Black and Blue

Narrated by: Ruth Ann Phimister
Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
4 out of 5 stars (237 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Writing with the depth and insight that have become her signature, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anna Quindlen explores a passionate marriage that turns into a nightmare. This Oprah's Book Club selection, destined to become as successful a best seller as One True Thing, secures her reputation as a significant author of fiction.

When 19-year-old Fran married Bobby Benedetto, she never dreamed that she would find herself in an abusive relationship. Every time her New York City policeman husband hit her, she would think of convincing reasons to stay.

Now, with her 10-year-old son in tow, she is running for her life. Living in Florida under an assumed name, she is bravely shaping a new life and dares to believe that, finally, she has escaped from her painful past. Black and Blue is a wise and powerful novel whose protagonists could be the people next door.

An Oprah Book Club® Selection.

©1998 Anna Quindlen (P)1998 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"Quindlen writes about women as they really areneither helpless victims nor angry polemicists, but intelligent human beings struggling to do what's right for those they love and for themselves. A book to read and savor." ( Kirkus Reviews)
"Engrossing....compassionate and tense." ( The New York Times)
"Absolutely believable....Quindlen writes with power and grace." ( The Boston Globe)

What listeners say about Black and Blue

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Another Quindlen Jewel

Spousal abuse is a challenging, difficult topic to both write and read about. I put off reading this book for some time, despite having read several other gems in Quindlen's repertoire and knowing the quality of her work. And though it was still a hard book to take in, the skill with which she developed every character in this book made it well worth the effort. Spousal abuse doesn't happen in a vacuum between a husband and wife; children and families are equally victimized and scarred for life, and Quindlen uses every bit of her remarkable writing expertise to make this point. As well, Quindlen used those skills most effectively to show the birth and evolution of an inherently flawed relationship.

Phimister's verbal portrayal of every character was equally well-done. She captured well the painful suffering and confusion of the main character as well as her moments of joy, but easily slipped into the voice of a Bronx cop, an aged holocaust survivor, an eleven-year old boy and a Southern belle. Her reading was thoughtful and sometimes pensive, totally fitting a story wherein the main character is struggling to understand what happened to her life.

There are some stories in life where there can be no happy ending. This is certainly one of them, but it still ends on a note of realistic hope for the future, and I thank the author for that. I highly recommend this book.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Totally enjoyed this book

This is a hard subject to read about (domestic violence) but this was a great story and getting to know the characters. Moments in the book when you thought they were going to be found made it more interesting. Recommend this book.

4 people found this helpful

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One of the best with this theme.

This story was actually pretty good. I almost gave it a 5 but there were a few actions by the main character that didn’t really make sense to me. The ending was unexpected, I was sort of waiting for her to have a ”officer come quickly, I’ve just shot an intruder“ moment there at the end but she doesn’t. Maybe the reason a few things didn’t make sense to me is actually because they tracked too close to real life and at the end of the day we all want a happy ending. Does serve as a good warning (again) for women though. If a man puts his hands on you, you gotta leave immediately. It doesn’t get better, they don’t love you, and they will destroy your children.

1 person found this helpful

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Powerful but real

Every woman wants to believe they will never be in 'that' situation and I hope and wish no woman would. However, sometimes you find yourself there. And society has put these thoughts and lies in our heads that its the woman's fault for not leaving. This gives a look from a woman point of view. When everyone says its so easy to leave, would it be that easy if your abusive husband was a cop?
Love the story and how the narrator sets the tone.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing

Oprah Book Club® Selection, April 1998
I loved this book! It was amazing; I loved every minute of it, right until the last word. I would recommend this book over and over again. In terms of the audio, the narrator did a fine job.

3 people found this helpful

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A Story of Hope

Any additional comments?

Although the story is kind of formulaic (another abused wife whose husband is an insane cop who spends all his time tracking down his runaway wife, ie: Safe Haven), the author gives us characters that seem very real, people you start rooting for. I like that the ending isn't as predictable as I would have thought...meaning it feels more like real life than a perfect storybook ending. You can't go wrong with an Anna Quindlen book.

2 people found this helpful

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Sleeping with the Enemy, but better...

What did you like best about this story?

The fact that she got out and tried to make a better life for her and her son. Not sure how I feel about the ending.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Hurry Up... write more Anna!!

Any additional comments?

An emotionally hard book and just every word this woman writes is a pleasure. I am such a fan of Quindlen's. I dislike physically abusive books, books about broken families are not something I would generate to but, she writes so possitive. I know it doesn't seem possible.

Again and again I find myself relistening to chapters or verses because they were so well written that I need to hear it again.

5 people found this helpful

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Violence against women remains current and is wonderfully treated in this novel

Anna Quindlen tells the story of a young woman stuck in a marriage where the violence escalates slowly, love rage and anger coexist for more than ten years before Franny escapes with her son. Franny is isolated by her shame although she is “allowed” to work Asdf-2346& a nurse by her cop husband. Her son Robert is the tie that keeps her captive. She knows that her life will be endangered if she leaves.
The dilemma, ambivalence and fear are beautifully described in this novel. Absolutely worth reading and as successful as “One true thing” by the same author

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Blue Badge

Very good. Completely believable story. Just hoped the ending would have had a solution instead but I have a good imagination.