[Reading] ➿ Blue Diary ➶ Alice Hoffman – Thomashillier.co.uk


Blue Diary This Dark And Utterly Compelling New Novel Is About The Shadows That Lie Beneath Ordinary Lives, About The Hand That Fate Deals You And What You Make Of It And The Ripples That Carry On Indefinitely From A Violent Act

  • Paperback
  • 303 pages
  • Blue Diary
  • Alice Hoffman
  • 10 November 2019
  • 0099437759

About the Author: Alice Hoffman

Alice Hoffman is the author ofthan thirty works of fiction, including The World That We Knew, The Rules of Magic, The Marriage of Opposites, Practical Magic, The Red Garden, the Oprah s Book Club selection Here on Earth, The Museum of Extraordinary Things, and The Dovekeepers Her most recent novel is The World That We Knew She lives near Boston.



10 thoughts on “Blue Diary

  1. says:

    Ethan Ford a handyman, kids baseball coach, and volunteer fireman is a town hero.After 13 years of marriage he s still deeply in love with his wife Jorie.and a good dad to his son Collie.Then one morning Ethan is arrested for the rape and murder of a young girl fifteen years ago Jorie and Collie are devastated and the townsfolk can hardly take it in, believing a terrible mistake has occurred However Ethan pleads guilty to the crime, asserting that he s a different man now In o Ethan Ford a handyman, kids baseball coach, and volunteer fireman is a town hero.After 13 years of marriage he s still deeply in love with his wife Jorie.and a good dad to his son Collie.Then one morning Ethan is arrested for the rape and murder of a young girl fifteen years ago Jorie and Collie are devastated and the townsfolk can hardly take it in, believing a terrible mistake has occurred However Ethan pleads guilty to the crime, asserting that he s a different man now In one way he is, having acquired a new identity.Collie is distraught and becomes completely withdrawn while Jorie torments herself trying to figure out how Ethan could have done such a thing.In flashbacks we learn that Ethan was a truly despicable youth who after he committed the murder instantaneously transformed himself into a good, caring man.Other characters in the novel include Jorie s best friend Charlotte, who is suffering from cancer Jorie s mother and sister who try to support her in this time of crisis and Kat an insightful young friend of Collie s There are also lawyers who advise defend Ethan, and townspeople who form an Ethan support group to raise money for his defense This group includes Kat s sister Rosarie, a beautiful but cold 17 year old heartbreaker who becomes infatuated with Ethan.The heart of the story involves how Jorie comes to terms with her husband s crime and the actions she decides to take To me Ethan s sudden transformation into a good guy after the murder is completely unbelievable and the story s finale also rings false However, the characters are interesting and the book does a good job illustrating the heartbreak and devastation that can occur when a gigantic lie is exposed.You can follow my reviews at

  2. says:

    I read the Kindle edition of this book, and there were so many typos misprints that I almost didn t finish reading it Overall, though, the story itself was pretty good This was my first Alice Hoffman book but definitely not my last

  3. says:

    I didn t finish this book Ms Hoffman failed to make me care enough about the characters, with the possible exception of Kat, to want to continue past page 116 Yes, I gave it a few extra pages beyond my 100 page limit because I wanted to like this book Alice Hoffman is an author highly recommended by many friends, and I thoroughly enjoyed another of her novels, The Probable Future This novel, though, irritated the fluff out of me with the 3rd person omniscient POV written in the present ten I didn t finish this book Ms Hoffman failed to make me care enough about the characters, with the possible exception of Kat, to want to continue past page 116 Yes, I gave it a few extra pages beyond my 100 page limit because I wanted to like this book Alice Hoffman is an author highly recommended by many friends, and I thoroughly enjoyed another of her novels, The Probable Future This novel, though, irritated the fluff out of me with the 3rd person omniscient POV written in the present tense I much preferred the 1st person narrative through Kat s eyes Sadly, there was too much the curtain wafts in the gentle breeze Ethan looks at his wife in the sunlight and marvels at her beauty and not enough Kat When the style of narrative annoys the fire out of me, it s a sure sign that my time would be better spent finding something I ll actually enjoy reading.Pretty cover, though

  4. says:

    Can someone commit a terrible crime and then completely change themselves for the better If that person has changed and now lives an exemplary life, are they still responsible for that crime even though they are no longer the same person This is the question posed in Blue Diary Ethan Ford is THE perfect husband and father or is he The secret he has kept from his wife for 15 years comes back to haunt him and the whole town is drawn into the ensuing chaos I thought the premise of the book was Can someone commit a terrible crime and then completely change themselves for the better If that person has changed and now lives an exemplary life, are they still responsible for that crime even though they are no longer the same person This is the question posed in Blue Diary Ethan Ford is THE perfect husband and father or is he The secret he has kept from his wife for 15 years comes back to haunt him and the whole town is drawn into the ensuing chaos I thought the premise of the book was interesting The first half of the book was good but it kind of lost its way towards the end I expected to feelchallenged by this moral dilemma but in the end, finished the book out of curiositythan interest

  5. says:

    I didn t hate it but I did skim most of it and couldn t wait to finish and move onbut at least I finished it The characters are too perfect or either too perfectly flawed They are boring and unbelievablethan endearing and sympathetic The author takes too much time making everything perfecteven the dang strawberries grown by Jorie are the best and sweetest in the world Give me a break The story is about Ethan Ford the most perfect man on earth through the first 30 pages who is I didn t hate it but I did skim most of it and couldn t wait to finish and move onbut at least I finished it The characters are too perfect or either too perfectly flawed They are boring and unbelievablethan endearing and sympathetic The author takes too much time making everything perfecteven the dang strawberries grown by Jorie are the best and sweetest in the world Give me a break The story is about Ethan Ford the most perfect man on earth through the first 30 pages who is accused of committing a horrific crime 15 years ago He now has a perfect wife and perfect son who know nothing about his past The book isabout what the accusation and arrest do to the people around Ethanthan the crime itself There is no courtroom drama and very little legal story This one is about feelings and emotions, how life goes on after horrible tragedies I did not connect with the characters but I was interested in the story so I kept with it

  6. says:

    Unrealistic plot..Rapist Murderer turns into Perfect Husband Father Fireman Hero..no explanation as to why or how this occurred Disjointed characters briefly interact as they come to terms with their disillusion I kept waiting for someone to get to the heart of the matterto know about Ethan and how why he transformed himself, but instead got inner dialogue of his devastated wife, teen girl who turned in the murderer, but was still friends with his son, and whose 17 year old sister had been Unrealistic plot..Rapist Murderer turns into Perfect Husband Father Fireman Hero..no explanation as to why or how this occurred Disjointed characters briefly interact as they come to terms with their disillusion I kept waiting for someone to get to the heart of the matterto know about Ethan and how why he transformed himself, but instead got inner dialogue of his devastated wife, teen girl who turned in the murderer, but was still friends with his son, and whose 17 year old sister had been kissed on the toes by the murderer and wanted to run away with him..well, you get the idea and it was not a good one

  7. says:

    What can I say about this book other than it made me cringe Quite a few things, since I was taking notes for a book club discussion, searching for its themes amid the overblown, flowery prose such as that found in this example He has walked through the fire with her name on his lips he has drunk of it and found sustenance in it, until at last he was carried to the other side of the black river Oh boy Multiply this by the 303 pages found in this book, and you ll understand what I m talking What can I say about this book other than it made me cringe Quite a few things, since I was taking notes for a book club discussion, searching for its themes amid the overblown, flowery prose such as that found in this example He has walked through the fire with her name on his lips he has drunk of it and found sustenance in it, until at last he was carried to the other side of the black river Oh boy Multiply this by the 303 pages found in this book, and you ll understand what I m talking about when I say that I couldn t wait to be done reading it The story is pretty simple Ethan Ford is an ideal husband, father, and citizen of a small town in Massachusetts where he s been living for the past thirteen years But he has been living a lie that whole time, having taken on a false identity fifteen years earlier after committing a horrible crime that he walked away from in another state But now, the truth has come out for those willing to face it Each person whose life Ethan has touched must decide for himself whether or not his faith will be shaken or strengthened by the events that follow the revelation of Ethan s past And so on and so forth After a while, I didn t really care what happened since none of it seemed real to me Everything seemed staged This was an older book by the author, so maybe that was the problem since I ve read a handful of her other books which came later, uneven in quality, but solid three star reads and none of them as disappointing as this one This book was all tell and no show, spoon feeding each character s thoughts and feelings to the reader so the reader need not think or feel for herself Consequently, I felt nothing for these characters who felt trapped in their lives by fate or some form of predestination, if not by choice I only know that I wish I d had some choice about reading this book If you want to read something decent by the author andrepresentative of her skills, try The Red Garden or The Dovekeepers

  8. says:

    Alice Hoffman s books can be kind of depressing, but you almost don t mind because they re so beautifully written The first chapter describes the idyllic perfection of the life Ethan and Jorie Ford lead along with their son Collie Everything is wonderful, Ethan is a perfect, gorgeous, hardworking man and Jorie is a perfect, gorgeous, lovely wife Collie is perfect, gorgeous, and happy They live in a small, Massachusetts town and everybody loves them Then, everything falls apart Ethan is acc Alice Hoffman s books can be kind of depressing, but you almost don t mind because they re so beautifully written The first chapter describes the idyllic perfection of the life Ethan and Jorie Ford lead along with their son Collie Everything is wonderful, Ethan is a perfect, gorgeous, hardworking man and Jorie is a perfect, gorgeous, lovely wife Collie is perfect, gorgeous, and happy They live in a small, Massachusetts town and everybody loves them Then, everything falls apart Ethan is accused of a murder committed 15 years prior when he was a different person The family and the townspeople have to decide whether to stand by Ethan or turn their backs on him Those who love him most may be the ones who feel most betrayed I found it difficult to believe that the kind of man who would commit the crime that was described could possibly have changed so much as to become who Ethan was at the beginning of the book, which, frankly, is what the other characters are having a hard time believing as well However, I still don t buy how that kind of act can hold up for such a long period of time without reversion to past behaviors Unfortunately, Ethan himself does not play a large part in the book We are not really privy to how he was able to make these changes It seems he just woke up one day wanting to be a better man and then he was This is not a story of redemption, it sabout forgiveness and whether one can find that in him or herself Hoffman s characters feel things deeply and act in a manner that is congruous with their feelings, and that is to be commended, but I still didn t find it very plausible It was still lovely to read and pointed out some things about the human condition that can t help but be true

  9. says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here I like Alice Hoffman, but this wasn t my favorite And it wasn t really a great listen I feel like this is a story that I could have told while gossiping at the train station getting my cup of coffee So, did you hear about the Fords Well, apparently Ethan and that s not even his real name murdered and raped a girl 15 years ago in Maryland And you ll never guess who turned them in The next door neighbor s girl Kat, who is best friend s with the Ford s son I know So, now Ethan, or whatev I like Alice Hoffman, but this wasn t my favorite And it wasn t really a great listen I feel like this is a story that I could have told while gossiping at the train station getting my cup of coffee So, did you hear about the Fords Well, apparently Ethan and that s not even his real name murdered and raped a girl 15 years ago in Maryland And you ll never guess who turned them in The next door neighbor s girl Kat, who is best friend s with the Ford s son I know So, now Ethan, or whatever his real name is, has been arrested and his wife barely comes to visit him and the son doesn t want to talk to him Well, the town is rallying in support because Ethan has done such good deeds around here Yea, I guess he was trying to turn over a new leaf by changing his name and not raping and killing people any You know how it is I don t know, it was not my cup of tea One of the things that I really like about Hoffman is her use of magical realism, and it comes out in this novel, but none of it really connects and it feels forced Although a librarian is mentioned in the book And two of the characters steal books from the library Grr My favorite of hers is still Illumination Night Anyways, if you want to read something similar to this, I would recommend Jane Hamilton s, Map of the World

  10. says:

    This was a good book, not the quality book that is life altering or really touches your soul, but a good solid book nonetheless The book centers around earth shattering truths revealed to a woman about her husband Its a bit unsettling to think about how quickly life can change Equally as upsetting is how little you may know someone you think you know and love Imagine you found out your husband had committed a horrible crime, only moments before you met and fell in love with him Years later, This was a good book, not the quality book that is life altering or really touches your soul, but a good solid book nonetheless The book centers around earth shattering truths revealed to a woman about her husband Its a bit unsettling to think about how quickly life can change Equally as upsetting is how little you may know someone you think you know and love Imagine you found out your husband had committed a horrible crime, only moments before you met and fell in love with him Years later, with a child, and a well defined life, you find out about his secret past What do you do Can you forgive him Do you abandon him Do you even pretend to know him

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