NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “Intimate and illuminating and, as is true of most anything Quindlen writes, well worth the read.”—People
For eighteen years Fran Benedetto kept her secret, hid her bruises. She stayed with Bobby because she wanted her son to have a father, and because, in spite of everything, she loved him. Then one night, when she saw the look on her ten-year-old son’s face, Fran finally made a choice—and ran for both their lives.
Now she is starting over in a city far from home, far from Bobby. In this place she uses a name that isn’t hers, watches over her son, and tries to forget. For the woman who now calls herself Beth, every day is a chance to heal, to put together the pieces of her shattered self. And every day she waits for Bobby to catch up to her. Bobby always said he would never let her go, and despite the ingenuity of her escape, Fran Benedetto is certain of one thing: It is only a matter of time.
Praise for Black and Blue
"Beautifully paced—keeps the reader anxiously turning the pages."—New York Times Book Review
"A gut-wrencher—another stunner."—Denver Post
"Impossible to put down—the tension is both awful and mesmerizing."—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"Engrossing—compassionate and tense."—New York Times
"Her best novel yet."—Publishers Weekly
"Absolutely believable—Quindlen writes with power and grace."—Boston Globe
"A moving masterpiece."—Lexington Herald-Leader
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
After enduring almost two decades of physical and mental abuse at the hands of her husband, Fran Benedetto takes her 10-year-old son and flees, starting over in a far-flung city. Anna Quindlen’s resilient-yet-anxious heroine—who rechristens herself as Beth—works on healing herself while continuing to live in fear of being found. Quindlen’s gift for evoking deep and relatable emotions makes Black and Blue a profoundly touching and unexpectedly hopeful read.
After two fine earlier efforts, Object Lessons and One True Thing, Quindlen has written her best novel yet in this unerringly constructed and paced, emotionally accurate tale of domestic abuse. Her protagonist is Frannie Benedetto, a 37-year-old Brooklyn housewife, mother and nurse who finally finds the courage to escape from her violent husband Bobby, a New York City cop. Under an assumed identity in a tacky central Florida town, Frannie and her 10-year-old son, Robert, attempt to build a new life, but there is a price to pay, and when it comes, it carries the heartstopping logic of inevitability and the irony of fate. Quindlen establishes suspense from the first sentence and never falters. She cogently explores the complex emotional atmosphere of abuse: why some women cling to the memory of their original love and wait too long to break free. She makes palpable Frannie's fear, pain, self-contempt and, later, guilt over depriving Robert of the father he adores. As Frannie and Robert make tentative steps in their new community, Quindlen conveys their sense of dislocation and anxiety compounded by their sense of loss. Weaving the domestic fabric that is her forte, she flawlessly reproduces the mundane dialogue between mother and son, between Frannie and the friends she makes and the people she serves in her new job as a home health-care aide. Among the triumphs of Quindlen's superb ear for voices is the character of an elderly Jewish woman whose moribund husband is Frannie's patient. Above all, Quindlen is wise and humane. Her understanding of the complex anatomy of marital relationships, of the often painful bond of maternal love and of the capacity to survive tragedy and carry on invest this moving novel with the clarion ring of truth. Literary Guild selection; Random House audio; author tour.
Bllack and Blue
Incredible writer-just love her stories and the subtle expressions that are so deeply relatable, like Gilbert writings.
Black and Blue
Slow begining but unexpected twist at the end makes this a phenominal read.