ImageThe book: I’m so lucky that the A to Z blog challenge starts with my absolute favorite YA book ever: A SOLITARY BLUE by Cynthia Voigt. It’s book 3 in the Tillerman family saga. I’ve read the whole saga, and it’s fabulous. However, this book really stood out for me. The dual settings of the academic, crabs-and-water setting of Maryland and the history-drenched yet desolate Charleston, SC landscape is beautiful to read about. The book starts with the departure of Jeff’s mother in the 1960s, and follows his relationship with her and with his father (a brilliant but emotionally remote man) through Jeff’s teen years. I’ve truly never read such a well-written and real account of a relationship between a mother and her son. We see how Jeff’s efforts to connect with his mother (who, despite her best efforts, didn’t make for a very good feminist) and the history of his South Carolina family truly develop who he is…and who after many years he decides not to be.

Why I still think about this book: The imagery is beautiful. The characters (an academic father who slowly becomes emotionally available, a mother who is both feminist and reliant upon men, and a bubbly priest who helps save them all) are one of a kind. I read this book at least once every 2 years and never fall out of love with it!