Susan Isaacs

Red, White and Blue

Publisher: HarperCollins
Published: Mar 1, 1999
ISBN: 9780007652044
Published: Mar 1, 1999

Compromising Positions to Lily White -- seven critically acclaimed novels, seven New York Times bestsellers. Now, with her eighth novel, Susan Isaacs has written her finest work yet. Red, White and Blue tells the story of two ordinary Americans who find it within themselves to become extraordinary heroes.

Charlie Blair of Wyoming and Lauren Miller of New York start out as strangers. They are drawn together by an appalling hate crime and by their mutual passion for justice. Yet they share more than a sense of fair play. They are not simply kindred spirits but actual kin, descendants of immigrants who met on a boat on their way to America, in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty.

Special Agent Blair of the FBI has the numbing job of a bureaucrat and the soul of a cowboy. A wry Westerner from his Stetson to his boots, he also happens to be the great-great-grandson of . . . Dora Blaustein? Dora what? True, although he is unaware of that particular ancestor. A nearly burned-out case at thirty-four, he is about to walk away from the safe world of paper-pushing to risk his life in Wyoming, infiltrating an armed, white supremacist, viciously anti-Semitic group called Wrath. Wyoming born and bred, Charlie seems the perfect choice for this undercover operation, because who in Wrath could question this whiter-than-white man, so clearly one of their own?

Also in Jackson Hole is Charlie’s apparent opposite. Gen-X Lauren Miller is articulate, ironic-and unwaveringly liberal. A journalist from Long Island, she has been hired by theJewish News to investigate a bombing that Wrath is suspected to be behind. Lauren’s job is to know who, what, where and when, of course. But most of all, she is compelled to discover why. Why are all these people who’ve never met a Jew in their lives obsessed with Jews-and why do they want them dead? Just who is it who gets to define who is an American?

With narrative grace, insight and her trademark exuberant wit, Isaacs not only chronicles Lauren’s and Charlie’s investigations, but explores their American heritage as well: How did their forebears-how did all of our forebears-get from there to here? And what can this mountain man and this suburban woman possibly share-except a few random genes?

Intelligent, exhilarating and intensely moving, Red, White and Blue is a novel about what makes Americans American.

>> Susan’s inspiration for Red, White and Blue.

The jauntiness and frothy exuberance of Susan Isaac’s style in her eighth novel carries you along as if on a wonderful joy ride. She is superb at quick character sketches, the deadly battles between fathers and sons, family frictions and generational antagonisms. Her effervescence convinces you that everything will turn out all right in the end. Which it does. But just barely.”
The Providence Sunday Journal
Two long-separated strands of a remarkable Jewish family reunite in Red, White and Blue. Alive with eloquent, fluid language and salted with fitting doses of earthy humor, Isaacs’s newest novel is a triumph.”
Both on the large scale and the small [Red, White and Blue is] an absorbing chronicle of the American character.”
Kirkus Reviews
Isaacs delivers the goods with Red, White and Blue. With her usual blend of wry wit and sardonic insights, Isaacs skillfully weaves clever bits of Americana in and out of a tale laced with anti-Semites who claim to own America, true-blue Americans who take up the good fight and all those searching for the American dream.”
The Plain Dealer
With Isaacs' wry characterizations and unabashedly patriotic…finale, Red, White and Blue should earn the allegiance of her countless devoted fans.”
Entertainment Weekly
Isaacs’s latest is entertaining, yet in examining antigovernment paranoia and the politics of hate, it poses deeper questions about what it means to be an American.”
Library Journal