sky Bridge, Stars Go Blue, Red Lightning, and The Blue Hour. She’s the editor of three anthologies: Pulse of the River, Home Land, and Going Green: True Ta ...more
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“Tell ya what I'm gonna do, see. I'm not going to hope. Now, you don't either. Don't hope your life will get better. Just make it so. Don't hope you are able to handle this baby. Just do it. Just be glad, just move fast, just do what you need to do. But for god's sake, don't hope. Just be...Just be...” 2 likes
“Sometimes this disease reminds me of a Stellar’s jay.” And Zach, sweet Zach, says, “That was well put, Renny,” and winks kindly at her. She tries to stop the smile but it’s too late. She curled her hair this morning with pink plastic curlers and she’s glad she did that because what- oh-what source of joy is there left for her in this world? She is not interested in men and their sexual needs (oh, what a relief, when she took Ben’s hand off her breast decades ago and told him that she was just done with that stuff), but she could use a friend, maybe even a friend that would rub her stiff shoulders and hold her hand, and it might as well be a man since she can’t picture wanting a woman to touch her. Everyone is still smiling at her. Smiling extra hard. She is an honored martyr. She knows that they know. That she has already lost a daughter. And on top of this she has Ben, whose speech and thought has quite suddenly taken a turn for the worse. So she gets an especially high grade for her suffering. And that’s what humans want. To feel special. Even for stupid reasons. Bastards, all of them, she says to herself, to the friendly and smiling faces, all bastards except for maybe Zach. Maybe she hates them all.” 1 likes
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