The Blue Window

“You could assume A stood for Adam. That’s what the mother assumed if she found a note in the kitchen that said something like ‘Going out. A.’ You could also assume A stood for the first letter of the alphabet, or A for anonymous. Or if you chose to get philosophical, you could posit that A meant “against” and that A was making a political statement by become A. If you were into physics, A might stand for something extra negative, like A for Anti-Matter.” 

The Blue Window
By Suzanne Berne
Source: Advance review copy
Published: January 2023
Rating: ★★★

Adam is home from college and his mother, Lorna, is having a hard time figuring him out. He’s withdrawn and she can only assume that something happened but how does she get him to talk about his feelings. This is especially frustrating for her as she’s a therapist. She should have all the tools to get him engaged but she’s at a loss.

When Lorna finds out that her mom, Marika, has hurt her ankle and needs assistance she thinks this will be the perfect opportunity to get Adam out of the house and away from his troubles. As they drive to rural Vermont and amidst nature, she is certain that this will allow him to open up and they can find a solution to what is troubling him. Lorna also hopes that finally she will be able to connect with her mother.

Marika disappeared from Lorna’s life when she was a little girl only to reappear many years later and without much of an explanation. Lorna does her best every year, inviting her mother to Thanksgiving but she wants to hear from Marika that she’s needs help and why she left. Unfortunately their reunion is not what Lorna expected but in it’s own way Lorna learns more about herself.

Through some brief flashbacks, Marika’s own childhood in Amsterdam during WWII is revealed and from that we can rationalize some of her behavior but ultimately we are left with a lot of questions. I think the opening chapter was a bit of a struggle but I’m glad I kept reading because overall there were elements I really liked. For example, I really appreciated how Adam and Marika are able to come together and form a stronger bond. It’s interesting how they were able to help one another without Lorna so in some ways it did make me feel sorry for what she’s missing out on.

As I turned the last page I still felt like there were still a lot of questions unanswered so that’s why it did not end up as a favorite read but I will say I thought about this one quite a bit after I finished it. If you enjoy stories about family dynamics and relationships then I would encourage you to check this one out.

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