"Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Blue Place

TITLE: The Blue Place
AUTHOR: Nicola Griffith

Because I read this after its sequel, there will be spoilers in this review.

A while back I read and reviewed the sequel to this one, Stay. I was surprised upon reading this that knowing how things turned out didn't ruin this one for me. The mystery was still fresh, and I hadn't realized that Aud doesn't know Julia, who she's mourning in Stay, all that long. So there were the details of how they met and came to love each other, plus all the wonderful descriptions of Atlanta and Norway. Griffith is a literary writer who immerses the readers in the details of a place to the point you can hear tires crunching on gravel or the birds singing overhead and smell the flowers blooming in Aud's garden or by the lake. You feel the cold when she's exploring the glacier in Norway and you feel her pain when she finally lets herself love someone with all the fear of losing that special someone.

Aud is one of the strongest female characters you can meet in fiction. Tall, physically capable, a trained cop skilled in martial arts, knowledgeable about more things that the average person, someone who can build furniture and repair homes, Aud has enough money to not need to work, a curiosity and need to stay busy that leads her to take work, and a closed off psyche. For all of her physical attributes, emotionally, she has plenty of room for growth.

I've enjoyed meeting her and tagging along on her journey. In a response to my review of Stay, Nicola Griffith mentioned a third book might be coming. I've already put it (untitled -- N. Griffith) on my To Read list.