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Black and Blue
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Black and Blue

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  51,319 ratings  ·  1,077 reviews
Here is Anna Quindlen's stunning novel about a woman and her child on the run from the husband that loves her -- and beats her. A heart-stopping story beautifully written with power, wisdom, and humor about the real lives of men and women, it is a remarkable work of fiction by the writer whom Alice Hoffman has called "a national treasure".
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published February 2nd 1999 by Turtleback Books (first published 1998)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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ZaBeth
May 18, 2010 ZaBeth rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to ZaBeth by: Books and Broads
If you have been lucky enough never to have been hit by a man, Anna Quindlen Black and Blue is written so that you can walk in a beaten woman’s shoes. No intelligent woman would ever stay with a man who hits her, right? But love does many things to a person and intelligence is usually the first thing that goes.

No one argues that love and lust of a woman, such as the beautiful Helen, which poets have written about for centuries, could launch a thousand ships. So why is it so amazing to think tha...more
Juushika
Black and Blue is the story of a woman who flees an abusive relationship, taking her son and attempting to disappear into residential Florida, all the while waiting for her husband, a New York cop, to find and hurt her. The book is not Quindlen's best and while it is readable, and at less than 400 pages a manageable length, it feels like little more than a Lifetime "woman's" movie in novel form. I wouldn't recommend this book, especially in comparison to Quindlen's other work, although the lesso...more
Sammy
I have to admit that I wasn't very surprised when I looked up this title on Internet Movie Database and saw that this book had been made into a movie. Nor was I surprised that it was a made for TV movie. And I'm going to take a wild shot in the dark and say it was specifically made for Lifetime... Television for Women. Because everything about this book kept bringing up that whispery woman's voice as the narrator. I kept hearing, "Anna Quindlen... A writer for women..." No joke.

But don't get me...more
Susan Siraco
I first read this book when I was entering 9th grade, and it changed my life. This may have been because of my age, but for me, Fran was a woman who did what I had never realized you could do- she left a horrible situation to make her life better. This book still inspires me, still makes me cry, and still gives me hope that no matter how bad something may get, you still have the power to help yourself. I would recommend this book to anyone over 15!
Holly
I would not have picked up Black and Blue, with its proudly-displayed "Oprah's Book Club" emblem, had it not been a quarter at the annual neighborhood yard sale, but seeing as it was under a dollar, and was written by a journalist I admire, I thought I'd give it a whirl. Basic plot: smart woman in abusive relationship almost dies from a beating, and finally leaves with her son. She starts a new life, but it is clouded by the threat of her husband finding her. Quindlen creates a believeable world...more
Bonnie
If you don't like wife beater books, then this one's not for you. Fran Benedetto begins her first person narrative while sitting on a bench waiting for further instructions from a woman who's helping her run away from her alcoholic and wildly abusive husband (with their 10-year-old-son in tow). The book follows her as she begins her new life, which in my opinion is much better than reading about her getting beaten all the time wondering why she won't leave. Good insight into the horrifying and...more
Sassacaia
I love Oprah books, okay? I just do. I love dark, heavy depressing subjects. I always have, most likely always will. I love reading about betrayal and revenge and cheats and liars. So I enjoyed this one. I didn't love it; it was sometimes predictable and wasn't always well organized, but it kept me engaged and wanting to hear more, which is all I really ask of a book: ENTERTAIN ME. If they do more, that's fantastic. This one wasn't fantastic, but I still enjoyed it and wanted to find out what wo...more
Maggie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
✿Sandra
This was not a cheery book, but spousal abuse is not a happy subject. Even though it took Fran a long time to finally break away from her husband, I admired her for being strong and doing what she needed to do for her son. The author did a good job of making me feel Fran/Beth's emotions. I read a few reviews where the readers didn't like the ending, because it wasn't happy. Even though the ending was hard to read and made me very sad, I appreciated that the author didn't end it the way a book li...more
Wendy Hines
This riveting story is about Fran and Bobby Benedetto. They fell in love when they were young, and before they were even married Bobby started to show his violent nature. "The first time my husband hit me I was nineteen years old," begins Fran Benedetto. A heartbreaking story of how the years of abuse accumulated. Fran didn't want to leave Bobby because of their son, Robert. Plus, as Bobby said, What was she going to do? Call the cops? Bobby was a police officer. She finally had a home with frie...more
Mrs. Tongate
Quotes:
Page 71 "When I'd imagined marriage, when I was standing at the altar of St. Stannie's, I'd never imagined staring at the ceiling, the back of my hair matted with blood, willing my husband to get done and get off."

Page 72 "When we were dating, I thought it would stop when we were married. When we were married, I thought a baby would help. After the baby, I thought if we had another child he'd feel better. When Robert was 2, I couldn't leave because those were the formative years. When Rob...more
Taiyesha-Duchess of Indiana

Ever read a book that you almost felt like you didn't have a right to criticize?

This book made me feel that way, and that is why I have put off writing a review. However, I told my teacher that I would eventually do it. I was required to pick a book out to read for my last week of high school in my Advanced Literature class that had some type of connection to my family. So, I chose this book. My family is quite familiar with this book's topic. I'm blessed in that I am not personally affiliated...more
Wes
A resolution of mine for 2013 was to read books by authors new to me. I have several favorite writers, and I concentrate much of my reading on their works. I had heard of Anna Quindlen over the years, but had never read anything by her. I picked up this paperback in a Goodwill store. Even though I believed that it was primarily directed toward a female readership, I thought it sounded interesting and decided to buy and read it. I retired after working twenty-four years as a police dispatcher, so...more
Adriane Devries
Black and Blue portrays the plight of an abused wife who, after years of living in domestic terror and shame, finally decides to flee with her son to a new, anonymous life. As the bruises from her most recent, most violent, encounter heal, her new life provides the peace and safety for her to heal emotionally, to discover who she really is underneath the trauma she’s been surviving. In particular, she uses the time to bond with her son and to watch carefully for signs that he, too, will become a...more
Nancy
So--I'd put Anna Quindlen on my short list of favorite authors, for a half-dozen reasons with the most important being her lucid, lyrical writing. Every Quindlen book I've read turns a commonplace story (and domestic violence is as commonplace as it gets) into a gorgeously rendered, delicately layered case study of ordinary life events. In many ways, Anna Quindlen is the diametric opposite of the Lifetime movie writing--none of her characters are all bad or all good, and her plots aren't predict...more
Shan
This book compelled me to read but I didn't really like it. I was never really engaged with Beth and the writing style made it very difficult to empathize with her. The book is about domestic violence and a woman's escape and her new life, but so much of it is simply within Beth's head it is difficult to really get caught up in the story. It's almost like the reader is just thinking along with Beth and it's dull, everyday thoughts. Her relationships with the people she meets in La Plata are shal...more
☮Karen
I don't know why but I found this book really intense and couldn't put it down. I learned for the first time that organizations exist that will relocate battered wives and set them up with completely new identities, and how difficult but very necessary this is for the wife and her child(ren). Anna Quindlen's style is easy to read and follow. In no time I felt I knew Fran and all her emotional and physical bruises well.
Karen
I continue my love affair with Anna Quindlen. I read one review of this novel in which the reviewer was unbelieving of the character's weaknesses and found that she had learned nothing from her experiences. I couldn't disagree more. I found the portrayal of a woman of above average intelligence who is successful and admired in her profession, but who acquiesces to her husband's repeated bodily and emotional abuse very realistic. The strength of this story is to show the reader that almost anyone...more
Claudia Moscovici
Anna Quindlen's Black and Blue follows in Lolita's footsteps as a great work of psychological fiction. Psychological, because the author sketches in such a realistic fashion the profile of the abuser that I'm tempted to say her novel should be available in every domestic violence shelter under the category of "nonfiction." And yet, one can't forget that Black and Blue is above all a work of fiction, masterfully crafted. Its beginning echoes the first lines of Lolita, in fact, the novel which it...more
Liz
Simply put, Black and Blue is the story of a woman taking her child and running away from her abusive husband. It's not a book I would have naturally been drawn to, but I read it for my book club. It's the stuff of the talk show and many a dodgy TV Movie, so I had my doubts. However, Black and Blue is well written. It's also harrowing as you might expect.

