Blame is a spellbinding novel of guilt and love, family and shame, sobriety and the lack of it, and the moral ambiguities that ensnare us all.
Patsy MacLemoore, a history professor in her late twenties, has a brand-new PhD from Berkeley and a wild streak. She wakes up in jail after an epic alcoholic blackout. “Okay, what’d I do?” she asks her lawyer and jailers. In fact, two Jehovah’s Witnesses, a mother and daughter, are dead, run over in Patsy’s driveway.
Patsy will spend the rest of her life trying to atone. She goes to prison, gets sober, and upon her release finds a new community (and a husband) in AA. She resists temptations, strives for goodness, and becomes a selfless teacher, friend, and wife.
Then, decades later, another unimaginable piece of new 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.