'The first time my husband hit me I was nineteen years old.' For eighteen years Fran Benedetto kept her secret, hid her bruises. She stayed with Bobby because she wanted her son to have a father, and because, in spite of everything, she loved him. Then one night, when she saw the look on her ten-year-old son's face, Fran finally made a choice - ...Read More'The first time my husband hit me I was nineteen years old.' For eighteen years Fran Benedetto kept her secret, hid her bruises. She stayed with Bobby because she wanted her son to have a father, and because, in spite of everything, she loved him. Then one night, when she saw the look on her ten-year-old son's face, Fran finally made a choice - she ran for both their lives. Now she is starting over in a city far from home, far from Bobby. She uses a name that isn't hers, watches over her son, and tries to forget. For the woman who now calls herself Beth, every day is a chance to heal, to put together the pieces of her shattered self. And every day she waits for Bobby to catch up with her. Bobby always said he would never let her go, and Fran Benedetto is certain of one thing: it is only a matter of time.Read Less
Very good. Appearance of only slight previous use. Cover and binding show a little wear. All pages are undamaged with potentially only a few, small markings. Help save a tree. Buy all your used books from Thriftbooks. Read. Recycle and Reuse.
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Oct 17, 2008
Poorly Written with Choppy Metaphors
I have never come across a book that destroys the beauty of figurative language as this one does. The plot is utterly predictable and certain sections are filled with stereotypes, including racial ones. This leads me to believe that the author has a low intellectual level or may just be ignorant. The main character was so weak and unbelievable and the most annoying thing was the metaphors, similes, and other figurative language on nearly EVERY SINGLE LINE. And they didn't work either! I don't understand why the author thought this book would be phenomenal. This topic is way overdone and there seems to be nothing new beneath the literary sun. I highly dislike this book and wouldn't recommend it for a good read.
Oct 5, 2007
This is a poorly written story about a very stupid (though thank heavens fictional)woman. What a disappointment. With all the hype about Quindlen and this book I expected at the very least a decent read. Just a big pointless waste of time.
Publishers Weekly, 1997-12-15 After two fine earlier efforts, Object Lessons and One True Thing, Quindlen has written her best novel yet in this unerringly constructed and paced, emotionally accurate tale of domestic abuse. Her protagonist is Frannie Benedetto, a 37-year-old Brooklyn housewife, mother and nurse who finally finds the courage to escape from her violent husband Bobby, a New York City cop. Under an assumed identity in a tacky central Florida town, Frannie and her 10-year-old son, Robert, attempt to build a new life, but there is a price to pay, and when it comes, it carries the heartstopping logic of inevitability and the irony of fate. Quindlen establishes suspense from the first sentence and never falters. She cogently explores the complex emotional atmosphere of abuse: why some women cling to the memory of their original love and wait too long to break free. She makes palpable Frannie's fear, pain, self-contempt and, later, guilt over depriving Robert of the father he adores. As Frannie and Robert make tentative steps in their new community, Quindlen conveys their sense of dislocation and anxiety compounded by their sense of loss. Weaving the domestic fabric that is her forte, she flawlessly reproduces the mundane dialogue between mother and son, between Frannie and the friends she makes and the people she serves in her new job as a home health-care aide. Among the triumphs of Quindlen's superb ear for voices is the character of an elderly Jewish woman whose moribund husband is Frannie's patient. Above all, Quindlen is wise and humane. Her understanding of the complex anatomy of marital relationships, of the often painful bond of maternal love and of the capacity to survive tragedy and carry on invest this moving novel with the clarion ring of truth. Literary Guild selection; Random House audio; author tour. (Feb.)
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