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Novel to 'Blame' for thrilling reading adventure

By By Kathleen Duncan
May 1, 2013 at 12:01 a.m.


Patsy wakes up in a jail cell. She stinks. She is grubby, confused and hung over. She remembers nothing. This is not unusual for Patsy. It happens sometimes after a blackout due to a crazy, alcohol-filled evening. But what comes next throws her future into a disarray unlike any previous drunken offense.

Blame. Guilt. Powerful emotions. Powerful motivators. They can haunt you forever, if you let them. Every minute of every day.

Patsy is told that she killed two people, a mom and her daughter, in her driveway after driving home drunk.

She takes the accusation at face value. Her driveway. Her car. Alcohol. Blackout. She pleads guilty and goes to prison.

Patsy spends decades trying to atone for that drunken night.

She spends her time in prison sobering up, attending AA meetings and doing hard labor in work camp. She apologizes and has a relationship full of amending gestures with Mark Parnham, the husband and father of the pair she unwittingly killed.

When she comes out of prison, she is a much more sober, serious, frightened and world-weary woman.

She marries a kind, if detached, man. She goes back to teaching. Writes a couple books. She is mostly, sort of, content.

Decades later, a new piece of information is uncovered that illuminates her criminal history in a whole new light.

"Blame" by Michelle Huneven is a painful and intriguing story of a woman rebuilding her life in the wake of a tragedy she can't remember.

How can someone live with the guilt of an act so terrible? How can someone find love or happiness or forgiveness from others, if they can't forgive themselves?

"Blame" is a novel set in humanity's endless gray areas. There is no ultimate evil, no perfect good - just people, trying their best to survive together in this flawed existence.

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