BOOK: ‘Masterful’ book tells story about family, adventureIn “True Colors” by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock, 10-year-old Blue has one wish: that her mother would come back to claim her.
By: Jean Patrick , Republic book columnist
Blue knows her history. Part of it anyway.
When she was two days old, she was found “stuffed into the copper kettle” that Hannah Spooner used for marigolds.
In “True Colors” by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock, 10-year-old Blue has one wish: that her mother would come back to claim her.
Meanwhile, plenty of other things are going on in Blue’s life in Vermont during the early 1950s. On the down side, her best friend, Nadine, is changing. But on the bright side, the newspaper editor discovers her love of unusual words and asks her to write a gossip column for the local newspaper.
Blue, however, uses her investigative skills to try to find a pack of missing circus animals — likely the work of the thieving Wright brothers, the same boys who pick on the “slow” and kindhearted Raleigh True.
But the biggest mystery Blue must solve has to do with the fabric of the quilt that had been wrapped around her as a baby. After seeing a matching swatch at a quilters’ meeting, Blue is determined to track down her mother.
After a nearly-fatal accident, Blue discovers the truth about her parents, mends her friendship with Nadine and understands why Raleigh calls her Blue True.
Author Natalie Kinsey-Warnock’s writing is masterful, especially as she weaves a fabric of multiple subplots. Many of these smaller stories are about Vermont Heroes and the strong women of Blue’s community.
Kinsey-Warnock also integrates a splendid assortment of Scottish words that come from Hannah’s mouth: “glumshous” means sulky, “grumpie” means pig and “snoofmadunce” means lazybones.
The only weakness in the book is the lingering questions about family secrets. Although the end of the book is satisfying, readers may wonder why Hannah waited so long to reveal the truth to Blue or how the entire town managed to keep it a secret.
Even so, “True Colors” is a sensitively-written book about the love and loyalty of a close-knit community.
“True Colors.” By Natalie Kinsey Warnok. Knopf, 2012. 256 pp.