"A book you will always remember"
The residents of Monroe, Massachusetts believe that Ethan
Ford is the most dependable and hardest working person in
town. The locals consider Ethan so trustworthy, he has his
own keys to many of the homes he is remodeling. Besides
being an excellent carpenter, Ethan is a volunteer
firefighter and a highly regarded unpaid coach. After
thirteen years together, he still loves his wife Jorie and
their twelve years old child.
One knock on their door ends this perfect world. The
police detain Ethan for a murder that occurred before he
met Jorie. To add insult to injury, friends who worked
along side of Ethan on fire calls read him his rights
before arresting him. No one believes that the respectful,
revered Ethan could commit this heinous crime, but the
evidence that he murdered and raped a teen in Maryland
seems overwhelming. The statue begins to fall from its
Anyone expecting a glib tie the ribbon in a bow ending can
forget it with Alice Hoffman's deep character study, BLUE
DIARY. Instead, the story line is an astonishing look at
the impact of an ugly crime apparently committed by the big
fish on the little fish in that pond. The key to the tale
is not whether Ethan raped and killed in a previous life.
Instead the plot is so good due to the depth of the
secondary and tertiary cast members whose reactions to the
growing evidence against the local hero follow the pattern
of grieving individuals. Ms. Hoffman goes where few
writers have traveled before as she provides an intriguing,
well-written portrait of the human condition.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted July 6, 2001