A Solitary Blue
Goodreads ratings
3.98 / 5

"A Solitary Blue" Summary

By Cynthia Voigt

young adult | 250 pages | Published in NaN

Jeff Greene was only seven when Melody, his mother, left him with his reserved, undemonstrative father, the Professor. So when she reenters his life years later with an invitation to spend the summer with her in Charleston, Jeff is captivated by her free spirit and warmth, and he eagerly looks forward to returning for another visit the following year.But Jeff's second summer in Charleston ends with a devastating betrayal, and he returns to his father wounded almost beyond bearing. But out of Jeff's pain grows a deepening awareness of the unexpected and complicated ways of love and loss and of family and friendship -- and the strength to understand his father, his mother, and especially himself.


Estimated read time: 7 min read

One Sentence Summary

After discovering his father's true nature, Jeff Greene finds solace and guidance in the unlikely friendship of a young girl named Melody.


"A Solitary Blue" by Cynthia Voigt is a coming-of-age novel that delves into the life of Jeff Greene, a sensitive and introspective young boy who grapples with the complexities of family, friendship, and self-discovery. Set against the backdrop of a small coastal town in Connecticut, the story unfolds as Jeff navigates the challenges of adolescence and strives to make sense of his place in the world.

Brief Synopsis

Plot Overview

The story begins with Jeff's father, Melody, leaving him and his mother, and the impact of this abandonment shapes Jeff's emotional landscape. He grows up feeling disconnected and isolated, finding solace in his friendship with the lively and free-spirited Mab. As Jeff matures, he experiences a series of transformative events that lead him to confront his past, understand his father's choices, and ultimately find his own path to self-acceptance and fulfillment.


The novel is primarily set in the coastal town of Stony Bay, Connecticut, where the serene beauty of the ocean serves as a backdrop to Jeff's emotional journey. The town's quiet charm and close-knit community provide a rich environment for the unfolding of the narrative, reflecting the themes of introspection and self-discovery that permeate the story.

Main Characters

Below are the main characters in "A Solitary Blue," each playing a significant role in shaping Jeff's experiences and growth:

Jeff GreeneThe introspective protagonist who grapples with the emotional impact of his father's abandonment and seeks to find his own identity.
Melody GreeneJeff's father, an enigmatic and troubled musician who abandons his family, leaving a lasting impact on Jeff's life.
MabJeff's spirited and unconventional friend, whose vibrant personality provides a contrast to Jeff's introspective nature.
Aunt CordeliaJeff's caring and supportive aunt, who becomes a guiding figure in his life and offers him stability and understanding.
Dr. ThaxterJeff's wise and perceptive English teacher, who serves as a mentor and source of guidance as Jeff navigates the challenges of adolescence and self-discovery.

Summary of Different Story Points over Chapters

Chapters 1-3

In the opening chapters, we are introduced to Jeff Greene, a sensitive and introspective young boy whose life is upended by his father's abrupt departure. Jeff's mother, who struggles to cope with the abandonment, focuses on providing for the family, leaving Jeff to navigate his emotional turmoil largely on his own. The impact of his father's absence weighs heavily on Jeff, shaping his outlook on life and relationships.

Chapters 4-6

As Jeff grows older, he befriends Mab, a vibrant and free-spirited girl who injects a sense of adventure and excitement into his life. Their friendship becomes a source of comfort for Jeff, offering him a reprieve from the solitude he feels at home. However, Jeff remains haunted by his father's departure, and the longing for his presence continues to influence his emotional development.

Chapters 7-9

Jeff's relationship with Mab deepens, and he finds himself drawn to her carefree and spontaneous nature. Their bond provides Jeff with a sense of connection and understanding that he craves, yet he remains guarded about his inner struggles. Meanwhile, Jeff's interactions with his Aunt Cordelia offer him moments of solace and stability, providing a contrast to the emotional turmoil stemming from his father's absence.

