have you ever read a book so good that you didn't read anything else for a couple of days just to keep that feeling you get when you read a piece of literary art? This was one of those books for me.
To say I truly enjoyed it would be an understatement.
Bookfanatic reviewed Blessings (Audio CD) (Unabridged) on
Helpful Score: 8
A moving tale of a lonely old woman with many secrets looking back at her long life and a responsible kind ex-convict and the abandoned baby that connects them together. I didn't care much for the ending but the story is worth reading.
A beautiful, moving, well crafted novel that will leave you pondering the deeper meaning of what "family" means, and how love can grow between the most unlikely people. Savor the descriptions, the prose, and the feeling in every line.
This is my second Anna Quindlen and I liked this just as much as the other, which was Black and Blue. Very aptly read, this is the unexpected story of a down-in-his-luck fellow, a hardened, bitter old woman who employs him, and the foundling who brings them all back to their hearts. I hated for this to end.
I enjoyed this story. I did find it a little hard to get into in the very beginning. But I am glad I didn't give up on it. Turns into a great story of a baby left on a doorstep. And how she brings unexpected people together with a special bond. Also brings happiness to an older woman who had given up on ever finding it again.
Novel of the unlikely situation in which a baby is dropped on the doorstep of a rich old lady, and is found and cared for by her servant. Defies all reality of how adoptions take place in this country, but very heart-warming.
Blessings is the swankiest house/property around. The old house has been in the Blessing family for as long as anyone can remember; and Skip, fresh out of prison, has found employment there. He also found a baby in a box left outside his apartment over the garage. Skip decides to care for the baby on his own, but is careful not to let Lydia Blessing, his employer, find out about the newborn. Lydia Blessing has lived at Blessings her entire adult life, and now she mainly lives in the past. In her eighties, she lives alone and is quite unhappy. She's not close to her only child, Meredith. She was widowed by WWII mere months after her wedding; and her best friend died years ago. Inevitably, Lydia finds out about the child, but instead of insisting the Skip leave or turn the baby over to authorities, she begins to help him care for the child and an unlikely friendship begins.
I agree with other reviewers that the book was slow to begin, but after it picked up, I really enjoyed it. The characters--especially Lydia--are well-defined. It's a story of new beginnings, which always involve re-examining the past. Both Skip and Lydia evolve over the course of the novel--Skip eager for the change; Lydia, not so much. It's a nice story and a good read.
One thing about real life is that there are many aspects of it that are unpredictable with twists and turns over which we have no control. Life does not always turn out the way we want. Some call it fate, others call it faith.
But an authorâ¦ah, authors hold the hands of fate and faith. Where one's life is controlled by destiny, in a book one's life takes on the whims and wishes of the storyteller, thereby making it possible for endings to be just as they should (or maybe as they shouldn't), predictable sometimes and tragic others.
I love books, I guess, because life doesn't always play out the way it was intended. It is many times predictable, but often times not so much. In Blessings, you can easily predict the âcorrectâ ending: Skip falls in love with Jennifer, they raise an abandoned baby as their own in a huge estate left to them by the softening heart of a gentle old lady (who, by the way, hasn't been gentle in decades), and they live happily ever after. Now it is up to you, the reader, to hear the loud whisper of life as the author redefines it to discover if that happily-ever-after actually occurs. Or does the author allow fate to determine the outcome. It's a compelling tale of how one young girl's decision so dramatically affects the lives of so many. You MUST read Blessings and give your heart a little exercise.
This was a pleasant book. A nice character study. The plot is somewhat silly, and the situations a little overblown (without giving anything away, I think I can safely say that the author manages to work in illegitmate pregnancies (2), homosexuality, bisexuality, suicide, abandonment by parent (2), depression, rejection of religious background, and racism) but still it does not reach of the depths of despair that a Wally lamb novel reaches.
Blessings begins when, late at night, a teenage couple drives up to the estate owned by Lydia Blessing and leaves a box. In this instant, the world of the estate called Blessings is changed forever. The story of Skip Cuddy, the Blessings caretaker, 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. Blessings explores how the secrets of the past affect decisions and lives 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. This is a powerful novel of love, redemption, and personal change. A very enjoyable read. I felt very close to the characters.