I was particularly moved by the fears Fran has for the future of her son, who, although never a direct recipient of the abuse his mother suffer...more
Mowey
a hardcover i got for only 150 Php on a thrift store. this was well worth it, because first and foremost it’s the kind of fiction that i tend to fall to and love. remember how it felt like after having read a good fiction like The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, The Lovely Bones and the likes? well, Black and Blue went exactly in the same vein with that. the feeling is just like drowning in its pages and riding the emotional rollercoaster till its very last page.it’s just ama...more
Alivia
I just started reading Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen. I haven't finished it quite yet but so far it is amazing. So far Fran Benedetto has escaped a life of abuse and neglect. Fran has a 10 year old son named Robert. Once Robert was old enough to talk he would ask him mom how she hurt herself.
He would wake up every morning to find a new mark or welt or cut on his moms face. What Fran didn't tell Robert was that his daddy had beaten her.
Bobby (the dad) was a firefighter for New York. Fran met...more
Nickylee129
**Has spoilers in the last half.** (I marked spoilers with "**")

I don't think this book deserved three stars, but it really didn't deserve two...so I gave it three. I'm currently volunteering at a domestic violence shelter and want to work with this population once I get a real, adult job. I was amazed at how spot on she got the feelings that Frannie/Beth was feeling and the emotions that she was going through. It was like it was actually written by a survivor of domestic violence. And as fascin...more
Michelle
I read Black and Blue because I loved another Anna Quindlen book(Every Last One) and because the storyline sounded exciting, even scary: what happens when your husband abuses you but you can't call the police because he IS the police? I pictured a suspenseful, "Sleeping with the Enemy" type experience. Instead, Black and Blue is a much more introspective look at the complexities of love, parenting, anger, and independence. Fran and her son escape her dangerous husband, disappearing completely fr...more
Isis
This is an amazing book - no real surprise given the author. A story of a woman whose marriage has slipped into one of domestic abuse, impacting not just the two of them but their young son as well.

But this book is powerfully crafted, and surprisingly, told in the first person. Ms. Quindlen manages to cover both the major dramatic moments, as well as the mundane moments that make up daily life. And she does an excellent job of putting a face to domestic abuse, and helps to explain why it happens...more
Sherese
I was debating whether to give this book one or two stars. I decided on two, but it could have gone either way. This was another one of my used book 10 cent purchases from my local library. And after reading this book, I totally understand why it was being sold for 10 cents.

The novel started slowly and never really took off. In the end, I just felt let down. The subject of domestic violence is a difficult for a woman with my personality characteristic to understand. I just happen to be one of t...more
MoonGlitter
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linda Pohl
This book moved along quickly and I found myself feeling frightened for Fran and wanting to shake some sense into her at the same time. Her abusive husband was a control freak and a bully and I kept rooting for her to get up the gumption to escape long before she did. Sometimes it annoyed me that she allowed herself to be hurt so badly, especially with her young son witnessing this atrocious behavior. Because I work as a standardized patient at the medical school near our home, where I play the...more
Cathy
Powerful book. While reading it I marveled yet again at Anna Quindlen’s ability to get inside and truly illuminate a main character, especially this one, Fran, a young gal on the run from her abusive husband, Bobby. With her little boy in tow, she gives up everything - her sister, her job, her home and everything familiar in Brooklyn - to build a new life in an apartment in Florida. In Anna’s trusty hands this tale, while harrowing at times, explores all the many layers of living and loving from...more
Debbie
Engrossing Sad story Well written.
As a wife, a mommy, daughter, friend this book had me emotionally locked in from the first page. This is the story of Fran Benadetto, nurse, mother and abused wife of NY city cop Bobby Benedetto. Fran and her son Robert must leave their life behind and runaway to escape Bobby’s explosive rage and abuse. It’s a story about choices. What you choose to do with your life. Who you choose to marry. What happens when you know it’s time to leave? Did you make the right...more
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A bit of this and...: Feb/March 2014 Black and Blue 3 5 Dec 06, 2013 08:55AM  
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Anna Quindlen is an American journalist and opinion columnist whose New York Times column, Public and Private, won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1992.

She began her journalism career in 1974 as a reporter with The New York Post. Between 1977 and 1994 she held several posts at the New York Times. She left journalism in 1995 to become a full-time novelist. She currently writes a bi-weekly colu...more
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One True Thing Every Last One Still Life with Bread Crumbs Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake Blessings

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“Your children make it impossible to regret your past. They're its finest fruits. Sometimes the only ones.” 61 likes
“Maybe when you were a kid you were so unsure of yourself that every school year was a time of reinvention; maybe only adults were stupid enough to think they knew exactly who they were.” 0 likes
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