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Blame
Blame
Author: Michelle Huneven
The story: Patsy MacLemoore, a history professor in her late twenties with a brand-new Ph.D. from Berkeley and a wild streak, wakes up in jail— yet again—after another epic alcoholic blackout. “Okay, what’d I do?” she asks her lawyer and jailers. “I really don’t remember.” She adds, jokingly...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780374114305
ISBN-10: 0374114307
Publication Date: 9/1/2009
Pages: 304
Rating:
  • Currently 3.1/5 Stars.
 25

3.1 stars, based on 25 ratings
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Book Type: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 0
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reviewed Blame on + 66 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The novel "Blame" by Michelle Huneven puts the spotlight on an on growing epidemic of drinking and driving in the United States. It also is a story about redemption and being able to move on from tragedy.

The story of "Blame" revolves around a character named Patsy MacLemore. Early on in the novel it seems like she's just your average party girl who likes to have a good time. Later on, when she's locked up for running over and killing two people, its revealed that she is a college professor that comes from a very good family which goes to show that alcohol can make even the smartest person make the dumbest mistakes.

Patsy is then sent of to prison and frrom there we really see the development of her character. She has try to find a way to fit into the prison scene, as well with dealing with the guilt of being responsible for two deaths. She even agrees to meet with the Father & Husband of the two people she killed, which definitely adds some more emotion to the novel.

When Patsy is finally released its interesting to read how she tries to fit her way back into society. To try and maintain relationships with friends and family and also be willing to begin new relationships with those who are unfamiliar with her past. Its a struggle from beginning to end.

We also get to get see how Patsy deals with sobriety and being around those who still like to imbibe in alcohol. This is the only part I found unrealistic in the novel. It seemed like this transition may have came to0 easy for her. I will give the author a pass on this one, because when Patsy was in prison, she did attend AA and was forced to deal with her problems and her feeling as it dealt with the killing of two innocent people. That in itself should scare a person sober.

At times I found this novel a bit slow for my usual tastes, but when it got me to where it wanted to take me, I was pleasantly surprised. Its a novel that anyone who has decided to turn on the keys of their car and make that drive home from the neighborhood bar should read. Learn from Patsy's mistakes before you make victims of your own.

The novel isn't preachy about drinking and driving and honestly its only mentioned in small spurts. The story is about Patsy and how she has to deal with the ramifications of her actions and being able to feel human again.

I definitely recommend this book. It does move a bit slow, but like a steak, savor it and in the end, it will be worth it.
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reviewed Blame on + 7 more book reviews
Blame is the story of a young alcoholic woman, Patsy and where her journey through and recovery from alcohol take her. Patsy's world comes to a crashing halt one morning when she comes to in jail only to be told that she is responsible for the deaths of two people as a result of drinking and driving. This begins her journey that includes the slow realization that she has the disease of alcoholism, surviving prison, and ultimately learning to live the new life she is thrust into upon her release.

Blame takes you into the world of alcohol, prison, and recovery. The book shows just the kind of destruction that alcoholism can produce and the struggle that people experience to recover. While the book accurately portrays many if the aspects of alcoholism and recovery, I wish the author would have also portrayed alcoholism as a disease - this is a little-understood fact but a crucial one in developing a thorough understanding of alcoholism.

Knowing from the book jacket that Patsy ultimately finds redemption from her crime, I read the second half of this book with much anticipation. Along the way, you see Patsy learn how to live in society sober and the obvious struggle involved. Patsy develops relationships, resumes her career, and gets married. Unfortunately, I found the second half of the book to be somewhat slow and when I finally reached the part where Patsy learns the truth of the night of her car accident, I was disappointed. While most of the book felt very real to me, this part felt forced and lacking authenticity.

I was also disappointed in the way Patsy's marriage unfolded. Perhaps this is because I like happy endings, and while not an unhappy one, I would have liked for this to resolve itself differently. On a personal note, my reaction to this aspect of the book may also be because I myself am married to an older man with children and we have found such joy and happiness in our life together that I want to see that portrayed as possible.

Ultimately, I am glad that I read Blame but I cannot say that I loved it. However, I appreciate the look into what the disease of alcoholism can do to the many lives it affects and the experiences it can take a person to.


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