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Remembering Blue: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle) Paperback – May 29, 2001

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Remembering Blue: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle) + The Problem with Murmur Lee: A Novel + How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly
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Product Details

  • Series: Ballantine Reader's Circle
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (May 29, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345439244
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345439246
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #801,129 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When starry-eyed Matilda Fiona O'Roarke (Mattie) meets burly, romantic Proteus Nicholas Blue (Nick), she's a clerk at a Tallahassee convenience store and he's working for a logging firm. He tells her he comes from a long line of rugged Greek-American fishermen who believe they're descended from dolphins and, as such, are destined to die at sea. Nick hopes to thwart fate, but when a fellow logger is killed on the job, Nick realizes that land is just as dangerous as water and returns with Mattie to his home on Lethe, the Florida coastal island his forebears settled. Initially, Mattie finds the extroverted Blue clan overwhelming, but her shyness disappears when Nick's widowed mother takes her under her wing. Soon Mattie is a fishmonger like Nick, and she learns more about the Blue family's heritage and their belief in mythANick is named for Poseidon's son, and the island recalls the mythological river of forgetfulness. Domestic traumas unfold, with Nick's black-sheep brother, Zeke, abandoning his teenage son to Mattie's care, while another brother, Demetrius, struggles with his infant son after his wife's desertion. Nick is strong and sensitive, a loving husband to Mattie, a man who cries when she reads him Hemingway and who saves the lives of stranded baby turtles and butterflies. Mattie is haunted by her own sad history of paternal abandonment and maternal neglect. She tries hard to be perfect, tending house, earning an accounting degree, harvesting vegetables and culling shrimp. When the inevitable Blue curse claims Nick, newly pregnant Mattie remains with the family she has come to love. Though much of the narrative is awash in nostalgia, and the allusions to Greek mythology are forced, Fowler writes lyrically of the Florida coast. The love story carries strong appeal, and Fowler's tender portrayal of Nick and Mattie's idyllic relationship will please romantics everywhere. BOMC selection; national author tour. (Feb.) FYI: Fowler's previous novel, Before Women Had Wings, was made into an Oprah Winfrey Presents TV movie and won the 1996 Southern Book Critics Circle Award.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Here, 25-year-old widow Mattie O'Rourke narrates how she finds and loses the love of her life. The daughter of an abusive, alcoholic mother and a father who abandons them, she meets Nick Blue, a handsome shrimper of Greek descent, when she's working as a convenience store clerk. His family, who owns most of Lethe, an island three miles off Florida's gulf coast, carries a legend that haunts Nick: they once were dolphins, and someday he will return to the sea. After coming to the mainland to figure out what to do with his life, he takes his friend's death as a sign to return home. Mattie goes with him, and, suddenly, after three years of blissful marriage, Nick's empty boat is found drifting (his body is never recovered). A Florida-based essayist and award-winning screenwriter, Fowler endows her characters with a sense of humor and the ability to express joy. Full of interesting allusions to mythology and animal folklore, this is a pleasure to read even though the reader knows that a tragedy is lurking. Recommended for all public libraries.
-Penny Stevens, Centreville Regional Lib., Fairfax Cty P.L, Annandale, VA
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Connie May Fowler is an award-winning novelist, memoirist, and screenwriter. Grand Central Publishing will publish her most recent novel, How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly, April 2, 2010. She is the author of six other books: five critically acclaimed novels and one memoir. Her novels include Sugar Cage, River of Hidden Dreams, The Problem with Murmur Lee, Remembering Blue--recipient of the Chautauqua South Literary Award--and Before Women had Wings--recipient of the 1996 Southern Book Critics Circle Award and the Francis Buck Award from the League of American Pen Women. Three of her novels have been Dublin International Literary Award nominees. Ms. Fowler adapted Before Women had Wings for Oprah Winfrey. The result was an Emmy-winning film starring Ms. Winfrey and Ellen Barkin. In 2002 she published When Katie Wakes, a memoir that explores her descent and escape from an abusive relationship. Her work has been translated into 18 languages and is published worldwide. Her essays have been published in the New York Times, London Times, International Herald Tribune, Japan Times, Slate, Oxford American, Best Life, and elsewhere. For two years she wrote "Savoring Florida," a culinary and culture column for FORUM, a publication of the Florida Humanities Council. In 2007, Ms. Fowler performed in New York City at The Player's Club with actresses Kathleen Chalfont, Penny Fuller and others in an adaptation based on The Other Woman, an anthology that contains her essay "The Uterine Blues." In 2003, Ms. Fowler performed in The Vagina Monologues alongside Jane Fonda and Rosie Perez in a production that raised over $100,000 for charity. She is currently working on her next project, a novel titled Euphrates in Paradise. In addition to writing, Ms. Fowler has held numerous jobs including bartender, food caterer, nurse, television producer, TV show host, antique peddler, and construction worker. From 1997-2003 she directed the Connie May Fowler Women Wings Foundation, an organization dedicated to aiding women and children in need. From 2003-2007 she served as the Irving Bacheller Professor of Creative Writing at Rollins College and directed their award-winning visiting author series Winter With the Writers. Ms. Fowler travels the country, speaking on topics such as writing, self-employment in the arts, literacy, domestic violence, child abuse, environmental issues, and popular culture. She teaches writing workshops and seminars globally and is the founder of Below Sea Level: Full Immersion Workshops for Serious Writers. She is a Florida native.

