Southern Scribe
    our culture of storytelling


 Fiction Review     


Dream of the Blue Room
By Michelle Richmond
MacAdam/Cage Publishing, 2003
Cloth, $23.00 (297 pages)
ISBN: 1-931561-24-9

Michelle Richmond's The Girl in the Fall-Away Dress, winner of the 2000 A.W.P. Award in Short Fiction, garnered extraordinary praise in publications as diverse as: The New York Times Book Review, The Boston Globe, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus Review, and Choice. The San Francisco Chronicle reviewer may have summed the book up best by exhorting readers to "Remember this name: Michelle Richmond .... This is a young writer whose future progression should be exhilarating to watch." Richmond's Dream of the Blue Room, is that rarest of gems -- a first novel worthy of anticipation. 

Dream of the Blue Room is set against the backdrop of Alabama's Gulf Coast and the Yangtze River. Jenny's strongest childhood memories involve the times she spent with her best friend Amanda Ruth Lee at the Lee's camp on the backwaters of the beach. The two were inseparable and their intimacy continues to tint all of Jenny's relationships. 

At thirty two, Jenny has lived in New York for almost a dozen years. Her marriage to Doug has come unstuck but they've put their differences aside long enough to fulfill the promise Jenny made of taking Amanda Lee's ashes back to her mother's homeland for burial. Believing a trip to an exotic locale and sharing a cabin offers the hope of reconciliation, Jenny is forced to confront the powerful effects of memory, how childhood haunts adults, and her own unrealistic expectations. 

Dream of the Blue Room is sultry, provocative, and satisfying. 

A native of Mobile, Alabama, Michelle Richmond earned an M.F.A. from the University of Miami, where she was a Michener Fellow. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize six times. She currently lives in Northern California and teaches in the M.F.A. Program in Writing at The University of San Francisco.


Pam Kingsbury
Southern Scribe Reviews

© 2003, Southern Scribe Reviews, All Rights Reserved