It is 1967. There’s a war going on in Vietnam. In rural Heywood, Massachusetts, white men are playing the blues and eighteen-year-old Leo Suther is writing clumsy lyrics to his girlfriend Allie Donovan.
Leo has no intention of going off to war. He has big plans for his life with Allie. Though it’s summer vacation now, there is no shortage of teachers for Leo. His father warns him that “life can turn on a dime.” His jamming partners introduce him to the beauty of the blues harp. Allie’s father, the local communist and civil rights organizer, lectures him on politics. And, of course, Allie herself has much to teach him.
However, when Leo’s life threatens to come unglued, it is his mother’s wisdom he turns to. Though she died before Leo was five, her voice lives on in her diaries and poems, testifying to the strength of her love for her husband and son—a love that can still, years later, offer consolation.
In Bluesman Andre Dubus III has written a novel of great warmth and charm that evokes a time when America itself was coming of age.
“Andre Dubus III writes memorably about coming of age, about parents and children in the pain of their love. His generous novel makes true American blues music that scours the heart.”
“As strong, sweet and clear as the blues he writes about."
-The Seattle Times
“Andre Dubus III has a keen and generous eye, and the great gift of bestowing dignity on…his people.”