Somewhere in Blue

Somewhere in Blue


A review of Somewhere In Blue by Gillian Cummings

Published on February 1, 2010

The Freedom in American Songs, by Kathleen Winter

The Freedom in American Songs
Kathleen Winter


In her entrancing first novel, Somewhere in Blue, Gillian Cummings addresses the topic of teen suicide with sensitivity and skill. Sandy is frozen in grief after the death of her father in the depths of winter. Spring’s finally arriving, but the 16-year-old can’t be warmed by the possibilities opening up around her. Schoolwork, the support of her best friend Lennie, even the budding romantic interest of the boy next door do nothing to break her fixation on her father’s absence. Rather than talking to her career-driven mother, Vivian, who seems to have shed mourning like an out-of-fashion coat, Sandy has imaginary conversations with the parent she lost or wanders the shores of Lake Ontario in dull silence. Cummings balances the teenager’s descent into severe depression with the personal struggles of three women close to her: Lennie, who scorns the bar-hopping lifestyle of her own mother, Teresa; Vivian, whose marriage was in trouble long before cancer struck; and Teresa, the single mom forced to confront the demons of her past when her brother shows up on her doorstep. Like these women, Sandy has to find the strength to rise above her pain and begin again. mRb



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