Title: Blue Postcards
Writer: Douglas Bruton
Publishing House: Fairlight Books
Date of Publication: July 8th 2021
Rating: 5 stars
”Years ago in the blue mists of memory, there was a street in Paris called the Street of Tailors. Men sat outside their shops like kings on their thrones, and they nodded to each other or tipped their broad brimmed hats and said, ‘Shalom’, and smiled. […] Then one day the whole street disappeared and all the people in it.’’
Three men invite us to a world painted blue. Blue as memory, glory, secrets. Blue as loss and injustice. Blue as the sky and the sea and the Virgin Mary’s mantle. Blue as the threads of Tekhelet that bring fortune and a closer contact to God, according to Jewish tradition. Henri, a Jewish tailor, Yves Klein, one of the most important artists of the 20th century, and our narrator, haunted by his father’s memories and a melancholic love. In the shadow of the Eiffel tower, a play that involves every aspect of the human soul – from togetherness to massacre – is being unfolded…
‘’Blue is a feeling and a time and a memory. Blue is distance and nearness and touch.’’
This is a tale told in blue. The sacred colour of divinity, spirituality and tranquillity. It is a story of the quest for peace of mind and truth. For the things that should have happened and the things that did and made the world collapse. A tailor who survived the worst atrocities in the history of mankind, an artist who wanted to make a difference, a collector who loved a blue-eyed girl. This is a fable of Montmartre and the colours that make our lives worth living. A legend for St Rita, the saint of the impossible, St Sebastian and St Irene, and St Joseph of Cupertino. The celestial is united with the mortal. It is a story about the power of Art as Van Gogh’s Starry Night mirrors the nostalgia and serenity of a world of make-believe, a world that awakens the need to understand that there is more to life than birth and death.
‘’There were stories that came after they were gone. Stories too cruel to be true. Except that when the war was over what could not be true was proven to be true. So many men and women and children, all of them disappeared. Nothing of them to say prayers ever, nothing but blue smoke adrift in the Heavens.’’
Human beings created moments of divine beauty. But many creatures that do not deserve to be called ‘’humans’’ or even ‘’beings’’ created the Holocaust. On 22 June 1940, Marshal Pétain agreed to ‘’cleanse’’ his country of all the ‘’undesirables’’, obeying to Germany’s ‘’rules’’. When all the windows in the Street of Tailors were broken, when all the atrocities committed by the Nazi monsters and their filthy allies and collaborators started taking place, there were no angels’ feathers to help. Everyone looked the other way, living in their own blue dream, believing in evil blue lies.
‘’God is here. Stand well back or burn.’’
Through heartbreaking and shocking moments, during an uncertain summer echoing the flight of the sparrows, in a world that is being blinded by blue lies, Douglas Bruton creates a modern masterpiece.
‘’And in the end we are the voices of the dead, all voices they have, we who live and love and laugh. We are the guardians of their truth and even in what we invent there should be truth.’’
Many thanks to Fairlight Books and NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.