The Sound of Blue

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Dutton, 2005 - Fiction - 326 pages
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The mesmerizing tale of an American woman’s quest for healing in a land of refugees, from the critically acclaimed author of The Virgin’s Knot

Holly Payne’s debut novel illuminated the mystical journey of a famed rug weaver living in southwestern Turkey. Her latest storyline immerses us in an even more hypnotic set of circumstances, capturing another fascinating young woman’s crisis of faith in the Balkans.

Sara Foster has left America for the the adventure of a lifetime—teaching English to the sons and daughters of statesmen in Hungary—but her idyllic adventure instead reveals a dark world of pain and redemption when she ends up teaching in a refugee camp. Sara discovers that one of her students is a celebrated composer and soon finds herself crossing the border to his war-torn homeland, determined to exonerate him for the death of his brother. In a journey that takes her to Dubrovnik, a magnificent stone city on the Croatian Riviera, Sara contemplates her own identity, struggling to understand why the region’s ancient and extraordinary beauty belies a history of grief. As Sara unveils the secret of the composer’s escape, The Sound of Bluereveals poignant truths about the quests for refuge we all pursue. Bringing to life a world that readers seldom have the opportunity to see through characters of great depth, Holly Payne has once again created a triumph of the heart and soul.

Praise for The Virgin’s Knot:
“[To be] savored like the dark intensity of Turkish coffee.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“Creates an almost mystical tableau.” --San Jose Mercury News

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The sound of blue

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Payne, whose debut, The Virgin's Knot , was both a Barnes & Noble Discover Great Writers and a Borders Original Voices pick, here attempts to give voice to refugees of the Balkan wars. When Sara ... Read full review


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About the author (2005)

Holly Payne’s debut novel, The Virgin’s Knot, earned comparisons to the tales of Scheherazade. A native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, she has traveled extensively throughout Turkey and Croatia, where she wrote much of The Sound of Blue. She earned an MFA from the Master of Professional Writing Program at USC and teaches screenwriting at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco.

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