A union organizer returns to her hometown and her high school sweetheart, only to discover unexpected peril. A middle-aged man walks to meet his wife at work one day and loses her forever. A young writer's stage fright destroys her work and her marriage but offers her a new life. In Blue Money, Susan Hubbard creates a world in which the most ordinary things can be magical, and the most ordinary people can be extraordinary.
"Selling the House" is the enchanting story of Marianne, a young housewife whose life is altered forever by a mysterious stranger. He suddenly appears on her doorstep one morning, offers to buy her home, quotes poetry, and just as suddenly disappears. Marianne soon discovers, however, that the stranger wants more than her house—he wants her. Although she does not accept the man's proposition, Marianne has been changed by it. His words echo throughout her life. "If she sometimes had trouble sleeping, if she spent more time reading poetry or staring out the window . . . well, those were small aberrations in an otherwise quite satisfactory life."
Strangers appear and disappear in Blue Money. Shoes charm and cure. A soiled shirt conjures conscience, and a clean one promises new identity. Hubbard brilliantly weaves these fantastic elements into the fabric of her fiction.
Women's relationships with men—whether they be fathers, lovers, or strangers—are a prominent theme of Hubbard's collection. "What Friends Are For" captures this theme at its most humorous and bizarre in the strange mishaps of two young girls trying to rid their lives of the stepfathers they despise. When their plan fails miserably, the girls are forced to accept the unwanted men, but not without finding brief comfort in the humor of their failure. "Then I start laughing too--a laugh I've never laughed before, like some exotic bird, high and shrill and free—and now [we're] laughing so hard that the voices outside fade away entirely."
Praised by Ploughshares as "an assured storyteller and a complex narrative stylist," Hubbard excels at writing spare yet powerfully evocative prose. Haunting in its suspense and subtle grace, Blue Money celebrates Hubbard's marvelous ability to explore the power of imagination.