Blue Hour Blog Tour

She thinks of blue mountain, her favourite place. ‘We’re going somewhere where we can be safe. We never have to come back here.’

As the rest of the world lies sleeping, Eleanor straps her infant daughter, Amy, into the back of her car. This is the moment she knew must come, when they will walk out on her husband Leon and a marriage in ruins since his return from Vietnam. Together, she and Amy will journey to blue mountain, a place of enchantment and refuge that lit up Eleanor’s childhood.

As the car eats up the miles, so Eleanor’s mind dives back into her fractured relationship with her mother, Kitty. Kitty who asked for so much from life, from love, from family. Kitty who had battled so hard to prise her husband George out of the grip of war. Kitty, whose disapproving voice rings so loud in Eleanor’s head.

Tense, visceral, glittering, it is a masterful return to fiction from the author of the acclaimed See What I Have Done.

This was the first book I read on my Summer holidays and what a book to kick start my summer reading extravaganza! I absolutely loved See What I have Done and found its writing style really compelling. It’s the equivalent of a literary striptease – you definitely do not get to see everything all at once and I love the fact that once again Sarah Schmidt masterfully maintains the art of withholding and the slow reveal. Blue Hour did not disappoint, for such a long-awaited read and I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on the blog tour today. Thanks so much to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the Blog tour and ensuring that my TBR is as eclectic and enticing as always as I head into my Summer break.

Blue Hour definitely was a fantastic read. Sarah Schmidt has crafted a book that you’ll take a long time to forget once you’ve finished it. It certainly had me well and truly hooked and I’ve thought about it a lot since I finished it and feel like it’s the kind of read that really gets under your skin – Eleanor and Kitty’s stories are connected whilst so different and the depth of insight you gain from the way that they are juxtaposed means that you won’t be able to forget either of these two characters or what they go through in a hurry.

One of the most striking things I’ll remember about Blue Hour – and there are many – is that although I was reading it imy garden – in my head, I was very firmly transported into the world of this book, experiencing all of the twists and turns alongside them. In an interview with Sarah Schmidt, she says that the best stories often make readers uncomfortable. “I see the role of fiction when it’s sometimes dark is to help readers understand or experience something through the safety of a book,” she says. The fact that it’s so closely interwoven with her own experiences makes this book all the more visceral a read – “I want people to walk away from the book having a true feeling about something,” Schmidt says. “It’s my complete and entire life. It’s also nothing to do with my life.”

Both Kitty and Eleanor’s characters really spoke to me and they both definitely stepped off the page and appeared before me warts and all; the visceral way in which we get a real insight into their internal struggles mean that we see motherhood in its rawest sense. This is not a book you will forget easily and it may make readers confront some inherently uncomfortable truths about their own relationships and experiences. Despite the potentially challemging parts, it’s a book to savour and think deeply about – both as you are reading it and afterwards as you experience the full force of emotions through its pages.

Blue Hour is such an evocative read that I’m still thinking about it now If this sparks your curiosity, you should definitely order yourself a copy so that you can see for  yourself how Sarah Schmidt pushes the boundaries of family relationships and challenges her readers to think about the dark moments in our lives that make us who we are as well as the bright spots.

This will definitely appeal to fans of intelligent and multi layered fiction . It really is well worth your while to cast your net more widely in terms of what you read over the summer when you might have more time on your hands, so if you haven’t heard of Sarah, this is my sign to get yourself a copy and see what you have been missing.

I’d like to pass on my thanks to the ever-lovely Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the Blog Tour and sending me a copy of the book. It’s such a gorgeous cover that will make you think about the ties that bind us as well as the temptation to take flight from the limitations of our roots at times – and the inside is definitely just as striking. Get your hands on your own copy here – it’s a 10/10 summer read that I can’t recommend enough.

Writer On The Shelf

Sarah Schmidt is the acclaimed author of See What I Have Done, which was longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction and won the AIBA Literary Fiction of the Year 2018. She lives in Melbourne where she works as a librarian.


You can follow her at https://sarahschmidt.org/ and on Twitter @ikillnovel.

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