The Blue Star: A Novel by Tony Earley

The Blue Star: A Novel
Tony Earley
Little, Brown and Company (2008)
ISBN 9780316199070
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (4/08)


“The Blue Star” follows “Jim the Boy.”  Jim is now a teenager growing up at the start of World War II.  Jim has just broken up with his girlfriend, Norma.  She was too boring for him.  Both Norma and Jim’s moms are not happy about the breakup because Jim had already told Norma that he loved her, so they assumed that there would be a marriage to follow.  Jim’s heart has already moved on to Chrissie Steppe.  She is the daughter of Injun Joe.  Chrissie is beautiful.  Unfortunately, she has a boyfriend, Bucky Bucklaw.  He is in the Navy.

Jim develops a friendship with Chrissie.  He admits that he loves her.  He discovers the complicated reasons of why she is not able to be with him.  Still he does not give up hope.  His affection for her is very apparent to everybody else in their school.  As Jim gets to know Chrissie better, he learns about his uncle’s former relationship with her mother.  Jim and Chrissie’s family history is extremely intertwined.

“The Blue Star” paints a vivid picture of life during the early years of World War II.  In his descriptions of the times, Tony Earley creates a very real picture of how life was at that time.  People were dealing with family members going away to war.  There was also a great deal of poverty.  Jim’s relationship with his family is very special.  He is very close to three uncles since his father died when he was young.

Jim’s relationship with the women in his life was entertaining to read about.  He is close to his mother; however, she still wants him to be with his ex-girlfriend.  His ex-girlfriend is still in love with him and has to learn to move beyond that.  Chrissie seems to be in love with him, but can’t do anything about it.  Jim’s feelings for her are very sweet.  He has the normal teenage boy hormonal issues, yet at his heart, he also truly cares for her.

I really enjoyed “The Blue Star.”  It is a classically, timeless story.  People of all ages will enjoy this story.

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