Summary and book reviews of Blessings by Anna Quindlen

Blessings

By Anna Quindlen

Blessings
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  • Hardcover: Sep 2002,
    224 pages.
    Paperback: Aug 2003,
    240 pages.

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Book Summary

This powerful new novel by the bestselling author of Black and Blue, One True Thing, Object Lessons, and A Short Guide to a Happy Life begins when a teenage couple drives up, late at night, headlights out, to Blessings, the estate owned by Lydia Blessing. They leave a box and drive away, and in this instant, the world of Blessings is changed forever. Richly written, deeply moving, beautifully crafted, Blessings tells the story of Skip Cuddy, caretaker of the estate, who finds a baby asleep in that box and decides he wants to keep her, and of matriarch Lydia Blessing, who, for her own reasons, decides to help him. The secrets of the past, how they affect the decisions and lives of people in the present; what makes a person, a life, legitimate or illegitimate, and who decides; the unique resources people find in themselves and in a community—these are at the center of this wonderful novel of love, redemption, and personal change by the writer about whom The Washington Post Book World said, "Quindlen knows that all the things we ever will be can be found in some forgotten fragment of family.

From Chapter One

In the early hours of June 24 a car pulled into a long macadam drive on Rolling Hills Road in the town of Mount Mason. The driver cut the engine, so that as the car rolled down the drive and into the oval turnaround between the back of the big white clapboard house and the garage, it made only a soft swishing sound, like the whisper of summer rain those first few moments after the dirty gray storm clouds open.

There were deer in the fields that surrounded the house, cropping the rye grass with their spotted fawns at their flanks. But the fields stretched so far from the drive on either side, and the deer kept so close to the tree line, that the does did not even raise their divot heads from the ground as the car slid past, although one or two stopped chewing, and the smallest of the babies edged toward their mothers, stepping delicately sideways, en pointe on their small hooves.

"I don't feel that good," said the young woman in the passenger seat, her hair ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. Blessings is a title that holds a great deal of meaning for this book, as the name of the Blessings’ house, but also in the metaphysical sense of the word. Before reading the book, what did the title Blessings suggest to you? Did it create any expectations or shape the way you reflected on the book as you read? When you finished the book, what meaning did you take away from the title Blessings?

  2. The Washington Post has said of Anna Quindlen’s work, "Quindlen knows that all the things we ever will be can be found in some forgotten fragment of family." Family seems to be connected to many of the fundamental and important themes of the novel. How might this tribute be applied to ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews
St Louis Post-Dispatch

[A] richly imagined novel of the transforming power of love.

The Miami Herald

A polished gem of a novel...lovingly crafted, beautifully written.

Kirkus Reviews

....soap-opera-parable with old-fashioned contrivances: comfortable, not Quindlen's best.

Library Journal

Quindlen's talent for realistic dialog can't overcome the melodramatic plot and one-dimensional characters.

Booklist - Donna Seaman

Quindlen's lush descriptions of the splendor of the Blessing estate stand in evocative contrast to the rigidity of the upper-class mores that destroyed Lydia's and her brother's lives. Skip, too, is a victim of circumstances, but in spite of the injustices he's suffered, he is goodness incarnate and ultimately inspires all of Quindlen's compelling characters to embrace, not count, their blessings.

Publishers Weekly

While it skirts sentimentality by a hairbreadth, the narrative is old-fashioned in a positive way, telling a dramatic story through characters who develop and change, and testifying to the triumph of human decency when love is permitted to grow and flourish.

Reader Reviews
cupcakes27

maddi_emily@hotmail.com
Although this book brought out love, care and generosity in a person you wouldn't look at twice, I found that the way Anna went from past to present confused the story and made it hard to follow on. I rate this book 3 stars because I have read books ...   Read More

Whitney
Blessings
The plot of Anna Quindlen's novel Blessings is constructed on the same model as E.T.: adorable orphaned creature is found by unlikely caregiver who against his or her better judgment falls in love with the little beast, while all the while, the ...   Read More

nessa

horrible
Before I brought this book, I read the back of the book thinking that it would be a great read. I was wrong. If you take out all the blabbling and off topic sentences, you probably would only get a 50 page book instead of a 200 page book. it was ...   Read More

dhhs student

It was a good book! A little confusing though. So many characters to remember! But none the less, It was deffinately worth reading!!
ENJOY!!

**DHHS FOOTBALL TIGERS #1 IN CT 2004**   Read More

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