Scarlet in Blue: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Scarlet in Blue: A Novel By Jennifer Murphy Cover Image

Scarlet in Blue: A Novel (Hardcover)


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Staff Reviews

A stellar combination of genres: coming-of-age, psychological thriller, literary fiction. The characters are compelling, the plot is twisty, and the writing is beautiful. Hard to put down! I loved it! Autographed copies available!

— Beth


A beautiful and gripping psychological novel about a mother and daughter who, after a lifetime on the run from a dark and dangerous past, land in a small Michigan town that may hold the key to ending their fugitive lifestyle.

For Blue Lake’s entire life, she and her mother, Scarlet, have been on the run from HIM—the man who Scarlet, a talented and enigmatic painter, insists is chasing them. But now, at fifteen years old, Blue has begun to resent the nomadic life that once seemed like an adventure, increasingly unsure what to make of the phantom pursuer she’s never seen. She only yearns to settle down in one place, to live a normal life.
When Scarlet and Blue arrive in the beachfront town of South Haven, Michigan, it seems that Blue’s wishes might finally come true. She makes a good friend, is falling in love for the first time, and has found a piano teacher who recognizes her budding talent. But even as Blue thrives, she cannot shake her worry about her mother, whose eccentricities and art are only becoming increasingly difficult to understand. Scarlet, meanwhile, has very different intentions for their stay in South Haven. It was no accident that she brought them there and, with the help of the psychoanalyst she’s sought out, Henry, she is determined to find a way to finally escape the shadow of her traumatic past, no matter the cost.
Told through the alternating voices of Blue, Scarlet, and Henry, Scarlet in Blue is a page-turning story about the ramifications of past trauma, the way art can hold our lives together, and, most of all, the enduring bond between mother and child.
Jennifer Murphy holds an MFA in painting from the University of Denver and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Washington. She is the recipient of the 2013 Loren D. Milliman Scholarship for creative writing and was a contributor at the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference from 2008 through 2012. In 2015, her acclaimed debut novel, I Love You More (Doubleday, 2014), won the prestigious Nancy Pearl Fiction Award. Her love of art led her to start Citi Arts, a public art and urban planning company that has created public art master plans for airports, transit facilities, streetscapes, and cities nationwide. She hails from a small beachfront town in Michigan and has lived in Denver, Charlotte, Seattle, and Charleston. She currently lives in Houston, Texas.
Product Details ISBN: 9780593183465
ISBN-10: 0593183460
Publisher: Dutton
Publication Date: March 8th, 2022
Pages: 384
Language: English
"Murphy dazzles.... This novel will leave readers questioning what is real and how mental health can affect generations in kaleidoscopic ways.... Luminous writing... while those who enjoy a plot-driven mystery will also find what they are looking for.”

“The characters of mother and daughter and the bonds between them are beautifully drawn… The author’s lovely prose flows effortlessly, flavored by her wide knowledge of art and her ability to engage the reader in the techniques of the artist. This is a psychological drama that is unique and captivating, making it both an impressive and engrossing novel.”
—Mystery & Suspense

“[Scarlet in Blue] is ultimately a love story between a mother and a daughter as well as an examination of how trauma shapes our lives and choices.”
—Library Journal

"Just like a beautiful and complex painting, Scarlet in Blue pulls readers inand then captivates them with a story that is part mystery, part thriller, and wholly gripping and fascinating. The perfect dark escape."
—Jill Santopolo, New York Times bestselling author of The Light We Lost

"I don’t think I breathed from start to finish, but Scarlet in Blue was worth every breathless moment. A haunting, heart-tugging page-turner."
—Jennifer Niven, New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places and Holding Up the Universe

“Set in the early 1960s, this is a noir movie lover's book. It's for fans who don't quite want a mystery to read. Just put Scarlet in Blue in your lap and color yourself sunny yellow.” 
—The Bookworm Sez
Scarlet In Blue examines family ties that bind so tightly....This story of running from abuse is beautifully suffused with the majesty of music and the chimera of art. Once you begin this tale, you will stay until the final note.”
—Randy Susan Meyers, bestselling author of Waisted

"From word one the chase is on. And it’s Jennifer Murphy’s rapid-fire delivery that sets the pace, the mysterious ‘Shadow Man’ one step behind. But it is the fluid portrait of the world Scarlet and Blue inhabit that is the real art here, and Murphy’s language is the perfect canvas. Within this mind-labyrinth, Murphy has created a work that rightly takes its place among the best novels to explore the psychology of the mother-daughter relationship while offering a mystery with the riches of a meticulously crafted painting."
—Douglas Cole, author of The White Field, a winner of the American Fiction Award