Dream of the Blue Room
“A dreamy, haunting work with a deeply personal feel. Any time a work of fiction raises our sights to higher truths, as this one does, the writer has done her job.” ~Florida Sun-Sentinel
Jenny and Amanda Ruth were best friends in a small Alabama town until Amanda Ruth was murdered. Now, fourteen years later, Jenny has traveled with her husband to China to scatter Amanda Ruth’s ashes and finally fulfill her friend’s dream of visiting her Chinese father’s homeland. It is also, Jenny hopes, an opportunity to reconnect with her estranged husband, Dave.
Jenny and Dave arrive in China in the midst of the Three Gorges Dam project and embark on a cruise up the Yangtze River. Her first night on the ship, Jenny meets Graham, a man with whom she shares and instant connection. After Dave makes it clear that the marriage cannot be saved, Jenny falls into a passionate affair with Graham. As the ship moves slowly through the heart of the country, Jenny watches the landscape change before her eyes, as ancient cities are inundated with water. Jenny’s own memories–of her intense intimacy with Amanda Ruth, and the small town prejudice that threatened their friendship–begin to surface. When Graham reveals his own reason for being on the ship, Jenny is faced with an unthinkable choice.
Dream of the Blue Room is a deeply erotic novel that raises provocative questions about what we choose to bury, and what rises to the surface. It is also a lush journey into a landscape that, since the publication of this novel in 2003, has been inexorably altered by the construction of the Three Gorges Dam.
“Some childhood relationships are so fulfilling they shape our lives and leave us wondering why they didn’t last longer. Richmond captures, explores, and intertwines these bonds so elegantly, you might even think the relationships are your own.” USA Today
“Intelligent, original, complex.” The San Francisco Chronicle
“A complex and nimbly fashioned first novel.” Kirkus Reviews”The book is finely crafted and compelling, and its emotions resonate true and clear.” Booklist
“With the slow build-up of a mystery, the exquisite pain of a coming-of-age novel, the masterful images of a travel writer, and a darkness that is true to the Southern Gothic, Dream of a Blue Room is a work of wonderfully chimeric form. ” Joanna Pearson, Small Spiral Notebook