Forge, Dec 2001, 22.95, 283 pp.
Now in his fifties, director Sam Bonner is known for being a member of the Wild Bunch due to his years of boozing and womanizing as much as his highly regarded western movies though Sam has not made a new flick in five years. His career may be over, but the worst blow to Sam is to learn that Sara, his third wife and the love he always sought, is dying from leukemia.
Sara has one simple request of Sam. With only three months left to live, she wants to learn everything she can about her beloved husband. Already grieving though the love of his life still lives, Sam agrees to escort his beloved on a tour of his west starting with his hometown of Fresno. As Sara's physical health declines, her mental state turns upbeat while they complete the odyssey through Nevada, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas before returning to California for Sara to die and Sam metaphorically along with her.
BLUE SKIES ENDING is a warning tale that love must be cherished and nurtured because life is too short and second chances never regain lost time. The melancholy story line remains upbeat due to Sara who hooks the audience with her courage even as the reader feels empathy to Sam. Though Sara's final days in California seem stretched as she acts more like someone recovering from health problems, Arthur Winfield Knight succeeds in providing his deep message on life, death, and rebirth of relationships within an entertaining plot.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner