FICTION

The Last Blue

Pegasus. Jun. 2020. 336p. ISBN 9781643134185. $25.95. F
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It’s 1937 in Chance, a tiny, remote town in eastern Kentucky. Havens and Massey, a photographer and journalist duo, have been sent on assignment by the president’s Farm Security Administration as part of an outreach program to pitch his New Deal to the country, promoting stories of citizens experiencing hard times. Local rumors pique the curiosity of the two, and they discover a secret in Spooklight Holler—a tiny enclave of Blues, those with blue skin, persecuted by the “right-skinned” locals, driven out of the region or into hiding when they weren’t killed altogether. After Havens suffers a snake bite, a young Blue woman, Jubilee, and her family take him in and nurse him back from the brink of death. As the friendship between Jubilee and Havens deepens, Havens and Massey must decide which way their story should turn. Do they reveal this Blue community and sell a sensational story, or do they protect the lives of these rare and already endangered people?
VERDICT A rich historical portrait of the region, Morley’s (Above) love story is also for fans of photography and history buffs looking for novels set in the WPA era.

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