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A Different Blue - By Amy Harmon
This was very emotional story with well-developed characters. It is about a young woman who is 19 or 20 years old (even she doesn’t know her real age), named Blue Echohawk. She was abandoned by her mother when she was about two years old. Her mother left her in the front seat of a pick-up truck that was owned by an older Native American man, named Jimmy Echohawk. Blue is the name that he gave her because that is the word that she kept saying when he found her and her eyes are an electric blue color.
Jimmy keeps Blue and ends up raising her in his nomadic lifestyle. They live in his trailer and travel around to different places in order for him to sell his wood carvings. She never attended school or had friends her own age. She just lived with Jimmy and his dog. As unconventional as it may seem, Blue was happy living with Jimmy. She believes that he is her father and she loves him. Jimmy taught her stories about his Indian heritage, about different types of birds, and also how to carve things out of wood.
Jimmy disappears from Blue’s life when she is 10 years old. She is heartbroken and scared like any child would be who is left completely alone. She gets sent to live with Jimmy’s half-sister, but other than providing her with the essentials to live, Blue takes care of herself in this emotionally barren home.
Blue goes through her teenage years feeling like a “nobody” and she searches out affection by ways of meaningless sexual encounters. She doesn’t feel worthy of anything and doesn’t really believe in herself or her future. She finds great comfort in making wood carvings and expressing her feelings through her art.
Things change when Blue meets Darcy Wilson in her senior year of high school. He is her 22 year old History teacher with a British accent. He isn’t put off by her hardened exterior or her bad attitude and instead tries to encourage her. The book isn’t all serious because she has a great time poking fun at her teacher’s British expressions and his stuffy behavior. He seems to have a true interest in helping her and taking her under his wing…whether it’s because he is an enthusiastic young teacher or he sees something special in her.
Their relationship develops a lot throughout the book. They develop a special bond and friendship and there is also a chemistry between them that they try to deny for their own individual reasons. Wilson (his preferred nickname), tries to help her identify her own worth through her incredible inner strength, bravery, artistic talent and beauty.
This truly is a very special story about hope, friendship, redemption and love.