If you met the Devil at the crossroads, what would you say to her?
Sapphire Blue--Bluebird, secretly--has a missing sister, a pair of hiking boots, and her mother's guitar, and she makes a deal sealed with a kiss with the woman in the red dress: she will help Blue find her sister Cass, in trade for her soul. Her boots will guide her, in return for her voice--so Blue learns to speak through her guitar. When she thinks she's got the hang of the rules and the road, the woman in the red dress changes the stakes. She's got a notebook, a sketical heart, and the power of myth on her side--what waits for Blue at the end of her journey?
I love music, I love a road trip, and I love some subtle mythology, so The Devil and the Bluebird was a great read. It's a hard read too, with heartbreak with no easy answers, the politics of transience and the ache and selfishness of human nature, and Blue's mother's death creating ripples of pain across time and space. But, Blue's army of lovers--including Tish, her mother's former lover, partner in their folk rock act Dry Gully, and second mother to her and Cass, becomes something fantastic in the third act. I loved this, and can't wait to see more from Jennifer Mason-Black.
"This world, we see it through all kinds of peepholes. Microscopes, telescopes, binoculars turned backward." Laughter echoed in Blue's head, a memory of all four of them playing with a pair of binoculars. "Sometimes we see things one way, sometimes another; some of them are never recognizable again. That's the magic of being alive."