Chapters 10-12

As Jeff enters adolescence, he experiences a tumultuous journey of self-discovery, grappling with feelings of inadequacy and longing for paternal guidance. Dr. Thaxter, Jeff's insightful English teacher, becomes a source of mentorship and guidance, offering him a new perspective on literature and life. Jeff's introspective nature and quest for understanding lead him to confront the complexities of his past and the impact of his father's choices.

Chapters 13-15

Jeff's emotional journey reaches a critical juncture as he begins to unravel the mysteries surrounding his father's departure and his own sense of identity. Through introspection and self-exploration, Jeff gains a deeper understanding of the complexities of human relationships and the significance of forging one's path to self-acceptance. The novel culminates in Jeff's transformative realization about the power of love, forgiveness, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Main Events

Below are the main events that shape Jeff's emotional journey in "A Solitary Blue":

  • Jeff's father, Melody, abruptly leaves him and his mother, setting the stage for Jeff's emotional turmoil.
  • Jeff forms a deep friendship with Mab, whose spirited nature offers a contrast to his introspective demeanor.
  • Jeff grapples with feelings of abandonment and seeks solace in his relationships with Mab and his Aunt Cordelia.
  • Dr. Thaxter, Jeff's English teacher, becomes a mentor and source of guidance as Jeff confronts the complexities of adolescence and self-discovery.
  • Jeff embarks on a journey of self-exploration, unraveling the mysteries of his past and coming to terms with his father's choices.
  • The novel culminates in Jeff's transformative realization about love, forgiveness, and the resilience of the human spirit.

Themes and Insights


  • Family Dynamics: The impact of familial relationships and the complexities of parental absence on a child's emotional development.
  • Self-Discovery: The journey of introspection and self-realization as a means of understanding one's identity and forging a path to acceptance.
  • Friendship: The significance of genuine connections and the role of friendship in providing solace and understanding during times of emotional turmoil.
  • Resilience: The resilience of the human spirit in overcoming adversity and finding strength in the face of personal challenges.


  • The novel offers insights into the profound influence of parental absence on a child's emotional landscape, highlighting the long-lasting impact of such experiences.
  • It delves into the complexities of adolescent emotions and the quest for understanding and acceptance amid feelings of isolation and longing.
  • "A Solitary Blue" explores the transformative power of meaningful connections and the role of mentorship in guiding individuals toward self-discovery and personal growth.

Reader's Takeaway

Readers of "A Solitary Blue" are likely to be moved by the poignant exploration of Jeff's emotional journey, resonating with themes of familial dynamics, friendship, and resilience. The novel offers a compelling portrayal of the complexities of adolescence and the quest for self-discovery, ultimately leaving readers with a sense of introspection and empathy for the characters' experiences.


In "A Solitary Blue," Cynthia Voigt delivers a captivating narrative that delves into the intricacies of familial relationships, the impact of parental absence, and the transformative journey of self-discovery. Through the introspective lens of the protagonist, Jeff Greene, the novel explores themes of resilience, friendship, and the enduring power of love and forgiveness. With its evocative storytelling and insightful portrayal of adolescent emotions, "A Solitary Blue" offers a compelling and thought-provoking reading experience.

A Solitary Blue FAQ

  1. What is the main theme of 'A Solitary Blue'?

    The main theme of 'A Solitary Blue' is the search for identity and the impact of family dynamics on an individual's sense of self.

  2. Who is the author of 'A Solitary Blue'?

    The author of 'A Solitary Blue' is Cynthia Voigt.

  3. What is the setting of 'A Solitary Blue'?

    The setting of 'A Solitary Blue' is primarily in the United States, with a focus on the protagonist's journey from childhood to adolescence.

  4. What is the protagonist's name in 'A Solitary Blue'?

    The protagonist's name in 'A Solitary Blue' is Jeff Greene.

  5. What age group is 'A Solitary Blue' suitable for?

    A Solitary Blue is suitable for young adult readers, typically aged 12 and above, due to its themes and content.