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Black and Blue: A Novel by Anna Quindlen
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Black and Blue: A Novel (edition 2010)

by Anna Quindlen

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2,851502,037 (3.49)98
Member:NStClair
Title:Black and Blue: A Novel
Authors:Anna Quindlen
Info:Random House Trade Paperbacks (2010), Paperback, 320 pages
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Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen

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Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen; (4*)

This wonderful book hit way too close to home for me. Wives or girl friends who are battered may relate very well to the character, Beth, in this book. She is very typical of the abused significant other. I, too, thought that if I was just better or if I didn't make him mad he wouldn't hurt me any more. The problem was I was unable to figure out how I could be better or what I had done to make him mad.
This 'novel' is a sad commentary on personal relationships and how we don't take care of ourselves very well. In this 'story' it is difficult to see a cop, a person who should uphold the law, abusing it. Not that it doesn't happen. It happens in every class, profession of people. There is not one exempt from it. It is a well-known fact that men and even women who have high stress jobs are more likely to become batterers and abuse alcohol or drugs. The really sad thing is how the the kids get hurt so badly & it effects their entire lives and their relationships. Often in domestic violence there are no winners, only losers. It is the woman who loses most often and the children are horribly affected by this.
Quindlen is an easy author to read. Her descriptions of people and places is excellent.
I found that reading this 'novel' triggered feelings and emotions in me that I thought had long died. After all it has been 44 years since I found the courage to get out. But apparently even after 6 years of counseling, those emotions are still there, buried deep. So if you are a person who has suffered at the hand of an abuser, read with caution,.............this wonderful book. ( )
  rainpebble | May 13, 2016 |
Black And Blue, by Anna Quindlen
★★★

Synopsis: In Black And Blue, Fran Benedetto tells a spellbinding story: how at nineteen she fell in love with Bobby Benedetto, how their passionate marriage became a nightmare, why she stayed, and what happened on the night she finally decided to run away with her ten-year-old son and start a new life under a new name. Living in fear in Florida—yet with increasing confidence, freedom, and hope—Fran unravels the complex threads of family, identity, and desire that shape a woman’s life, even as she begins to create a new one. As Fran starts to heal from the pain of the past, she almost believes she has escaped it—that Bobby Benedetto will not find her and again provoke the complex combustion between them of attraction and destruction, lust and love.
In A Sentence: Thought-provoking and sad.
My Thoughts: Well that was depressing. I knew this was going to be a sad story, since it’s all about a woman getting physically abused by her husband, but I guess I was kind of hoping for a happier ending. Instead, I got a much more realistic one.
Someone wrote in their review that it read like a movie for the Lifetime channel. I have to say that’s true. It’s drama for women. It’s like one of those TV movies with no happy ending or sad ending; it just ends.
I also read that this isn’t Anna Quindlen’s best work. This is my first time reading this author, but I think this statement is probably true. I liked it but I wasn’t particularly impressed by it. And I did get bored at times.
I’m not sure I would recommend this read, but try it out if you like. It is interesting and a little heartbreaking, and it does make you wonder: what would you do in her shoes?
( )
  Spirolim | Jan 13, 2016 |
This story followed a woman as she left her abusive husband, bringing her son along as they started a secret new life. There were vivid flashbacks, but also a lot of current action. It had a good narrative structure, but overall felt very stream-of-consciousness, which worked perfectly. As the woman adjusted to her new life, you were living day-to-day right along with her. When she was struck by fear of her husband finding her, you were jolted into that emotion as well. It was very powerful, very realistic, and very suspenseful. The prose was beautiful in many parts, but never too flowery. The characters were realistic and likable, and I find myself thinking about them even after finishing the book. ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
Although I fear the subject matter has been tackled many times before, this is a well written, non judgemental novel about domestic abuse, recovery and its impact on children. ( )
  Betty.Ann.Beam | Mar 5, 2014 |
My wife and I listened to this on a trip to Texas and while it held our interest was just not as good as some others out there.

Fran Benedetto is a battered wife. She’s an RN whose abusive husband is a cop, and she has seen to what little effect orders of protection have. In fact, three women she had seen in the emergency room after being battered by their husbands of boyfriends were later killed by them despite the supposed legal remedy. So when Bobby, her husband, really smashes her about the face, she enlists the support of Patty Bancroft, the organizer and founder of an agency that relocates women and creates new identities for them so they can escape from their abusive partners.

Her torment lies in the fact that she still loves her husband and his passion. He had a brooding and magnetic personality and loved their son Robert, but his drinking and rages had become more and more violent. She escapes with Robert, a child of about twelve and settles in with a new identity in Florida. She constantly worries that her husband will seek her out and kill her. She knows he has the resources and connections to find her if he wants to. Despite her new name, new job, and new location, everything she does is tempered by the realization that Bobby could show up at any time to take away Robert and beat her again.

Quindlan renders the horrors of spousal abuse so realistically one has to wonder if she herself had perhaps been a battered spouse. There is a strong tension throughout the novel for the reader who wonders just when everything will fall apart and why. It remains a tragedy that society has yet to find a better way to deal with the terrible plight of women who find themselves in such a tragic situation.

( )
  ecw0647 | Sep 30, 2013 |
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For Quin Krovatin

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with admiration and enormous love.
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The first time my husband hit me I was nineteen years old.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385333137, Paperback)

Oprah Book Club® Selection, April 1998: "The first time my husband hit me I was nineteen years old," begins Fran Benedetto, the broken heroine of Anna Quindlen's Black and Blue. With one sweeping sentence, the door to an abused and tortured world is swung wide open and the psyche of a crushed and tattered self-image exposed. "Frannie, Frannie, Fran"--as Bobby Benedetto liked to call her before smashing her into kitchen appliances--was a young, energetic nursing student when she met her husband-to-be at a local Brooklyn bar. She was instantly captivated by his dark, brooding looks and magnetic personality, but her fascination soon solidified into a marital prison sentence of incessant abuse and the destruction of her own identity. After an especially horrific beating and rape, Fran realizes that the next attack could be the last. Fearing her son would be left alone with Bobby, she escapes one morning with her child. Fran's salvation comes in the form of Patty Bancroft and Co., a relocation agency for abused women that touts better service than the witness protection program. Armed only with a phone number, a few hundred dollars, and the help of several anonymous volunteers, Fran begins a new life. The agency relocates her to Florida, where she becomes Beth Crenshaw, a recently divorced home-care assistant from Delaware. Fran and her son adapt, meeting challenges with unexpected resilience and resolve until their past returns to haunt them. Quindlen renders the intricacies of spousal abuse with eerie accuracy, taking the reader deep within the realm of dysfunctional human ties. However, her vivid descriptions of abuse, emotional disintegration, and acute loneliness at times numb the reader with their realism.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:14:35 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

A nurse escapes her abusive husband, a New York policeman, taking their son with her to Florida. She assumes a new identity and even finds romance, but there is a price, the 10-year-old boy misses his father and she lives in constant fear the father will find them, which he does. The novel analyzes why abused women wait so long to make their break.… (more)

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