Darling Blue by Tracy Rees
Review to follow
A sweeping tale of love in the 1920s and a powerful story of reinvention, Darling Blue is a simply gorgeous read…
Blue lives a charmed life. From her family’s townhouse in Richmond, she lives a life of luxury and couldn’t want for anything – well, on the surface at least.
Then on the night of her twenty-first birthday her father makes a startling toast: he will give his daughter’s hand to whichever man can capture her heart best in the form of a love letter. But Blue has other ideas and, unwilling to play at her father’s bewildering games, she sets out on her own path to find her own destiny…
All through that shimmering riverside summer of 1925 there seemed to be only one question on everybody’s lips: who was Blue Camberwell going to marry? ‘Jolly well everybody wants to know!’ squealed Juno Forrester in the Richmond Gazette. Blue dropped the newspaper onto a side table and rested her brow against the window. The lawn was abuzz with preparations for her twenty-first birthday party. Waiters were lining up diamond-bright champagne glasses on long tables spread with white tablecloths smooth as icing. Servants hired for the evening perched on ladders, stringing fairy lights through the trees and looping ribbons from trellis to trellis. In the summerhouse, Midge was carefully positioning a gramophone in readiness for the half hours when the jazz quartet would take a breather. Blue’s father was nowhere to be seen. Unable to resist what she knew to be a depressing impulse, Blue picked up the article again.
Could that question be answered tonight, at her comingof- age party? Nothing confirmed, remember! But it is a special occasion, and at least three gentlemen of my acquaintance are head over heels with the young lady.
Three? In love? It was news to Blue.
Whether or not an engagement is announced, this promises to be the party of the year. The guest list includes some of our most distinguished neighbours and yours truly has been privileged with an invitation which I’m clutching in my little paws right now (coloured nail polish – naturally). Dear readers, I promise you a full and faithful account tomorrow. But for now, must dash – time to get my glad rags on!
With a low growl, she dropped the Gazette into the wastepaper basket – a gesture only, since Midge would certainly fish it out later and paste the article into her scrapbook. Blue was used to having her life described in extravagant terms: beautiful Blue and her charmed life; beautiful Blue who lived in a castle with her handsome father, her virtuous stepmother and the elf in the garden . . . She was blessed, that she knew, but life was never just one thing nor the other, not for anyone. As for ‘jolly well everybody’ – they would have to face disappointment. They wouldn’t learn who Blue was going to marry for one simple reason – she didn’t know herself. Blue was far more preoccupied by how she could achieve her dream of becoming a writer than she was by thoughts of romance. But that didn’t make good gossip.