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Pieces of Blue: Book summary and reviews of Pieces of Blue by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Pieces of Blue

by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Pieces of Blue by Holly Goldberg Sloan X
Pieces of Blue by Holly Goldberg Sloan
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  • Published May 2023
    272 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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About this book

Book Summary

From New York Times bestselling author Holly Goldberg Sloan, a hilarious and heartfelt novel for fans of Maria Semple and Emma Straub about a family trying to restore a ramshackle beachside motel―and their own lives.

What good was thinking the future only held cloudy skies? Wasn't the reality that pieces of blue were always there, waiting to break through?

When Paul Hill drowns in a surfing accident, his broken-hearted wife, Lindsey, and their three children are left in huge financial trouble. Once Paul's life insurance finally comes through, Lindsey impulsively uses the money to buy a charmingly ramshackle motel in Hawai'i, hoping for a fresh start. Teenage Olivia quickly develops a crush on a handsome but monosyllabic skateboarder. Twelve-year-old Carlos reinvents himself as a popular kid named Carl. And Sena, the youngest, will do whatever it takes to protect her beloved motel chickens.

But while the kids adjust, Lindsey is flailing, trying to pretend she knows how to bring a motel―and herself―back to life. Then a handsome stranger rolls into the motel parking lot, and she's surprised to feel a long-dormant part of herself stirring. She accepts his offer to help, unaware that he may have secrets of his own. And all the while, out in the Pacific, the trade winds are fiercely blowing.

Funny and tender, full of twists and turns and heart, Pieces of Blue is a portrait of an irresistible family learning to start over.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Empathetic yet flawed characters navigating deep, painful problems add authenticity to the resonant story, and the mystery of Paul's disappearance keeps things tense. Readers will devour this in one sitting." —Publishers Weekly

"Sloan writes about the entire family with energy, insight, and humor." —Kirkus Reviews

"Bursting with humor, chaos, and raw tenderness, Sloan's portrait of grief is as refreshing as it is unflinching." —Oprah Daily

"Pieces of Blue is as propulsive as it is observant and atmospheric. Sloan understands her characters deeply, and makes us need to know what happens to them. In fact, a lot happens to them, and we want to know it all. This novel is a family story, a love story, and a mystery. I couldn't put it down." ―Meg Wolitzer, New York Times bestselling author of The Female Persuasion

"Pieces of Blue is a brilliant and bighearted page-turner." ―Maria Semple, New York Times bestselling author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette

"I loved this book! Pieces of Blue is a poetic, lush and poignant portrayal of a wounded family seeking healing, love and redemption." ―Gigi Levangie, New York Times bestselling author of The Starter Wife

"Struggling with grief, daring to hope, and working to make a wild, gorgeous, and mysterious place their home, each beautifully drawn character comes alive and finds a way into your heart. Pieces of Blue is a powerful, tender novel with a mystery at its heart. Don't miss it!" ―Lisa Unger, New York Times bestselling author of Secluded Cabin Sleeps Six

This information about Pieces of Blue was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Linda K. (Sunset, SC)

A delightful story.
An intriguing story about a family overcoming the loss of a father and husband, their previous affluent lifestyle and home...investing in a rundown Hawaiian motel sight unseen and attempting to reopen it. A widow with three kids each having different personalities and needs and then making this idea work...add some romantic interest, a mystery and intrigue and you have a pretty good story...oh, lets not forget a dramatic ending. A very enjoyable and fast read.

Suzi F. (San Diego, CA)

Second chance charm
I love book with characters I can connect with making choices that intrigue me. I love to see the possibilities of my own life play out in a well-written story. I don't love narratives that bounce from person to person in every chapter. But, you know what? It works here.

Barbara J. (Tucker, GA)

Look to the Sky
Hawaii with all her natural beauty forms the backdrop for this story of a young widow and her three children trying to begin again in Pieces of Blueby Holly Goldberg Sloane. From mountain hikes to roosting chickens, you will be engaged as each character is taught by and grows through nature. Some of their choices will surprise you because this is not a formulaic novel. I think your book club will enjoy discussing the conflicts and victories of each character. I'm hoping for a follow up.

Sharon R. (Deerfield, IL)

Truth Rearranges the World
This multi-layered story has hope, courage and lots of love. Every person is dealing with unimaginable grief in their own way, which often catches the reader off-guard.

There is humor, often with wild chickens. Compassion and curiosity from a tight community welcoming newcomers to their "slice of heaven".

The author details the descriptions of unsafe, crumbling and uninhabitable living spaces so clearly that the reader must hope that everything sorts itself out and comes out better than ever.

I found myself caring for every character in this story and wanting them to be okay when it was over. The reader knows more truths than the family towards the end, however, one is left wondering if they had known, would they have done anything differently.

Bonnie B. (Port St. Lucie, FL)

Great Characterizations and Hawaiian Culture
I thoroughly enjoyed 'Pieces of Blue' and appreciated the metaphor that the title conveyed. No matter how much one is suffering, at some future time, the skies will show blue again.

The novel is about Lindsey, a woman whose husband has died in an accident in Oregon. After his startup made them crazy rich, it fell apart and Lindsey and her three children lived very meagerly. Once she received the insurance money from her husband's death, she and her family headed to Hawaii where Lindsey had purchased a motel.

The novel is rich with characterization, Hawaiian culture, and family life. At first I thought this was a beach read but it is so much more. It has depth, great narrative and a page-turning story line.

Beth W. (Savannah, GA)

Great Read!
I'm a sucker for a family story that features one or more precocious kids, and within the first few pages, I knew Sena was going to be my favorite in this group. She's the youngest of three very unique siblings who relocate to Hawaii with their widowed mom to start again after a series of devastating events. There are so many themes and situations to mine for plot lines - widowhood, starting over, being the new family in a small, culturally different town, becoming proprietors of a run down beach motel with absolutely no previous experience, being the new kids in school, not knowing what actually happened to the husband/dad (presumed drowned in a surfing accident), and so very much more that I didn't anticipate AT ALL. I really enjoyed this book and will look for more from this author.

...31 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Holly Goldberg Sloan

Holly Goldberg Sloan is the author of seven books for young readers, which have been translated into twenty-seven languages. Her novel Counting By 7s was an E.B. White Honor book and has sold over a million copies. Also a noted feature film writer, Holly wrote the Disney blockbuster Angels in the Outfield, and she was the first woman to direct a live action film for Disney when she wrote and directed The Big Green. The mother of two sons, Holly lives with her husband in Santa Monica, California. Pieces of Blue is her debut novel for adults.

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