“Prolific author and USC professor Everett’s latest novel is one of his best. Artist Kevin Pace is at work on a painting he refuses to show his friends and family.”
Featured in LA Times’ Best Non-Fiction Books of 2017.
Pace’s storytelling is more like a three-suit deck of cards shuffled so that a card from each suit appears alternately, each card with its own short story.
This novel follows Kevin Pace, a 56-year-old abstract painter living in the Northeast. He seems to have a wonderful life, complete with a loving wife and two school-aged children in”very arty and New English” home. He’s uncertain about his career — he’s successful, but he doesn’t love all of his work.
Mr. Pace is working on a painting that he doesn’t want to show anyone, not his children; not his best friend, Richard; not even his wife, Linda. The painting isn’t his only secret. He flashes back to 2 events that formed his life: affair he had with a young French lady in Paris ten years back and an illegitimate trip to a Central American nation in 1979 to search his best friend’s missing brother.
Everett handles the scenes with a young Kevin in Central American nation brightly. The plot is reasonably wild, as these things go — Kevin and his friend enlist a foul-spoken personality disorder mercenary named “the Bummer” to try to find the friend’s missing brother — but it’s all handled realistically, and Everett balances the violence of the story with dark humor.
So much Blue is a thrilling book by a man who might well be America’s most under-recognized literary master, and readers will undoubtedly keep thinking about it long after the last page.