Published by Llewellyn Worldwide on 2010
Fifteen-year-old Aura Ambrose has been hiding a secret. Her mother, a talented artist and art teacher, is slowly being consumed by schizophrenia, and Aura has been her sole caretaker ever since Aura's dad left them. Convinced that "creative" equals crazy, Aura shuns her own artistic talent. But as her mother sinks deeper into the darkness of mental illness, the hunger for a creative outlet draws Aura toward the depths of her imagination. Just as desperation threatens to swallow her whole, Aura discovers that art, love, and family are profoundly linked—and together may offer an escape from her fears.
In A Blue so Dark, Aura’s mother is schizophrenic and she decides to take it upon herself to deal with it. Her father is hands off, never broaching the topic because he is busy having his own new family. Aura doesn’t go to anyone, afraid of losing her mother completely. In other words, she ends up having to deal with her mother as if she was the child – not vice versa.
Characters: I feel like we never get to know who Aura is because of her focus on her mother. She throws all of her energy into keeping the appearance of normalcy up. Like her mother, she is artistic, but she worries that it is art that has driven her mother insane and so she stays away from it like the plague. Her best friend already has a kid and is only in high school, her father has started a new life with a new family, and she’s pretty much alone in the world – her mother being mentally incapacitated sometimes. I feel like what she deals with defines her instead of what is inside her.
I couldn’t quite relate to this. To be honest, I was a bit bored. There was only hints of could-be side plots, without any real delivery. I wanted to smack Aura for not calling someone and helping her mother sooner so that they wouldn’t be in any danger of losing everything they had. I’ve really never had this situation and while it was slightly intriguing, I felt like it was dragged out.