Books and blue
It is a fact that blue is the favorite color of the majority of the world’s populace. There are many of us who love the color for different reasons. Blue objects represent all that is good and true. Madonna even had a hit song called “True Blue” that many of us have hummed through our housework, homework or just because we love the color. People have known to relate all that is blue to mysticism and spiritual faith too. Blue is a symbol of peace and composure. People wear blue gemstones in the hope that they will benefit by the positive energy of the color. And why not? Since 4000 BC, the cultures of old have worshiped the color as well. Ancient Persians, Greeks, Egyptians and Sumerians were in awe of blue objects. The Chinese and Tibetans were not far behind.
In Western civilization and culture, blue has taken center stage. From the manufacture of original denim jeans in blue to current-day bible worshipers acknowledging that blue is the color of the Christian faith. In the Medieval Period of the Renaissance in Europe, painters used the color elaborately in their compositions. You only have to look at the backdrop of the majestic ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican to realize this. Perhaps we love it so because we are used to seeing blue objects and things everywhere. So it has touched us with its comforting familiarity. For instance, the sky is blue, the ocean is too. Many things in nature are also blue.
With so much blue around, we should not be surprised when we see books based on the color blue, that is, with blue themes running through their stories. Oh yes, there are some interesting finds that you can read about in the following list.
The Blue Umbrella – Ruskin Bond
Written in 1980, by author Ruskin Bond, The Blue Umbrella is a story about a girl called Binya. Set in the Indian village of Garhwal, the tale is primarily for children, but adults have had pure joy being immersed in it. The story is about a blue umbrella being given to Binya by some foreign tourists, and the local villagers wanting to covet it. The blue object, probably a parasol, is so beautiful, one like the villagers have never seen. To poor village folk, this becomes an object of envy and greed. One particular shop vendor, who isn’t really conducting prosperous business, wants the umbrella and begins to obsess over it. He even tries to coax the girl into giving it to him, saying it is too fanciful for a young child. Binya flatly refuses.
Then, the shopkeeper employs an assistant who tries to steal the umbrella, and so, the story unfolds. In the end, through several plot twists, Binya, a small child, realizes that because she showed off with her blue object, the shopkeeper suffered a lot. She compromises in the end, giving the blue umbrella to the shopkeeper in exchange for a bear claw pendant. The shopkeeper then lets people of the village borrow the umbrella and his business grows once more. The blue umbrella is central to the plot, making the reader believe that it must be a thing holding some positive qualities, as it led to a happy outcome that benefited everyone.
Black and Blue – Anna Quindlen
First published in 1988, this adult fiction book is written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author and journalist, Anna Quindlen. It is an awesome novel of suspense, violence and substance. The protagonist is Fran Benedetto, who narrates the story of how she passionately fell in love with a man, married him and lived through a nightmare of abuse by him. She relates an account of why she stayed on for so long, until one day, when she decides to run away. She starts a new life in Florida with her ten-year-old son, and is confident, yet fearful.
The book tells the story of a very real couple with very real problems. Themes in the book center around relationships between a mother and child, and volatile bonds between a man and a woman. The title signifies the troubled mental state that Fran experiences, as well as the damaged physical state of “being black and blue”. These are the colors of the bruises on her body. Here, black and blue objects are not animate ones, but have a deeper psychological implication.
Blue Dahlia – Nora Roberts
Romance writer Nora Roberts’ first book in the Garden Trilogy, Blue Dahlia is a story that begins with the life of a young widow, Stella. She has two sons and goes to live in a mansion, with a nursery on the grounds. The mansion is known as Harper House, known by popular legend, to be haunted by a ghost, the Harper Bride. Gradually, with a lot of detective work, Stella finds out about the ghost’s motivations and why “the bride” is interfering in her own romance.
This is a supernatural novel, and the blue objects are perhaps the dahlias, amongst other flowers, such as roses, that she tends to in the garden’s nursery. If you like romance, mixed with new beginnings, and some mystery thrown in, this is a great book. The blue in the title is also indicative of the color symbolic of truth – something that Stella discovers about the ghost bride.
Into the Still Blue – Veronica Rossi
This book is the last installment in a trilogy, Under the Never Sky, and the whole atmosphere of the series is surrounded by blue. The book is a sci-fi blockbuster, better than the first two parts. Rescuers, named Perry and Aria, make desperate attempts to transport members of a tribal population to the legendary place called Still Blue. Apparently, the people have been living in an area of turmoil. The Still Blue offers hope of a calmer environment.
The book was on the New York Times Bestseller List too. The book offers fans who liked Hunger Games more adventure, blended with love, and a mesmerizing journey. Here, blue objects are associated with coolness and peace, something that people are yearning for. A perfectly transcribed adventure novel that you will find hard to put down till the monumental end.
Blue-Eyed Devil – Lisa Kleypas
A romance novel with all the trappings of revenge and retribution, makes for interesting reading. The chief protagonist owns a pair of blue objects, namely blue eyes. His name is Hardy Cates. Why is he a devil, though, as the title suggests? He is a self-made rich man who has reached an enviable position in the oil industry. Cates has revenge on his mind. Nonetheless, he falls in love with an heiress who belongs to the very family his vengeance is aimed at. There lies the crux of him being the “devil”. The novel is passionate and poignant. Romance fans will be drawn to it.
To the Far Blue Mountains – Louis L’amour
Louis L’amour tells a memorable story of a man who tries to make a journey to his homeland, only to realize that he may not quite get there. Barnabas Sackett leaves England for good. He thinks he will make his fortune in the New World, America. Facing odds in getting to his destination, with English authorities on his tail, the novel is inspiring. The far blue mountains are the blue-tinted natural landforms that Sackett is dying to reach in America, particularly on the frontier highlands of North Carolina.