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Review and Giveaway: Blame

September 6, 2009


Patsy MacLemoore has just gotten her PhD and is teaching history at the local college.   She likes to drink a little too much though, and wakes up in jail one morning after a blackout episode.  She’s been arrested for driving with a revoked license and running over and killing two Jehovah’s Witnesses (a mother and her daughter) in her driveway, while under the influence of alcohol.  Of course, Patsy doesn’t remember any of it but feels great remorse and pleads guilty since all the evidence points in her direction.  She’s sentenced to four years in the state penitentiary.

Patsy adjusts to life in prison and starts attending AA.  The husband and father of the two Jehovah’s Witnesses contacts her in prison and they make a kind of peace and even seem to have formed a tenuous friendship.  Once she is released from prison Patsy has trouble adjusting to her old life because the murders are always hanging over her head.  She does settle into a life, but never really seems content.

I don’t want to say too much more about the plot of Blame by Michelle Huneven except that there’s an unexpected twist toward the end of the book.   I thought this book was good, but not great.  Michelle Huneven’s writing is wonderful, except for the lack of quotation marks in dialogue – that took me a little while to get used to.  At the beginning of the book, I thought another character was going to be the focus of the story, but the focus seemed to shift in Part Two.  I thought the story was a little slow and plodding, and some of the characters could have been developed a little bit better, but having said that, the book kept my interest throughout.  Entertainment Weekly loved Blame and gave it an A-.

Review copy provided by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Thanks to the publisher, I have an extra, unread, hardcover copy of Blame to give away to one lucky reader.   To enter this contest,  simply leave a comment on this post.  Contest is open worldwide.  I will use to determine the winner.  Contest ends at midnight EST, Friday, September 18, 2009.  Winner will be announced on Saturday, September 19, 2009.

79 Comments leave one →
  1. September 6, 2009 6:43 am

    I saw that review in EW and had high hopes. Killer title, for sure. The lack of quotation marks does take time to adjust to, having recently read “Blindness” by Saramago and also remembering that Cormac McCarthy is the same way. I’ll take a stab at the drawing! rnawrot at cfl dot rr dot com

  2. September 6, 2009 8:28 am

    Sorry this one was underwhelming. No need to enter me in the giveaway. I hope your next book is a big hit!

  3. September 6, 2009 8:33 am

    I’d like to read a book that tells what it is like for women in prison, but it doesn’t sound like this one will do it. Thanks for the review, but you don’t need to enter me!

  4. September 6, 2009 8:50 am

    I have that here and hope to get to it soon.

  5. September 6, 2009 9:01 am

    I have it too and I really was anxious to read it after EW’s review last week. I still think I’m curious!

  6. September 6, 2009 9:09 am

    I’d love to give Blame a try.


  7. September 6, 2009 10:23 am

    I have it and I appreciate your thoughts. no need to enter me! 🙂

  8. September 6, 2009 12:34 pm

    Like the premise.

    Please do count me in for the giveaway!


  9. September 6, 2009 12:44 pm

    You had me up until “…lack of quotation marks in dialogue…” I’ve read books where the writing was a bit squirrely. Hard to keep up with…at least for me. Dialogue is so important to me!

  10. September 6, 2009 12:58 pm

    I have noticed a lack of quotation marks for dialogue in several books that I’ve read lately. I don’t know if it’s a trend, or maybe a regional or international format? I should make better note of the books that I run across that do this and try to find some commonality.

    I would like to be entered to win. I’m sitting over here thinking of all of the surprise twists and would like to see if I guess right. 🙂

    akreese (at) hotmail (dot) com

  11. September 6, 2009 1:07 pm

    What a terrible thing to happen and not remember. I would love to win this.


  12. September 6, 2009 1:16 pm

    I’d like to try it! Lack of quotation marks don’t bother me.

  13. September 6, 2009 1:24 pm

    Sounds like an interesting story, please enter me 🙂


  14. September 6, 2009 1:25 pm

    Wow, this one sounds interesting. I think I’d like to read it. And I agree about the quotation marks. Good dialogue makes a book, and not only that, I simply need proper punctuation.

    I even text with proper punctuation. It takes me forever.

  15. Nancye Davis permalink
    September 6, 2009 2:03 pm

    I would like to win this book.

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  16. September 6, 2009 3:58 pm

    I hate the way some books start off with one main character and then disapppear on to another by the end of the book. I find it really annoying.

