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Blue Diary

Blue Diary

Written by Alice Hoffman

Narrated by Joyce Bean


Blue Diary

Written by Alice Hoffman

Narrated by Joyce Bean

ratings:
3.5/5 (46 ratings)
Length:
9 hours
Released:
May 16, 2017
ISBN:
9781543610888
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Alice Hoffman, the bestselling author of The Rules of Magic, asks how we can find the courage to face the unthinkable in this compelling New York Times Notable Book.

When Ethan Ford fails to show up for work on a brilliant summer morning, none of his neighbors would guess that for more than thirteen years, he has been running from his past. His true nature has been locked away, as hidden as his real identity. But sometimes locks spring open, and the devastating truths of Ethan Ford’s history shatter the small-town peace of Monroe, affecting family and friends alike.

Now, the police are at the door. Ethan Ford’s life as an irreproachable family man and heroic volunteer fireman has come to an end—and Jorie Ford’s life is coming apart. Some of the residents of Monroe are rallying behind Ethan. But others, including his wife and son, are wondering what remains true when so much is shown to be false—and how capable we really are of change.
Released:
May 16, 2017
ISBN:
9781543610888
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Alice Hoffman was born in New York City and grew up on Long Island. She wrote her first novel, Property Of, while studying creative writing at Stanford University, and since then has published more than thirty books for readers of all ages, including the recent New York Times bestsellers The Museum of Extraordinary Things and The Dovekeepers. Two of her novels, Practical Magic and Aquamarine, have been made into films, and Here on Earth was an Oprah’s Book Club choice. All told, Hoffman’s work has been published in more than twenty languages and one hundred foreign editions. She lives outside of Boston.


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Reviews

What people think about Blue Diary

3.5
46 ratings / 25 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (2/5)
    story started out good and kept my interest. The last few chapters did not connect dots well for me and felt weak. The ending was so disappointing! So much needed connecting and got dropped or not even woven in well to story! I went back a couple times thinking I missed something!
    Overall, quite disappointing from this author.
  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    It wasn’t a page turner for me. It started with a lot of characters, which I find somewhat challenging to keep track of when listening to a book. You had to really stay with the book before it became interesting and the story came together.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Hoffman creates a community of very real characters who must tackle the one among them who was once a different man. Ethan Ford, the iconic town hero, used to be called Bryon Bell who is still wanted for murder.It's a feel good story but without the typical happy ending. Hoffman allows a variety of the townspeople, and the brother of the young murder victim, to develop their history and chose their response toward the now on-trial husband, father, and volunteer firefighter. It's a murder mystery where nothing is hidden and it's a heart-felt love story where passion is displaced. A good read.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I do not like all Alice Hoffman books,but will never refuse to check on out.SOooo glad I checked this one out,it was a great read,right to the end. well worth the time and effort to read.Check on amazon,to get a snig-lit of the story.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)

    2 people found this helpful

    Summary:
    For more than thirteen years, devoted father and husband Ethan Ford has been running from his past. But one day the police show up at his door-and his life as an irreproachable family man and heroic volunteer fireman begins to come apart.

    My take: 4 stars
    It took me an inordinately long time to read this book. Maybe because I was reading an actual book, as opposed to an electronic version, and I tended to save it for outdoor reading. It was not a difficult book to read, was not character-heavy or full of plot twists. No, it was a relatively straight-forward plotline and was interesting.

    So, having finally decided to finish the darn thing, I started plowing through it yesterday and finished this afternoon, with tears in my eyes.

    You find out quite early in the novel that Ethan is, in fact, guilty of murder, so I don't consider this a spoiler. There is really no question. The lovely part of the book is the reality of the changing people around Ethan, who have loved, trusted, befriended, and relied upon him. Each character is drawn out, shaped, pounded, left to rise, and worked over again, reminding me of a baker making an artisan loaf of bread.

    Jorie, the wife, is traumatized. The mother-in-law is in denial. The best friend is paralyzed with grief, then turns to action. Jorie's best friend Charlotte has troubles of her own. Twelve year old son Collie is the most damaged, but the reader sees how his friends are affected, as well. The story is so completely blossomed at the end of the story that I turned the last page with a satisfied sigh.

    Highly recommended

    2 people found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    One of the Best Books I Have Ever Read...Never Knew I Would Get So Into This When I Picked Up This Manila Book With No Dust Jacket and No Idea What it Was About-When I Started Reading It Walking Around My Property Exercising One Day at 7 AM I Found I Could Not Put It Down-No Wonder I Walked So Long That Morning! LOL-Trust Me Its a Goody and Well Worth the Read-I Will Definitely Be Hunting Down More of Hoffman's Books After This-What an Author to Aspire Up to! Thanks!

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    This novel tells of Ethan, a paragon of community participation and courage and a happy family man, who is suddenly arrested for a rape/murder that occurred 15 years ago. He admits his guilt but claims to be a different person now. The focus is primarily on his wife and son and a neighbor child who is responsible for his arrest. Though he is clearly a different person now, how can his family and the community come to terms with what they have learned.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)
    I love Alice Hoffman, she is a very skilled writer, her books have a magical ethereal feel, with almost mystical elements, however this is the background and the stories are grounded in reality. The Blue Diary contains less magical connotations than some of her other books. The novel centres on the relationship between Jorie and her too good to be true husband, Ethan, although no one in the town they live in suspects, Ethan has raped and murdered a teenage girl in the past and then moved to Monroe and re-created his life, marrying Jorie and becoming one of the kindest, most helpful members of the community. The novel explores the effect on his friends and the community when the past is revealed. The focus is on Jorie, his wife and also his son and how they deal with the revelation and the decisions she makes. This isn't my favourite Alice Hoffman book, but her novels are always of such a high standard it really isn't much of a crtisism.
  • (5/5)
    Moving effortlessly between the voices and thoughts of members of a small Massachusetts town, this is one of those novels which cannot be read without it causing some effect on you, your thoughts, and even your hopes and worries. Hoffman's characters here are at their most sympathetic, their most relatable, and you're bound to see yourself in at least one of the voices present, even if that self is one of the past. Looking at love and at forgiveness, Hoffman is at her best, and the suspense that this simple novel serves up is nearly breathtaking. Absolutely, recommended.
  • (3/5)
    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’s more about 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.
  • (3/5)
    Hauntingly realistic story that reminds us people are sometimes not what they seem... and are sometimes just what they seem not to be.
  • (2/5)
    Takes place in a small town where one of the leading citizens, Ethan Ford, is accused of murder. Ethan is guilty and the whole story is about how that affects his family and the town. The plot would have been quite interesting however the author kept getting side tracked with very indepth discriptions of the setting. I found it distracting to spend a full page reading about a garden or the birds or the weather. It made to book almost painful.
  • (3/5)
    Story about the family, friends, and neighbors of a nice, responsible man who is suspected of having committed rape and murder years ago under a different identity. It's an interesting premise, but somehow this story failed to really grab me in any way.Based on other reviews and what I've heard about this author's style, I had expected the 'magical realism' elements to be much stronger than they were. That was kind of disappointing, but that's more a reflection on my expectations than on the actual book.
  • (4/5)
    Hoffman creates a community of very real characters who must tackle the one among them who was once a different man. Ethan Ford, the iconic town hero, used to be called Bryon Bell who is still wanted for murder.It's a feel good story but without the typical happy ending. Hoffman allows a variety of the townspeople, and the brother of the young murder victim, to develop their history and chose their response toward the now on-trial husband, father, and volunteer firefighter. It's a murder mystery where nothing is hidden and it's a heart-felt love story where passion is displaced. A good read.
  • (3/5)
    Unfortunately, this book is written in the present tense, which I found very off-putting and kept breaking the spell of the story, so I never really got into it.
  • (1/5)
    I guess that this is an all or none type of book. I have been trying to get through this book and I find that I have not been given enough to hold my interest or care about the characters. The information being thrown at me doesn't seem to be the information I crave in the story. I have been reading this for close to a month and I am still only to page 88. I have given it the good fight and now I am giving up. During that month I have finished 10 other books. Maybe this author just doesn't write in the style I prefer. I see that she runs the board on stars so if you have read this author and like her style, don't take my review too hard. Go ahead and see what you think.
  • (5/5)
    great book! my favorite author.
  • (5/5)
    Loved it, Love her, what more can I say. Read it.
  • (4/5)
    Ethan Ford is a man with a good life--a happy marriage, a good reputation, liked and respected by his friends and neighbors. Fourteen years ago, Ethan Ford brutally raped and murdered a 15-year old girl and his past caches up with him as this novel begins.When Ford's past is disclosed, Hoffman takes him off the stage of this novel and proceeds to scrutinize the effect of the disclosure on those closest to him. Hoffman's deft touch in the exploration of those changing relationships make this book compelling. The murder victim's diary, symbol of an innocent life unlived, is in the possession of Ethan's wife and ultimately, brings her to an understanding that the man she loved is lost to her--unforgiven and unredeemed."The Blue Diary" raises many more questions than it answers, and leaves some issues unresolved in ways that may be troublesome to some readers. The juvenile voice in the book is precocious enough to seem unrealistic at times. That said, this is a very good book indeed.
  • (4/5)
    Every time I read this, I find something new. Hoffman is an author whose prose I savor. And the changing of voice through different characters gives this story a lot of depth.
  • (4/5)
    Read for a book club - lots to discuss - are others ever completely who they seem? how long am I defined by my past actions? Author does a nice job of embodying the different voices of her characters from tweens to senior citizens. Will read other titles by Hoffman
  • (3/5)
    Like the book. Her usual different type of writing. You never know exactly where she'll go. Husband with a past, killed a girl in his youth, makes a new life. How his family is affected after he is caught. His manipulation, etc. Didn't like where it went with the "blue diary", just like a side note almost, or her friend's cancer
  • (4/5)
    Alice Hoffman's hypnotic style never fails to grab the reader right off, and here she teases us with the vague knowledge that something is not quite right with the near perfect marriage of Jorie and Ethan Ford. As the truth comes out, Hoffman challenges the reader to decide for oneself if justice has been served.
  • (4/5)
    If the blurb on the back cover hadn’t explained that the blue diary of the title belonged to a dead girl, brutally raped and murdered thirteen years earlier by Ethan Ford, one half of a beautiful couple whose perfect love and life are described in such unbelievable and sugary detail in the opening chapter, one might wonder where it came into the story at all, since it doesn’t really appear until near the end. The blurb also gives away the main focus of the plot itself, the crime and its perpetrator, so that, already knowing what had happened, I found the extraordinary depth of detail in the first hundred and fifty pages slowed the writing almost unbearably and nearly made me stop reading. It seems that each passing character is named, their thoughts and life story explored, the location and climate described on every page.And yet at around this point (150 pages in) this same depth seemed to hook me. I don’t think I’ve ever read a more omniscient author than Alice Hoffman – she knows absolutely everything about all her characters – and how much plotting and planning that takes doesn’t bear thinking about. Her eye for detail, her analyses of feelings, are amazing, and if you can slow down and wallow in them the book becomes more than just a story – it reveals a whole world that will stay with you.The story examines the very nature of both love and death from different viewpoints and situations; the way Ethan’s crime affects those around him, those who thought they knew him as a kind and gentle man, a loving husband a father, a firefighter who risked his life for others. Can a man change? If someone is not who you think they are, then who are they? For me the best characters were sisters Kat and Rosarie Williams, neighbours of Ethan and Jorie Ford and their son Collie, both damaged in different ways by the suicide of their father, Collie himself and Jorie’s best friend, Charlotte. James Morris, the solitary haunted brother of the dead girl, was another who stayed with me; yet, perhaps because of that over-sugared first chapter, I never quite believed in or felt any sympathy with Jorie and Ethan Ford, and had difficulty in imagining the townspeople rallying round to help Ethan once he’d admitted to the crime. It’s worth mentioning too that Munroe, the small town where the story takes place is a character in itself, as is Holden and the farm and countryside where the dead girl lived; both are so beautifully evoked that one seems to walk through them as if in one of those super-realistic dreams.
  • (2/5)
    Good characters. About a man who commits a crime and gets caught 13 years later after he has a wife and son. Realistic reactions and feelings.