Book review: ‘The Deepest Blue’ movingly shows the strength of an adolescent boy

Published: Sunday, Oct. 4 2015 10:28 p.m. MDT

"The Deepest Blue" is a new novel by local author Kim Williams Justesen. (Tanglewood Books)

"THE DEEPEST BLUE," by Kim Williams-Justesen, Tanglewood, $15.99, 275 pages (f) (ages 14 and up)

Fifteen-year-old Mike has normal teenage problems. He doesn’t understand girls, his dad insists on curfews and getting his driver’s license can’t happen soon enough. But these troubles pale when Mike’s father dies, changing Mike’s life forever. “The Deepest Blue” does an excellent job looking into the mind of a teenage boy who only desires love and safety.

Utah author Kim Williams Justesen does an incredible job portraying Mike’s grief over the death of his best friend and father. Struggling to cope with his loss, Mike’s emotions run rampant when he realizes he may be forced to move across the country to live with his absentee mother. Unable to properly mourn, Mike is quickly forced into the legal world as he petitions the court for a new legal guardian: his late father’s girlfriend.

Kim Williams Justesen is the author of Kim Williams Justesen is the author of "The Deepest Blue." (Provided by Tanglewood Books)

Maggie, the only mother Mike has known for the past five years, is wonderful proof that a woman doesn’t have to give birth in order to mother. Mourning over the death of the man she loved, Maggie focuses on Mike and helps him find strength amid life’s turmoil. As Mike makes mistakes and tests Maggie’s patience, he quickly matures.

The legal struggle against his birth mother proves difficult when it reopens emotional wounds Mike thought had been dealt with long ago. As more of his past is revealed, it becomes obvious why Mike feels so negatively towards his mother. When mother and son testify before a judge, Mike is forced to build a mental toughness and learns the depths of his inner strength.

“The Deepest Blue” deals with emotional abuse of a child and has a few instances of profanity. There is one, slightly racy scene of nudity and another of underage alcohol use.

Utah native Williams-Justesen is a Westminster College alumna and resides in Sandy.

If you go ...

What: Kim Williams-Justesen book signing

When: Wednesday, Oct. 16, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Note: Places in the signing line are reserved for those who purchase a copy of "The Deepest Blue" from the King's English.

Elizabeth Reid has bachelor degrees in economics and history. She has worked in retail, medical billing, catering, education and business fields. Her favorite occupation is that of wife and mother. Her email is bizziereid@gmail.com.

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company