The Blue Window

Scribner. Jan. 2023. 272p. ISBN 9781476794266. $27. F
Lorna is a therapist who seeks answers as to why her mother Marika abandoned the family when Lorna was only seven years old. Before Marika left, she would visit Lorna’s bedroom and relate the stories of her youth working for the Resistance in Holland during World War II. Marika reached out years later with a postcard after Lorna gave birth to her son Adam, but their entire relationship consists of a yearly Thanksgiving dinner. When Adam abruptly quits college and returns home, seemingly trying to disappear, Lorna is determined to help him. When she learns that Marika has had an accident and needs help in Vermont, decides that a road trip may be the answer to solving Adam’s withdrawal. She is also determined to finally find the reason why her mother left. The story is told in alternating chapters by Adam, retreating from life and referring to himself as only as “A” and refusing to speak in the first person, Lorna, and Marika. In the end, the answers that Lorna seeks will be revealed, but at a cost.
VERDICT Berne (The Dogs of Littlefield) has crafted an insightful novel about family secrets and the emotional trauma that reverberates through three generations.
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