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Blue Diary    by Alice Hoffman order for
Blue Diary
by Alice Hoffman
Order:  USA  Can
Berkley, 2002 (2001)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio
* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

You're living the ideal life with the husband of your or anyone else's dreams. He is a wonderful father, coaches Little League, is a volunteer firemen who has endangered his own life to save others, and is held in high regard by the members of your small community. You have lived eleven years in wedded bliss. Why then are police at your door? They arrest your husband for a brutal murder of a fifteen year old girl, committed thirteen years ago.

This scenario is what faces Jorie Ford, whose husband Ethan confesses to the murder. Jorie finds herself unable to comprehend that this gentle man, with whom she has lived for so long, is not who she thought he was. How is she to handle the devastating turn her life has taken? How to help her son come to terms with a father he now hates? Blue Diary is a compelling book. It is powerfully written, and with a lyric wonder that transcends the horror of the plot. Hoffman is a talented storyteller who sees the beauty of the world and can, thankfully, put that beauty into words.

A subplot concerns a close friend of Jorie's, who has faced the death of her parents, a childless marriage and divorce, and who is now going through radiation and chemotherapy for breast cancer. Blue Diary is a thought provoking book. Reading it, you will find yourself wondering what you would do in the awful circumstances these two women face. I don't know what my decisions would be, but I have to admire both Jorie and her friend Charlotte for their choices.

This is a good read, worth handing on to your best friend so you can discuss what your own choices would be. Be prepared for this book to be a part of your life for a while; it's hard to forget.

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