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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

UGH Narrator sounded old not a 30 something Fran!


"UGH Narrator sounded old not a 30 something Fran!"

This book is terrible.
First let me say that I love Anna Quindlen and I read this book many years ago and liked it. When I saw it on Audible I thought I'd revisit it.
Bad decision...........
The narrator sounds like a much older woman than 30 something Fran. She ruined it for me. I didn't finish it and it's going back.
Yeah, it was that bad.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

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.

4 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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extremely boring

this entire book is right to you in a past tense in the style of an autobiography.... It is not very suspenseful, it kind of drags on, and it has a pretty predictable ending... The narrator is okay, unfortunately she's just reading and extremely boring book to you... I only gave it one star, because one Stars the lowest I could go... I would have given it -1 star if I could have

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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Terrible

I recently finished Anna Quindlen's One True Thing which was amazing on many levels. So I was extremely disappointed attempting to get through this long winded story loaded with filler and an unsatisfying ending . Don't bother!

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

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.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Too much detail

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

If you like the author to detail the scenes, you may enjoy this book. I found the details distracting (color of the walls, description of the pieces of furniture in the room, etc.)

What about Ruth Ann Phimister’s performance did you like?

Clear and easy to understand

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful