Sunday, November 22, 2009

Book Club & A Book Review: Blame by Michelle Huneven

I recently read Blame by Michelle Huneven with my book club this month. It's the story of Patsy, a young woman who has just received her PhD and is teaching History at a local college. She drinks too much and awakens in jail one day after a night of heavy drinking and blackout. She has been arrested for driving with a revoked license and for running over and killing a mother and daughter who are Jehovah's Witnesses, in her driveway. Patsy has no recollection of the incident and takes full blame for the crime and pleads guilty. She is convicted and sent to prison for four years. In prison, she becomes sober and becomes active in the AA group there. She also develops a friendship with the man whose wife and daughter she killed after he visits her. I found this part of the story to be implausible and unlikely in reality that someone would develop a friendship with anyone who killed their family.

I found the first part of this book to hold my interest and I liked the character development and to see how Patsy accepted responsibility for her actions and attempted to change her life. The last half of the book was a bit drawn out. Patsy is released from prison but never feels worthy of any happiness even though she tries to redeem herself in her involvement in helping others in AA. There were some funny and interesting characters but overall the book was just okay for me. There was a twist at the end that was surprising but seemed far fetched and it just fell flat for me.

We had an interesting discussion about Blame at my book club. We had varying viewpoints and opinions on the book. Nobody loved it, a few liked it and several found it just okay. We did have an interesting discussion about alcoholism, which characters we liked and didn't like, how plausible or implausible situations were that occurred in the book and what we would do in these situations.

Next month we are reading Rise and Shine by Anna Quindlan and we are having our annual book exchange. We each bring a wrapped book and number them and then we each pick a number out of a hat. It's always a lot of fun. In January we are reading The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I've read this book already but I look forward to re-reading it as it was one of my favorite books that I have read in 2009.

FTC Disclosure: This was a library copy. I am an Amazon associate.


  1. Sounds like there would be a lot to explore in a book like "blame". I'll be interested in hearing what you and the group think of Rise and Shine. Hope you get a good book in the exchange! The Help is on my 2009 favorites list : )

  2. I felt the same way as you did. I had heard a lot about the "twist" before I read the book, so I had it figured out.

  3. Could you checkout Gown Fokes Bidniss by Hall Crews as a possible book club idea.

    Here is the link to the book:

  4. I've not heard of this one but I agree with you that becoming "close friends" with someone who even thought not intentionally killed a loved one would be a hard thing for me to do. Sounds like you had a good discussion!!

  5. This does sound like a good one for discussion even if it isn't the best read.

  6. Hey are you a professional journalist? This article is very well written, as compared to most other blogs i saw today….
    anyhow thanks for the good read!


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