By Michelle Huneven
(Picador USA, Paperback, 9780312429850, 291pp.)
Publication Date: May 25, 2010
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FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
FINALIST FOR THE "LOS ANGELES TIMES" BOOK PRIZE
"CHICAGO TRIBUNE" FAVORITE FICTION OF THE YEAR
"O, THE OPRAH MAGAZINE" TEN TERRIFIC READS OF THE YEAR
A "WASHINGTON POST" BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
A "KANSAS CITY" STAR 100 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR
Patsy MacLemoore, a twenty-eight-year-old history professor with a brand-new Ph.D. and a wild streak, wakes up in jail--"yet again"--after another epic alcoholic blackout. This time, though, a mother and daughter are dead, run over in Patsy's driveway. Patsy will the next decades of her life atoning for this unpardonable act. She goes to prison, sobers up, marries a much older man she meets in AA, and makes ongoing amends to her victims' family. Then, another piece of news turns up, casting her crime, and her life, in a different and unexpected light. Brilliant, morally complex, and often funny, "Blame" is a breathtaking story of contrition and what it takes to rebuild a life from the bottom up.
- How were you affected by the shift from Joey’s world to Patsy’s? What does the closing line of part one (capturing Joey’s belief that her mother had not died but was alive and well at the Bellwood Hotel) say about the nature of hope, illusion, and grief?