Alice Hoffman is a crafter of magic realism and invites us to pry into our own beliefs and preconceived notions. Blue Diary is like a Jodi Picoult novel with a twist or many twists.
The last question in the reader's guide "Should the deeds from our past be used to judge us in the present? Does benevolent behaviour in the recent past "undo" reprehensible behaviour from long ago?"
This book convinced me that I don't need to bother reading any other books by Alice Hoffman. The beginning was quite unsubtle: the husband and wife were so glowingly wonderful that it was obvious everything was about to crash. Hoffman laid it on with a trowel. I didn't find the other characters very believable, either.
I loved this book. It is very intense. I would rate it PG-13 for sex scenes and theme.
You can count on Alice Hoffman to deliver a compelling story, set in small town New England, in a contemporary but somehow timeless world. In her latest, a dilemma arising out of the dark mysteries of a seemingly blissful marriage breaks a family apart.
An amazingly story idea fraught with moral dilemma and the trauma of unresolved murder on one town while another enjoys the heroism of a reformed ner-do-well who is now an exemplary husband and father. There are a lot of unanswered questions about the responsibility of community in raising the bad Billy and the role of 2 other towns in holding on to retribution and falling back on the only solution of punishment. There could have been so many ways to make serve justice after 'bad Billy' gets found out 20 years after a terrible manslaughter. How does society justify this severe punishment after 20 years of outstanding citizenship?
A great story and a great background for book club discussions.
I couldn't put this book down. Kept me in suspense alot of the time
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