Black and Blue

A Novel

Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
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—and ran for both their lives.
Now she is starting over in a city far from home, far from Bobby. In this place 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 to her. Bobby always said he would never let her go, and despite the ingenuity of her escape, Fran Benedetto is certain of one thing: It is only a matter of time.


The first time my husband hit me I was nineteen years old.

One sentence and I'm lost. One sentence and I can hear his voice in my head, that butterscotch-syrup voice that made goose bumps rise on my arms when I was young, that turned all of my skin warm and alive with a sibilant S, the drawling vowels, its shocking...
Read More


“Intimate and illuminating and, as is true of most anything Quindlen writes, well worth the read.”—People


"Beautifully paced—keeps the reader anxiously turning the pages." —New York Times Book Review

"A gut-wrencher—another stunner."—Denver Post

"Impossible to put down—the tension is both awful and mesmerizing."—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Engrossing—compassionate and tense."—New York Times

"Her best novel yet." —Publishers Weekly

"Absolutely believable—Quindlen writes with power and grace."—Boston Globe

"A moving masterpiece." —Lexington Herald-Leader

A selection of the Literary Guild and Oprah's Book Club