TITLE & AUTHOR: Blue Diary by Alice Hoffman
PUBLISHER: Vintage Digital
RELEASE DATE: 31 December 2012
SOURCE: Digital Library
WHAT’S IT’S ABOUT
Ethan and Jorie, a perfect, beautiful couple, have been married for 13 years, and are still very much in love. Ethan is a pillar of the community, but 13 years ago he committed a brutal rape and murder. A young girl’s phone call exposes him, and nothing will ever be the same for any of them – as nothing could ever be the same for that other young girl who was raped all those years ago, or for her family.
Blue Diary is a powerful, disturbing novel about the dark shadows in ordinary lives, about the ripples that carry on indefinitely from a violent act. And the blue diary of the title belonged to the dead girl…
IT’S THE LAST MONDAY of the month, a brutally gorgeous morning brimming with blue air and the sweet scent of honeysuckle which grows wild in the woods beyond Front Street, when Ethan Ford fails to show up for work.
WHAT I THOUGHT
This is my first time reading Hoffman and it definitely won’t be my last. Her prose, themes and subject matter remind me a lot of one of my favourite writers, Joyce Carol Oates. This is a good thing. Trust me.
I loved Blue Diary. I loved it so much I’m not sure what to do with myself. I cried a lot as I read this, both the loud, wailing kind of crying and the other crying when you don’t make a sound but your eyes leak constantly. Blue Diary examines big, life-changing issues. Can Jorie forgive her husband for the terrible crime he committed and believe him when he tells her it was a terrible accident and there was no intent behind it? Can Jorie trust the love she feels for Ethan? Were the past twelve years filled with nothing but lies? My two favourite bits of Blue Diary are the flashback to the murder and the chapter when Jorie goes to Maryland where the murder was committed and tries to make sense of what happened by speaking to the dead girl’s brother. Major waterworks. I was shocked by how many people wanted to rally round and support Ethan even after he confesses. I never bought his whole it was a terrible accident… there was no intention… I am not that person…. sob story. A girl is dead and grovelling apologies of a murderer don’t wash with me. I really admired Jorie for the choice she makes at the end. I expected it to go a different way and am glad it didn’t. The characters in Blue Diary are so real I expected them to step out of the book and walk around.
Blue Diary is deeply touching and just a little heart-breaking.