Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 122: So Much Blue by Percival Everett

by | Feb 21, 2023 | 2023 Book Reviews, Marion's Favorite Books, Marion's Favorites, Marion's Reading Life Blog, Percival Everett, Wisdom From Kammbia Column | 0 comments

Does secrets force us to make choices that we would not have made otherwise?

This is the question I keep asking myself as I read Percival Everett’s very good novel, So Much Blue. It tells the story of Kevin Pace, an artist, who has kept his past at bay to be creative.  Yet, that past is coming home to reestablish itself in his life and Kevin will have to face the consequences of having those secrets.

So Much Blue is told on three different timelines: one timeline is when he travels to El Salvador with his best friend, Richard, to save his brother who is caught up in the narcotics trade, the second timeline is when he takes a trip to Paris for one of his art pieces being exhibited at a gallery, and the final timeline is his present day with his wife and two kids. The timelines converge by the end of the novel and reveals Kevin’s choices due to his secrets as selfish but understandable.

However, I liked Kevin as a protagonist and Everett’s prose kept me engaged for the entire story. Does creativity cause one to be self-absorbed?  Yes it does.   Can an artist find a sense of normalcy when the life of the imagination summons you elsewhere?  Yes you can.  Can secrets held shape someone’s life?  Absolutely.  So Much Blue answered all of those questions and makes quite a thematic statement.

So Much Blue is my second Percival Everett novel I have read in the past six months and I’m looking forward to reading more novels by this thought-provoking and engaging writer.  He is redefining contemporary fiction and deserves to be widely read.


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Marion Hill