CLOVER BLUE: A Novel
Author: Eldonna Edwards
Publisher: Kensington Press
Publication Date: 5.28.2019
Genre: Literature & Fiction > Women’s Fiction > Coming of Age > Literary > Historical
Page Count: 304 Pages
Available for Pre-order from Barnes & Noble, Hudson Booksellers, Amazon, Books-A-Million, IndieBound, Walmart, et cetera. Pre-order the ePub edition from Amazon (Kindle), Apple, Google, Kobo, and Nook.
My Rating: 5 STARS
Author’s Bio (Provided by the Publisher’s Author Page):
Eldonna Edwards grew up in a large family nestled between cornfields and churches in the provincial Midwest. She eventually escaped the harsh winters, moving to California where she expanded her career from journaling facilitator to author to beloved writing instructor to keynote speaker. Her bestselling debut novel, This I Know, won over the hearts and minds of readers everywhere and was a Delilah Book Club selection. In her second novel Clover Blue (May 2019) Eldonna once again explores themes of otherness and belonging, and the true definition of home. She is also the subject of the award-winning documentary Perfect Strangers that follows one kidney patient and one potential kidney donor in their search for a possible match. Her 2014 memoir Lost in Transplantation chronicles this life-changing decision. Eldonna currently lives and writes in a tiny pink house with her best friend, Brer. Readers can visit her online at eldonnaedwards.com.
Clover Blue Book Description (Provided by Publisher):
Set against the backdrop of a 1970s commune in Northern California, Clover Blue is a compelling, beautifully written story of a young boy’s search for identity.
There are many things twelve-year-old Clover Blue isn’t sure of: his exact date of birth, his name before he was adopted into the Saffron Freedom Community, or who his first parents were. What he does know with certainty is that among this close-knit, nature-loving group, he is happy. Here, everyone is family, regardless of their disparate backgrounds—surfer, midwife, Grateful Dead groupie, Vietnam deserter. But despite his loyalty to the commune and its guru-like founder Goji, Blue grapples with invisible ties toward another family—the one he doesn’t remember.
With the urging of his fearless and funny best friend, Harmony, Clover Blue begins to ask questions. For the first time, Goji’s answers fail to satisfy. The passing months bring upheaval to their little clan and another member arrives, a beautiful runaway teen named Rain, sparking new tensions. As secrets slowly unfurl, Blue’s beliefs—about Goji, the guidelines that govern their seemingly idyllic lives, and the nature of family itself—begin to shift. With each revelation about a heartbreaking past he never imagined, Blue faces a choice between those he’s always trusted, and an uncertain future where he must risk everything in his quest for the truth.
Part coming-of-age tale, part love story, part mystery, Clover Blue tenderly explores an unconventional but no less complex family that resonates with our deep-rooted yearning for home.
Clover Blue: A Novel by Eldonna Edwards – Book Trailer by Kensington Press
Other Books by Eldonna Edwards:
This I Know Book Description (Provided by Publisher):
“Set in a small Midwest town in the late 1960s and helmed by an unforgettable young protagonist—compassionate, uncannily wise Grace—This I Know is a luminous coming-of-age story from an astonishing new voice.
Eleven-year-old Grace Carter has a talent for hiding things. She’s had plenty of practice, burying thoughts and feelings that might anger her strict Evangelical pastor father, and concealing the deep intuition she carries inside. The Knowing, as Grace calls it, offers glimpses of people’s pasts and futures. It enables her to see into the depth of her mother’s sadness, and even allows Grace to talk to Isaac, her twin brother who died at birth. To her wise, loving Aunt Pearl, the Knowing is a family gift; to her daddy, it’s close to witchcraft.
Grace can’t see into someone’s thoughts without their permission. But it doesn’t take her special talent to know that her small community is harboring its share of secrets. A young girl has gone missing. Within Grace’s own family too, the cracks are widening, as her sisters Hope, Joy, and Chastity enjoy the normal life that eludes Grace. It’s Grace’s kinship with other outsiders that keeps her afloat—Lyle, a gentle, homeless man, and Lola, a free-spirited new girl at school. But when her mother lapses into deep depression after bringing home a new baby, Grace will face a life-changing choice—ignore her gift and become the obedient daughter her father demands, or find the courage to make herself heard, even it means standing apart . . .”
This I Know: A Novel by Eldonna Edwards – Book Trailer by Kensington Press
Lost in Transplantation: Memoir of an Unconventional Organ Donor: Book Description (Provided by Whole Heart Publications):
“One Gently Used Kidney, Free to a Good Home. When 48 year-old single mother, massage therapist and returning student Ellie meets a young woman with kidney disease, she decides to make it her mission to save the girl. Unfortunately outdated rules made it difficult for altruistic donors and besides, the woman doesn’t want a savior. Does this stop Ellie from her quest to ‘be the change’ one seeks in the world? Not a chance. Told with humor and self-reflection, this inspirational memoir of courage and compassion is interwoven with anecdotal stories that help the reader identify what kind of person commits the selfless act of organ donation. Ellie, a self-described devout agnostic, is kind but often irreverent. She is generous, but she is no saint. Ultimately, becoming a kidney donor has given her a renewed sense of purpose and fulfillment. Lost in Transplantation asserts that we are all capable of altering a human being’s life for the better, including our own.”
Eldonna Edwards arrived on the literary scene like a shooting star with her sensationally written debut novel This I know and she is back a year later with Clover Blue: A Novel that is mesmerizing and riveting and will leave you “book-drunk.” I was fortunate to receive and read an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of Clover Blue, and it was as if the world stood still for the two days I spent consuming Edwards’ novel. Many have written it, read it or heard it said: “I became entranced in the book from the beginning of Chapter 1.” I have said it, and I have written these same, or similar words while reviewing a book, but the truth is, the first time I ever experienced being this enthralled from the beginning of Chapter 1 was when I began reading Clover Blue. And yes, I was “book-drunk” when I finished reading the book, for the first time in my life, I was “book-drunk.”
Edwards has written an artistically gripping story, meticulously and impeccably balancing the plot flow of Clover Blue with its characters and their day-to-day lives living in the Saffron Freedom Community. Edwards exquisitely developed vivid and illuminating relationships of those within and outside of Saffron Freedom Community. Edward’s novel flows from beginning to end without hesitation or distraction. Edwards introduces each character so well that you come to believe you know the characters and their unconventionality and differing personas. Edwards’ characters and her masterly use of dialogue throughout the character’s interactions are a literary force to behold. You cannot help but connect with the characters, and make a place within your heart for some, namely Clover Blue, Harmony, and Rain.
The Book Description gives you enough information to make you want to put this book on your must-read list. However, what the book description does not tell you is that in the midst of this thought-provoking original novel, Edwards injects parts of her scintillating sense of humor and I found myself chuckling from time to time. Additionally, to ensure you put Clover Blue on your must-read list, or to encourage you to pre-order your copy of Clover Blue now is to tell you about the ripple effect that begins from your first encounter with Clover Blue and continues through to the last page where Edwards brings the book to its dramatic climax. If I have not made myself clear, Clover Blue is a profound, coming of age literary piece of work by Eldonna Edwards, an author without limit. It’s a keeper, a novel you will want to reread just as I do, just as I will.
While I am surprised that Edwards’ debut novel This I Know has not yet garnered the awards and accolades it is deserving of, this book has not been out for a full year as of this writing, and I expect This I Know, just as I expect Clover Blue will reap their rightful awards. My review for This I Know is available to read here: This I Know.
Thank you to Kensington Press and Eldonna Edwards for the opportunity to read and review an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book.