Thursday, April 19, 2018


I read Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen in 2011. It's a book that 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 found myself thinking about them even after finishing the book.

I read this book at the perfect time because I was struggling with a story I was writing. It was a story told in three or four parts (I was undecided at that time), and the main character was a wife leaving her husband. This really helped me get into the minds of my characters and get immersed in that world. I finished the set of stories and it's still one of my favorites, and I credit this book for helping me through it. (Along with Foo Fighters' "The Pretender"... long story!)

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