"STARS GO BLUE," by Laura Pritchett, Counterpoint Press, $25, 183 pages (f)
Ben has Alzheimer’s disease, and neither he nor his wife, Renny, is happy about it. With an already troubled relationship, each deals with the disease in different ways. Ben is bent on ending his life before he forgets too much or too often. Renny, usually the stronger of the two, adopts a more caustic attitude about her husband and her lot in caring for him.
Ben has a list of important things he wants to accomplish before he ends his life, and “Stars Go Blue” is about him crossing off those items while continuing to deal with his daughter’s murder. The question is how many items Renny will let him complete before she stops him.
When her strong, analytical husband loses several of the traits that endeared him to her, Renny finds herself floundering. Bitter about the mentality he has already lost, she can only focus on a negative future. Renny’s attitude affects not only herself but also everyone with whom she comes in contact. It isn’t until a terrific snow storm strikes the area that Ben and Renny are forced to realize truths about themselves and each other.
Author Laura Pritchett does a wonderful job weaving her story with terrific wording and emotion. She helps bring to life what Alzheimer’s can be like for both the sufferers and the caregivers. The rough life of Colorado ranchers and the repercussions of losing a family member are also movingly portrayed. While this book is not a happy one, it is very poignant.
“Stars Go Blue” is laced with profanities. Sex is mentioned in passing and there is very little violence. Although “Stars Go Blue” is not the first novel about Ben and Renny, it can easily be read without the reader being familiar with its characters’ histories.
Pritchett is the winner of several writing awards and has taught writing classes throughout the United States. She currently lives in Colorado.
Elizabeth Reid has bachelor's degrees in economics and history. She has worked in retail, medical billing, catering, education and business fields. Her favorite occupation is that of wife and mother. She blogs at gelatoandchocolate.blogspot.com.