When would-be folksinger Rachel Boucher is raped and impregnated by former high school crush Jason de Klerk, the ensuing custody battle tears apart Athens, Ohio. That the aimless, unemployed de Klerk would have any parental rights at all is only part of what puzzles in Rachel’s Blue, Zakes Mda’s deeply peculiar novel.
Rachel, 23, is a would-be folksinger and nascent activist who lives with her grandmother, Nana Moira.The “Blue” of the title refers to the Amish ragdoll Rachel remains oddly attached to:
When everyone was gone, Blue was the one to have stayed. There was Nana Moira, of course, but she didn’t count that much. Blue, on the other hand, was always with Rachel. She was not apt to die in a war or disappear in a fog of drugs.