  17. September 6, 2009 4:46 pm

    If it held your interest, that’s good enough for me! I have my suspicions about the twist at the end… love to see if I’m right.

  18. September 6, 2009 5:09 pm

    Sounds like an interesting read, would love to enter!

  19. September 6, 2009 5:11 pm

    No need to enter me, my friend. I’m dropping in to say thanks for the e-mail. I’ve got this up at Win a Book for you.

  20. September 6, 2009 6:16 pm

    Don’t enter me. Just wanted to say I just read a book without quotation marks and . . . eck. Drove me batty. It seems like lazy writing to me.

  21. September 6, 2009 6:42 pm

    I like the way you did this review. My mind is plotting all the different ways the story could go from here. I like that.

  22. Sharon Walling permalink
    September 6, 2009 6:56 pm

    I would love to be entered to win this book. It’s a shame that she had things going for her and then messed her life.

  23. Wanda permalink
    September 6, 2009 7:59 pm

    I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks.
    wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

  24. September 6, 2009 8:00 pm

    Sounds good to me! I’d love to read it. Please enter me. 🙂


  25. heatherzilla permalink
    September 6, 2009 8:12 pm

    Wow! Sounds like a good book. Please include me in the giveaway.

  26. diana mack permalink
    September 6, 2009 8:38 pm

    how could you even live with yourself knowing you did that?
    and what’s worse…remembering every detail or having it be told to you???
    sounds really interesting

  27. September 6, 2009 8:44 pm

    sounds really interesting, call me curious and I am in to win.

  28. September 6, 2009 9:01 pm

    I really loved how you reviewed this book and eloquently said that it was o.k. but then went on to show how someone else rated it higher than you. Very well done!! 🙂

  29. September 6, 2009 10:22 pm

    sounds like an intriguing book and a challenging one to read.

    Pls toss my name in the drawing.

    Thanks. 🙂

  30. September 6, 2009 10:34 pm

    As I read your review, I was trying to remember where I’d heard about this one. And then you said it: EW. That’s probably where. I remember it caught my attention when I was reading through their reviews.

    I’d like to enter for a chance to win this one. Thanks!

  31. September 6, 2009 10:49 pm

    I am intrigued, so please enter me! I used to work with women who had been in prison, so it sounds interesting!

  32. September 6, 2009 11:05 pm

    Sounds interesting…Do enter me!

  33. MMW permalink
    September 6, 2009 11:10 pm

    I also saw EW’s review and had good expectations. I trust your judgment but would still like to read this book. Enter me please!

  34. September 7, 2009 2:30 am

    Throw my hat in the ring please. It sounds rather interesting…

  35. September 7, 2009 4:17 am

    Love your honesty here, and I think I can guess at the twist…..

  36. September 7, 2009 8:32 am

    Please enter me in this giveaway as the book sounds interesting (But I agree the lack of quotes sounds off putting)

  37. Pam R. permalink
    September 7, 2009 9:26 am

    It sounds promising. It’s too bad it didn’t live up to your expectations. I’d like to give it a try though!

  38. September 7, 2009 11:48 am

    No need to enter me. After reading your and EW’s reviews it doesn’t sound like my kind of thing. Hope you enjoy your next book more!

  39. September 7, 2009 12:16 pm

    Looks like an interesting book…

    janemaritz at yahoo dot com

  40. September 7, 2009 3:16 pm

    This sounds like an interesting book, and I am always a sucker for books that have a twist. Great review, and I am sorry that it wasn’t a stellar read for you. I appreciate you giving an honest appraisal of the book. Please enter me in this giveaway as well. I think I might like this one.


  41. September 7, 2009 5:35 pm

    Sounds interesting though – count me in : D


  42. September 7, 2009 7:36 pm

    I’ll try it! Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

  43. September 8, 2009 2:31 am

    I’m curious about this one. Please enter me.


  44. September 8, 2009 2:49 am

    You made it sound like an interesting book.
    Please enter me too. 🙂

  45. September 8, 2009 12:58 pm

    No need to enter me. Just wanted to say thanks for the review. Not sure I could read this one, though.

  46. September 8, 2009 8:27 pm

    I just read the EW review on this … sounds like you didn’t like it as much as they did but I’d still like to be entered for the giveaway. thanks.

  47. karen k permalink
    September 8, 2009 8:31 pm

    I’m curious about this one…

    karen k

  48. September 9, 2009 1:09 am

    Count me in please!


