Blue Diary – Alice Hoffman

Synopsis from Amazon.co.uk

Jorie and Ethan Ford are a golden couple blessed with an 11-year-old son, Collie, living a decent, quiet life in small-town Massachusetts. Ethan is a pillar of the community–a handsome, good man, whose life revolves around his family, his work as a carpenter and his roles as volunteer fireman and Little League coach. Since he first walked into her home-town, her life and her bed 13 years before, Jorie has never lost the feeling that she is special, singled out by fate to live a charmed life with a man she still desires and a son she adores. And then, on a glorious Monday morning in June, Jorie’s fate turns and her life as she knows it is changed. One wonders whether the hand of fate will offer her any kind of salvation and if she can come to terms with the unimaginable.

Kat Williams, Collie’s next-door neighbour and best friend is mature beyond her years. In her short life, she has had to cope with the loss of her father, a distant mother and a sister who attracts, and dispenses with, boyfriends as flies to a light, but who has taken to self-mutilation to heal her numbness. Is Kat the only one who can instinctively feel when something, or someone, is wrong? Charlotte, Jorie’s best friend since childhood, knows when something is amiss, but her own terrible losses and lack of self-worth cause her to mistrust her feelings and internalise blame.

My Review

This is a book that has me torn, I almost gave up on it after a few chapters as the writing style was just so different for me, Hoffman writes so descriptively it’s almost enchanting, yet 3 sentences on how beautiful a flower looks is just not for me, yet I decided to push on and I’m glad I did as the story drew me in, almost against my will. The story seemed so real, Jorie not some perfect heroine, but a woman torn about forgiving her husband for the terrible thing he did. The relationships are really put across well, even with such a range of people, issues and emotions. I was very surprised at the ending, I expected it to go in a completely different direction, but after reading it, it was the perfect ending, and you’re left feeling glad it ends the way it does.

I gave it a 3.5 because I really disliked the writing style, and it’s a shame, because the story is actually a very good one. If there’s such a thing as being too descriptive, this is it. I just found it very unnecessary really, it was just too fussy and I felt like it slowed down an already pretty slow moving story. But the characters are really well developed, and like I said the story is a good one, so I would recommend this to people who don’t mind lots of descriptive writing.

3.5/5

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