The Blue Hour
Evans, Elizabeth. The Blue Hour. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin, c1994. 347 pages.
From the publisher: "What is the Blue Hour? For Penny Powell, it's the time when Father doesn't Know Best. It's the morning after Queen for a Day. It's 1959, the year when she becomes the family barometer, absorbing for later reflection every rise and dip in the homefront weather. When her parents buy a house that matches her father's ambitions--if not his wallet--her mother must reinvent herself to keep up with the Joneses. Later Penny will remember everything about that time, so tightly wound around her father's hard-driving ambition and judgment that it all broke loose and spun out of control."
If you've ever wondered what life was like in the late 50's, this book gives a pretty good glimpse of it. From clothing styles to attitudes about many things, we see things through the eyes of young Penny. A couple of themes are males as head-of-the-household, infidelity, and drug use for weight loss. Another theme is living beyond your means. If you like historical fiction, this is a good choice. It is a more recent time period than many, but one which many have never experienced.
Recommended for 8th and above. Review by Mrs. Belknap