Fugitive Blue

Original cover Smaller format coverA beautiful, beguiling and multi-layered novel, Fugitive Blue tells the story of a young art conservator and her work on a fifteenth-century panel painting in striking ultramarine.  As she restores the fragile artwork, her fascination with it grows.  How did an inexperienced artist in Renaissance Venice come to possess such valuable art materials?  Who has loved it?  Relinquished it?  Carried it with them across the world?

The story follows the painting from its controversial creation and reappearance centuries later during a nobleman’s Grand Tour of Europe, passing through Impressionist-era Paris, before its eventual arrival in Australia as one of the scarce possessions of a post-war Greek migrant family.

Against this shifting backdrop, the narrator’s own story of love and loss is gradually revealed.

I spent so much of time restoring things, trying to reclaim their original beauty.  All day, I looked at deteriorating objects with their parts exposed like a person with her heart on the outside.  I could touch these paintings, make a decision and watch them transform.  Done.  But then there was us. 

Lyrical and intriguing, Fugitive Blue is a fluidly elegant novel that captures the essence of love’s fragility.


Fugitive Blue won the 2009 Dobbie Award for Women Writers, part of the Kibble Literary Awards

Fugitive Blue was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 2009



“Claire Thomas’s Fugitive Blue…my novel of the year, for its sweep, evocative detail, and exquisite writing. Claire Thomas is…enormously talented.” Robyn Williams, ABR

“Thomas suggests parallel stories about love and loss, female creativity and unrealised desire. Polished and poignant, expressed with incisiveness and resonance, Fugitive Blue doesn’t miss a beat.” Westerly

Fugitive Blue shows Claire Thomas to be a writer of great promise. The book is well structured, with cunning symbolism…and a resolution of great poignancy.  [The] author lures the reader into the world of fine arts with superb descriptions, bringing pictures and painters of other eras to life with deft imagery.”  Lisa Hill, ANZLitLovers LitBlog

“beautifully done with great imagination.” Kerryn Goldsworthy, The Sydney Morning Herald

“Thomas captures atmosphere with artful economy and sketches characters and emotions with masterly precision.  A novel to be reckoned with.” Murray Waldren

Fugitive Blue is a novel about art, the fragility of love and transformation.  The fresh and vivid images evoked by Claire Thomas resonate with the reader long after the novel is finished.”  Judges of the Dobbie Award


4 responses

  1. Pingback: Fugitive Blue on Radio National « Claire Thomas

  2. I found this book on a hotel bookshelf in Sitges, near Barcelona. I cannot say how much I loved it, the story is so tender and touching it melted my heart. And what truly beautiful and heartfelt writing…I so want to put it back on that shelf in the hope that someone else will find it and feel the same as I did about it, but I also want to keep it, to treasure it, and read it again and again. Thank you for writing such a wonderful story x

  3. Hello. Thank you so much for that very generous comment. After all these years, it is so lovely to think my book is still being read, somewhere. I hope you are having a wonderful time in Spain. You’ve completely made my day!

    • I have decided to put it back on the shelf with a little post it note telling the next person who picks it up how wonderful it is! We emigrated  to Melbourne from Wales thirty five years ago but came home once our children arrived. I loved hearing the word doona again! We still have many friends there. your writing is so evocative, and I am so happy to have discovered your work x

      Sent from my Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s