  49. September 9, 2009 6:01 am

    Thanks for the honest review! I’d like to enter, please. 🙂 And thanks very much for allowing international entries – that’s much appreciated!

  50. September 9, 2009 10:01 pm

    Please enter me in. Thanks!

  51. September 10, 2009 6:35 am

    SOunds good… but I am not sure if I will like it too! 🙂
    Don’t enter me please 🙂

  52. Glenn permalink
    September 10, 2009 11:22 am

    Thanks for the giveaway! I’d like to drop my name in the virtual hat.

  53. September 10, 2009 1:36 pm

    Please enter me in the contest. Thanks.

    avalonne83 [at] yahoo [dot] it

  54. etirv permalink
    September 10, 2009 4:21 pm

    Entertainment mag gave Blame good reviews! Please count me in!

  55. September 10, 2009 4:42 pm

    Please enter me…this sounds like a good read!


  56. CherylS22 permalink
    September 10, 2009 4:51 pm

    I’d like the chance to read this book – please count me in!
    Thanks ~ megalon22{at}yahoo{dot}com

  57. September 10, 2009 8:19 pm

    Well I’m sorry you didn’t like it so much. But I’ll throw my name in the hat who knows if I win maybe I will like it. I would hope anyway.

  58. September 10, 2009 11:56 pm

    count me in please

  59. BeckyM permalink
    September 11, 2009 1:19 pm

    Would love to read!

  60. Debbie D permalink
    September 12, 2009 12:12 pm

    Please include me in your giveaway.

  61. September 12, 2009 1:30 pm

    The premise to this one does sound interesting, but I’m a little skeptical about books that don’t use quotation marks. I think, though, that I’m curious enough that I’d like to be entered for a chance in the giveaway. Thanks!

    toadacious1 at yahoo dot com

  62. September 12, 2009 2:06 pm

    I have never read any of Michelle Huneven’s books, but this sounds like something I would really like.
    Thanks for the opportunity to possibly win a copy of the book.

  63. Sue permalink
    September 12, 2009 11:58 pm

    I’d love a copy! Thanks for sharing it.

  64. Carol M permalink
    September 13, 2009 12:59 pm

    I would like to give this book a try. It sounds interesting.
    mittens0831 at aol dot com

  65. September 13, 2009 9:18 pm

    This books sounds just different enough to peak my interest. I would be interested in having my name thrown in for the giveaway. Thanks for the chance.

  66. September 14, 2009 5:42 am

    This looks really good! Please enter me in your draw.

  67. Shari D permalink
    September 14, 2009 2:19 pm

    This sounds like an interesting read!

  68. Teresa permalink
    September 16, 2009 8:04 am

    Another great giveaway! Enter me please.

  69. Stephanie permalink
    September 16, 2009 9:52 am

    This sounds interesting-I’m dying to know what that twist is now so here’s my entry to the contest.

    stephaniefleischer889 [at] gmail [dot] com

  70. September 16, 2009 9:56 am

    Sounds like another good one. Boy you have some great giveaways going on over here…how did I miss these…o wait, because google reader is out of control!

    Please enter me.

  71. emily l permalink
    September 16, 2009 11:30 pm

    I would love to read this. 🙂

  72. justicejenniferreads permalink
    September 17, 2009 11:22 am

    I would really love to read this book. Not sure if it will live up to my expectations, but I have heard a lot of pretty good things about it and the subject matter really interests me. Please enter me in the giveaway. Thanks.

  73. September 17, 2009 11:26 am

    I would love to read this book! Thanks!

  74. Cherie J permalink
    September 18, 2009 12:29 am

    Pleas enter me in the drawing. Thank you!

  75. Maureen F permalink
    September 18, 2009 11:08 am

    I’d love to read this book. I hope I win! Thanks for the contest.

  76. Beth permalink
    September 18, 2009 11:31 am

    Please enter me. Thanks for the chance.

  77. September 18, 2009 1:03 pm

    Hi Yes would love to read this book. Love the blog. Thanks for the opportunity. Cheers. polo-puppy-fluffy AT hotmail *dot* com

  78. Lucile permalink
    September 18, 2009 9:23 pm

    This sounds like a really interesting book-I would love to be entered


  79. September 19, 2009 4:12 am

    I would LOVE to be entered for this one!!

    Thank you SO much for hosting!

    Many thanks!

    x0xx Amy (Park-Avenue Princess)


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