Black and Blue
Quindlen jumped straight to the No. 5 spot on the best-seller list with this gripping story of a battered wife. Fran Bendetto is a nurse who leaves her husband Bobby, a cop, after a decade of abuse. She flees to a new state with her young son, changing her name and severing almost all ties with her previous life. But when her son longs to see his father, Fran must confront her abuser again. Fran's painful dilemma is engrossing, but Quindlen's writing lacks the grit and emotional power that the subject demands. The entrance of Mike, a modern-day prince charming who will renew Fran's faith in men, squashes Black and Blue's hopes for going beyond a movie-of-the-week treatment of domestic violence.