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Something Blue: A Novel

Jean Christopher Spaugh

John F. Blair, Publisher
$19.95 hardcover
5 ¾ x 8
348 pages
Published in 1997

Judy Duncan is so busy navigating the day-to-day course of her life that she forgets to look at the sky ahead. After all, between her four-year-old son Curtis, her husband Hamp, and work at the family lumberyard, there's little time to pay attention to storm warnings. And when Judy's sister Tina announces that she's going to marry her college sweetheart Jimmy, Judy dismisses the wedding as one of those family events that is nothing more than a small inconvenience, a minor blip on the radar.

However, as Tina's wedding grows near, the treacherous undercurrents of Judy's life rise to the surface: the trailer that once felt so cozy now seems shabby and small; a redecorating project at the country club rekindles lost dreams of a career in architecture; and most importantly, just who is that woman Hamp was kissing in the parking lot?

Suddenly, Judy finds herself tossed into a sea of lies and family crisis. As she breaks free from the shell of routine that surrounds her, she looks to the ties of family and the vows of marriage for salvation. But ultimately she realizes that to survive as a whole human being, she must surrender hope of rescue and begin to swim toward shore.

In Something Blue, Jean Spaugh has created a touching, often humorous look at the bonds and burdens of family. Judy Duncan knows how to be a wife, a mother, a daughter, and a sister; but when those relationships are altered beyond recognition, beyond what was once so comfortable and secure, she has to discover how to live her own life. And along the way, she finds the freedom she long ago renounced for love.


“If Jane Austen were alive and well and living in the American South today, Something Blue might well be the book she would have written. Jean Christopher Spaugh has Austen’s clear prose, her subtlety, her quiet wit, and her keen-eyed attention to the details of daily living, but, unlike Austen, she knows that a real story doesn’t end with a wedding but begins with one. . . . With Something Blue, Jean Christopher Spaugh joins the company of Lee Smith, Josephine Humphreys, and Jill McCorkle as an extraordinary chronicler of the lives of Southern women.”
R. H. W. Dillard
“Judy Duncan has a busy life as wife, mother, and partner in the family lumberyard. When her sister Tina announces her engagement to boyfriend Jimmy, Judy helps plan the wedding and tries to ignore the occasional family squabbles as pre-wedding jitters. But she comes crashing down to reality when she sees her husband, Hamp, kissing another woman the way he used to kiss her, and then a drunken friend blurts out the truth about the affair Tina and Hamp have been having for years. Judy tries to pick up the pieces of her life and resume her normal routine, but her security is gone, and with it her love for Hamp. For the first time in years, she must decide what is the best choice for her, even if it tears her family apart. Spaugh, a Georgia author, delves deeply into the psyche of a woman betrayed by those closest to her and produces an involved character study worth consideration. Recommended.”