A Thousand Blue by Stuart Finnie; my first ever review and the book that changed my life.
The book that changed my life by the man that changed my life.
|A Thousand Blue by Stuart Finnie.|
Cover Image: Moon Lover, Ricky Figg
I know, it sound's super cheesy but when I say that this book change my life but it really did. I've been meaning to read this book for three years, yes, that's not a typo, three years. It was published in 2012 and I was fortunate enough to be good friends with the Author, Stuart Finnie who was, if I may say so, truly a masterful writer. I heard through the student grapevine that Stuart, an intelligent, Scottish student on my course, had published a book and it's safe to say that I was intrigued. I wanted to know everything about it but being a shy girl (sometimes) I never brought it up and neither did he, he was far too modest. I think we may have talked about it once, briefly, but Stuart was far more focused on the people around him.
Unfortunately, Stuart passed away this November and I'll never be able to tell him what I think of this book or of him as a writer. I knew he was talented, in the annoying effortless way, by the poems and short stories he allowed me to read during workshops. He has a beautiful way with words and was bloody good at the academic stuff too (annoyingly so). But I'll never be able to tell him.
It's taken me months to pluck up the courage to buy this book. I will forever regret this decision. This novel has, as I've already mentioned, changed my life and I wouldn't change that for the world. Today, reading this book has reminded me of all the moments I shared with Stuart and I'll never forgive myself for not reading this book sooner.
|The back of the book, and blurb.|
I had extremely high-expectations for this novel, having read Stuart's flawless first drafts (of poems and short stories) during workshops and having had him give me feedback on my own writing. With this in mind, I ripped open the Amazon package waiting at home for me and rushed upstairs to get into comfortable clothes before settling down to read this book. And read it I did. I only put it down for dinner. It took me a couple of hours and almost crying a few times due to the beautiful storyline and my regret for not reading this sooner and being able to talk to Stuart about it.
So, enough with the sad bit, let's get to the review.
A Thousand Blue by Stuart Finnie is the tale of (as you can see in the above picture) a girl and what shapes her into the woman she becomes. The novel is a reflection on life and love and the individual journey the protagonist takes from a little girl (I'm talking first memories) to the very end of her life. It explores the very essence of humanity through the memories that surface in non-chronological order while you're simultaneously thrust into the action at the heart of the story - the decision of the protagonist the save a little boy from being hit by a car, by placing herself between him and it. The reader is forced from present day to memory like steps on a well-designed map until they reach the treasure at the end - the goodbye the character has promised she'll always say to her first love.
The novel is a carefully constructed jigsaw of human life and perfectly encapsulates the human experience, and how each and every moment shapes our lives. It's a book that makes you appreciate what you have and how you got it. A book that whispers a hundred things into your ears and leaves you staring at a blank page at the end, begging for answers you can never have because life isn't that simple, as we learn through the main characters experiences.
After reading the book I'm struggling to remember the protagonist's name or if she even had one, I can't find it anywhere but it's not at all crucial to the storyline either way. The sometimes narrator - for the narrative shifts between unreliable and omniscient narrator - is just a girl that makes you appreciate everything in your life, the good and the bad, and even makes you question what shaped you into the person you are. This is the beauty of the story, it makes you question your life. It posits the importance all the moments in our lives, big and small, which change us. It demonstrates all varieties of love and loss and what it means to be human.
I don't want to spoil too much. I know I've said a lot but I've actually given nothing plotwise away except what can already be seen on the blurb. The last thing I'll say about it is, I love the title and how it relates to the story. For example, on page forty-six:
"A thousand blue," I say, and within a few more steps, I stop walking.
"What does it mean?" he asks.
"It doesn't really mean anything. It was something my aunt said earlier tonight."
A Thousand Blue is a beautifully written haunting tale that I will never regret reading. It's changed my life and if I can produce something half as good as this, I will consider my life a success.
Stuart isn't a well-known author but he was known by everybody at my university, his life touched many and it still can through his wonderful words.
Please, I cannot recommend this book enough.
If you read anything this year, let it be this novel.
This post is dedicated to Stuart Finnie, an amazing author and beautiful human being that I miss each and every day. My best friends. A man that taught me the real meaning of happiness in real life and through his novel, so, with that said, I'll leave you with a small quote from his novel: 'Happiness, I decide, sounds like laughter.' (page 10)
Thank you so much for reading this and for visiting this blog.Thank you so much. x
If you want to know more about Stuart Finnie I would recommend that you read the post from author Terry Brooks, who posted this shortly after Stuart's death. please click here!!!