Hoffman, Alice. Blue Diary. Berkley Trade, 2002.
Reason read: in honor of Alice Hoffman’s birth month I chose Blue Diary.
Ethan and Jorie are the perfect couple. From the outside looking in they have everything. Ethan Ford. Let us start with him. What’s not to love about Ethan? He’s a first-rate carpenter, a volunteer fireman who has saved many people from various burning buildings, an excellent little league coach, he’s extremely good looking, generous and kind, married to Jorie and father to sixth grader, Collie. This is a tight knot community in Massachusetts. Everyone knows everyone. Jorie, Charlotte, Trisha, Mark, Barney and Dave all went to high school together. Ethan is the odd man out. That’s the way he likes it.
Blue Diary bounces from third person perspective to the first person narrative of Kat, Collie Ford’s best friend. They will share devastation in common. Kat lost her father to suicide, Collie will lose his to incarceration. This is a story about perception.
Interestingly, everyone seems to be pining for someone else. Jorie’s best friend, Charlotte, has a deep crush on Ethan (but then again, who doesn’t?). Barney has the hots for Charlotte. Confessional: I didn’t like many of the characters so I had a hard time rooting for anyone.
As an aside, Hoffman likes to write in color so when I started reading Blue Diary I started to take note of everything described as blue: blue air, brilliant and blue, blue eyes, shimmering blue, blue ice, blue shadows (2), blue images, blue ponds, blue shapes, blue jays (several), blue blur, blue, blue skies, still blue, pinched and blue, blue flickering, Blue tint, blue silk, written in blue, China blue, blue frock, inkberry blue, blue skies, blue circles, blue dress, blue dusk, blue binding, blueberry, blue leatherette, wash blue, bluer still, frozen and blue, sweet blue, bluebirds, blue diary, milky blue, now blue, and the variations of blue, indigo and cobalt.
As an another aside. Usually, when an event as big as the arrest of a neighborhood’s favorite man, reporters are on the front lawn of the accused before it’s even on the evening news. In Blue diary it’s backwards.
Author fact: Hoffman is a New Yorker.
Book trivia: This is not a spoiler alert. While the title of the book is Blue Diary you never get to read the diary. The little key to the diary is literally the key to everything.
Playlist: “All You Need Is Love”
Nancy said: Pearl said something along the lines of if you want to see the evolution of Hoffman’s writing, read Blue Diary.
BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “A…is for Alice” (p 1).