Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

Reviews of Blessings by Anna Quindlen

Blessings

by Anna Quindlen

Blessings by Anna Quindlen X
Blessings by Anna Quindlen
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Sep 2002, 224 pages

    Paperback:
    Aug 2003, 240 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

A teenage couple drive up to the Blessings estate late at night, leaving a box behind them. The estate caretaker finds a baby asleep in that box and decides he wants to keep her; and matriarch Lydia Blessing, for her own reasons, decides to help him.

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 will 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 ...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

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

St Louis Post-Dispatch
[A] richly imagined novel of the transforming power of love.

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.

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.

Reader Reviews

stef

i find it very hard to find a book that i like. it was so random that i when into chapters and bought this book for my grade 12 english ISU. i am very pleased with my selection, and i am very eager to start reading her other books.
I RATE "...   Read More
Crystalee

This book! This book started me reading full time again! It did start out a little slow, and I ended up putting it down for three weeks before picking it up again and really getting into it. To those of you discouraged by slow beginnings, I say- ...   Read More
Sally

For me this book was good but uncomfortable. Uncomfortable, because I can relate to Skip's charcter of striving and striving against petty and not-so petty frustrations of life and seeming to get ripped off again and again.
I think I've known someone...   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

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Read-Alikes

Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Blessings, try these:

  • Lila jacket

    Lila

    by Marilynne Robinson

    Published 2015

    About this book

    More by this author

    Marilynne Robinson, one of the greatest novelists of our time, returns to the town of Gilead in an unforgettable story of a girlhood lived on the fringes of society in fear, awe, and wonder.

  • Isabel's Daughter jacket

    Isabel's Daughter

    by Judith Ryan Hendricks

    Published 2004

    About this book

    More by this author

    From the author of Bread Alone comes an intimate tale of a woman, given up at birth, piecing together her mother's identity.

We have 4 read-alikes for Blessings, but non-members are limited to two results. To see the complete list of this book's read-alikes, you need to be a member.
More books by Anna Quindlen
Search read-alikes
How we choose read-alikes

Books with similar themes


Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Change
    Change
    by Edouard Louis
    Édouard Louis's 2014 debut novel, The End of Eddy—an instant literary success, published ...
  • Book Jacket: Big Time
    Big Time
    by Ben H. Winters
    Big Time, the latest offering from prolific novelist and screenwriter Ben H. Winters, is as ...
  • Book Jacket: Becoming Madam Secretary
    Becoming Madam Secretary
    by Stephanie Dray
    Our First Impressions reviewers enjoyed reading about Frances Perkins, Franklin Delano Roosevelt's ...
  • Book Jacket: The Last Bloodcarver
    The Last Bloodcarver
    by Vanessa Le
    The city-state of Theumas is a gleaming metropolis of advanced technology and innovation where the ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
A Great Country
by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
A novel exploring the ties and fractures of a close-knit Indian-American family in the aftermath of a violent encounter with the police.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The House on Biscayne Bay
    by Chanel Cleeton

    As death stalks a gothic mansion in Miami, the lives of two women intertwine as the past and present collide.

  • Book Jacket

    The Stone Home
    by Crystal Hana Kim

    A moving family drama and coming-of-age story revealing a dark corner of South Korean history.

Win This Book
Win The Funeral Cryer

The Funeral Cryer by Wenyan Lu

Debut novelist Wenyan Lu brings us this witty yet profound story about one woman's midlife reawakening in contemporary rural China.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

M as A H

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.