by Michelle Huneven
Quote: " You'd think they could come up with something, said Patsy. So we could come out more educated, or at least less crazy, than we were going in." ~ Patsy pg. 73
Started: June 22, 2012
Finished: June 27, 2012
291 pages/ hardcover
From the cover:
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: "Did I kill someone?"
In fact, two Jehovah's Witnesses, a mother and daughter, are dead, run over in Patsy's driveway. Patsy, who was driving with a revoked license, will spend the rest of her life-in prison, getting sober, finding a new community(and husband) in AA-trying to atone for this unpardonable act.
Then, decades later, another unimaginable piece of information turns up.
For the reader, it is an electrifying moment, a joyous, fall-off-the-couch-with-surprise moment. For Patsy, it is more complicated. Blame must be reapportioned, her life reassessed. What does it mean that her life has been based on wrong assumptions? What can she cleave to? What must be relinquished?
My Review: My thoughts on this book lead me to have more questions than answers. I won't say that is going on any of my favorites lists, it is a good read that makes you think. It makes you question just who is to blame? How many times in life have we been at least somewhat responsible for something but passed the buck so to speak because someone else played a bigger part? I guess what I'm trying to say is, we may not be solely or completely to blame, but even our unintended involvement may leave part of the blame on ourselves. Whether we acknowledge it or not.
Patsy had evidence, patterns in her behavior and a guilty conscience that helped form what she used to determine who, what she was and had become. She had family, friends, cellmates and professionals telling her how to deal, how to move on, how to live. She had both support and judgement. Sometimes from the same person.
Sometimes during the book I felt she was naive in her thinking and other times I thought she was being more realistic than others around her in dealing with what she knew and what she had done. There are parts of the book that are sad to me. I felt she did get screwed out of things she may otherwise have felt worthy of. I won't go into details due to spoiling the book, but she could have had a very different life after the events surrounding the plot.
*4 Stars for Blame*