** Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen (2000)

I typically think of Quindlen as an essayist, not a fiction writer, but this novel is really good.  It’s a depressing and creepy story of a woman living with an abusive husband and raising a son.  Normally I don’t like stories about abuse because I just want to yell “get out of there!” but somehow this book made me truly see how difficult that can sometimes be.  I’m still haunted by the scene of the woman walking slowly down the stairs and finding her husband waiting for her in the kitchen, cigarette in hand, knowing he’s found her.  Excellent writing.  (fiction)

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