Customer Reviews

This is a touching love story.
I read the book slowly, not wanting it to end because, of course, we all know what happens in the end.
Haley Parnham
Some of the story line was boring, not significant.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Jeanne C. Kimball on January 30, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Connie May Fowler has put into words what love is all about. Husband and wife love, mother/child love, love of women for each other, love of family and friends, and love of the part of nature in which we best know ourselves.
The story of Nick and Mattie is actually a simple one and therein lies its wonder. The telling of this tale by Connie May Fowler is art. As a long term resident of the Florida panhandle, I can tell you Ms. Fowler has captured the essence of our very special part of the world. She's masterfully described the wonder and beauty of this very different Florida, and painted as real a picture of "folks from hereabouts" as I've ever read.
Ms. Fowler opens our eyes to sophistication and wisdom that transcends the conventional. She makes us laugh and be joy filled. She has created characters full of life and mystery and she lets us into their dreams and their hearts.
This story has a powerful message about the strength of women, and how important it is for women to love one another, and to love ourselves. And,Remembering Blue presents some terrific male characters - men who cherish their women and their children.
This is an uplifting, inspiring, and magical tale.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Lenoard on January 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
There's a point at which a talented writer moves beyond the ordinary to create literature that's more art than story, a tale with significance far beyond the confines of its plot. With "Remembering Blue" Connie May Fowler reaches this plateau, delivering an opus that, on its surface is a love story. But such a discription is deciving. "Remembering Blue" reads more like an obscure treasure map, a guide to weaving around life's bumps and craters and, in the process, discovering that the bumps and craters are, themselves the very treasure.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Denise Bentley on April 27, 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book is certainly filled with beautiful prose that rings out with a mythical quality. It is written as a memoir of Mattie Blue and her life on a small island off the coast of Florida. Her husband Nick and his family have always worked the sea and he brings his bride Mattie home to be a part of it. What follows is a beautiful tale of idyllic love that simply rolls like waves across the page.
There are many enjoyable characters and the book is a pleasant one to read. There is a theme of dolphins and how they intermingle with the humans that live amongst them. Many of the Blue family members have succumbed to the sea with tragic endings. I enjoyed this book. It got a bit slow in the middle but I hung in and was not disappointed with the heartfelt ending. Kelsana 4/27/01
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Kelly O. on January 23, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Connie May Fowler is one of the foremost story tellers of my generation - I have been so anxiously anticipating her 4th novel. Having had the pleasure of attending a reading by Ms. Fowler, it was easy for me to hear her gentle, lyrical voice creating and sharing a tale made of pure gold. Every word evoked images that created emotion in me and called forth memories of my own. I laughed, sighed and cried through the entire novel. It's a book of awakening and discovery for the heroine Mattie as she tells us about Nick Blue. Ms. Fowler allows the reader to become part of Mattie's journey of self discovery by closing the past and welcoming the future. She evokes strong images of courage and strength and leaves us all recognizing that part of ourselves that is Mattie. This is a book that everyone will love. The love story is woven around wonderful stories about tough shrimpers living on the coast of Florida - it will appeal to men and women alike. Everyone will close the book with a smile on their face. And if you have found this book without reading any of Ms. Fowler's other books I would highly recommend that you read all 3 of them. There is clearly a reason why Oprah made a book out of Before Women Had Wings - she recognizes top notch talent when she sees it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Diane on April 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a touching love story. A young widow, Mattie, recounts her husband, Nick's, life, their time together and the circumstances that stole him from her.
We are able to watch Mattie grow from a frightened, shy young woman into a passionate, loving wife who finds strength from the ocean and from the women in Nick's family. Along the way Mattie finally discovers herself.
Fowler's writing in this novel is beautiful and the images are incredible. I am looking forward to reading more books by this talented author.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "sylsbooks" on February 23, 2002
Format: Paperback
From the very first page this love story touched my heart. Not only is this a story of finding that one true love but one of triumph of the spirit.
Mattie and Nick are the ultimate love story of struggle and sorrow, love and laughter. Mattie has never known a normal family life and her view of marriage is evident in the fear she has of letting love into her heart. Nick has his own fears to deal with as he comes to terms with his own personal battle, his love of his Island and the fear of death. With Mattie's trust and encouragement they make the decision that ultimately changed their lives, moving back to the Island of Lethe.
The strength of the women in Nick's family becomes the strength that Mattie finds within herself. She had lived most of her life trying to disappear into the background and remain unnoticed. What she discovers is self-confidence and a belief in herself.
Beautifully written this story flows, bringing the reader onto the shores surrounding the isolated community of Lethe. I could see and feel the crashing waves, the frolicking dolphins and the violence of a nature at it's worse. This is one of those books I savoured page by page and would recommend to everyone.
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