“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’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.”
-Synopsis from back of book
Blue Diary is a stunning read from Alice Hoffman who has quickly become a favorite author of mine. I knew little about this book going in, but because I have loved every one of her past books that I have read, I knew that it would be worth it. It was!
I hadn’t guessed anything about the truth behind Ethan Ford so when his past was revealed I was well and truly shocked. Once that dark secret was out in the open, I could not stop reading as I had to find out what would happen next with Ethan and his family.
The town of Monroe, Massachusetts really comes alive in this story. I could picture the town perfectly, the feel of summer and the smell of the apple trees that Monroe is known for. The Ford family and all of their friends and neighbors were very realistic too, to the point where I almost couldn’t decide who to agree with.
Some believe that Ethan has changed, and others believe that you can never truly change who you are, and as such he is guilty. I really felt bad for Jorie and her young son. While everyone around them is offering opinions, they are fighting silent battles as they try to figure out who and what to believe. When Jorie takes it upon herself to find out the truth and see it for herself, it was so moving and poignant.
“…she’ll be imagining everything that’s out in front of them, road and cloud and sky, all the elements of a future, the sort you have to put together by hand, slowly and carefully, until the world is yours once more.”from Blue Diary by Alice Hoffman
This book was phenomenal and the themes of betrayal and guilt and forgiveness were very thought-provoking. It was an outstanding read and I’m so glad that I picked it up.
I read this for the Summer Reading Challenge. The prompt for June was to read a book set during the summer and this book takes place over the course of one summer.