Anna Quindlen delivers another knock-out novel about families and how their dysfunctions function. This is a wonderful story about a "born loser" who breaks out to become a man and a father. Beautifully written.
Blessings tells the story of Skip Cuddy, caretaker of the Blessings estate, who finds a baby asleep in a 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 today's decisions and lives, what makes a person, a life, legitimate or illegitimate and who decides--these are at the cneter of this wonderful novel of love, redemption and personal change.
This book suprised me a bit in it wasn't as sweet as I thought it would be. There was more depth and character development to this book than some other womens fiction books read lately. The "family" that is created gives strong bonds to people who might not have otherwise become close.
A wonderful book! I've not read any of Quindlen's previous efforts but now I must. This book features terrific character development, a slowly-revealed back story, and a plot that keeps the reader guessing. There is a very rewarding feel-good ending, but not the one that is expected! Highly recommended.
The story of Skip Cuddy, the caretaker, who finds a baby asleep in a box in front of the house, and decides he wants to keep her. The matriarch homeowner who wants to help him, for her own reasons. The book explores how the secrets of the past affect decisions and lives 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.
This is the story of Lydia Blessings, an elderly woman who lives alone in a large house. She has a gardener and handyman, Skip, who lives in an apartment above the garage. She also employs a cranky maid, Nadine.
One night Skip finds a newborn baby lying in a box on his doorstep. He wants to keep the baby so he attempts to hide her from everyone. But soon Lydia and Nadine find out about the her. Eventually they begin to see their lives transformed by the influence of this tiny creature. Lydia especially finds her own heart softening and begins to relive past memories of her own childhood as well as her daughter's.
The message I found while reading this book is the old adage that "no man is an island" or "it takes a village".
Lydia has become a recluse but upon learning about the baby she watches Sip as he goes about his work with the baby attached to him. The more she watches, the more she opens up. And as she begins to open up her world enlarges and she becomes not so distant.
I really enjoyed this little novel and had a very warm and fuzzy feeling after the read.
Oh, I enjoyed this book a lot! An excellent premise, execution, emotional level... the ending was not what I had hoped,but everything made sense the way it did turn out and I am really enjoying Quindlen's writing! I am hard pressed to say which of her books that I like the most, actually. I will definitely continue to read her work, that is for sure!
A touching book with lyrical descriptions, Blessings chronicles the unlikely convergence of several people through a single event which causes the gradual eroding of barriers. Struggling to reconcile their individual pasts and class differences, the characters struggle to transcend their insecurities and the unspoken judgments of others. A quick and enjoyable read.
A teenage couple leaves their newborn son on the property of an estate. The caretaker decides he wants to keep her. The book explores how secrets of the past affect today, what capabilities are needed to rear a child, how generosity changes lives, and how the aged are vulnerable. This is another book that is hard to put down.
A desperate teenage couple drops a newborn on the doorstep of Blessings and a caretaker finds it. A heartwarming bond forms between a baby girl and an unlikely father with the help of Mrs. Blessing. Heartwarming and sad at the same time, and it was a great read!
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.
A baby is dropped off on the Blessing estate, and the caretaker finds her and wants to keep her, while Lydia Blessing, the owner of the estate, helps him for her own reasons. The lives of both of them, as well as the mother, are changed.
The past has an impact on the present only as much as you allow it. Two people become far more than they can be through an interesting relationship with each other and with a new baby. The two people are not the baby's parents, nor are they related to each other. A quick read that I enjoyed and am happy to pass on.
This novel 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. Skip Cuddy, caretake of the estate, finds a baby esleep in that box, and decides he wants to keep her. Matriarch, Lydia Blessing, for her own reasons, decides to help him. The secrets of the past and how they effect the decisions and lives of people in the present, what makes a person - a life, ligitimate or illigitimate and who decides; the unique resoources people find in themselves and in a community.
Blessings is a beautifully written book about two characters whose lives become intertwined by the abandonment of a newborn. The book addresses issues of class and can people really change the economic class into which they are born. One main character is a miserly older woman who feels "the world has lost its compass." Throughout the book, she becomes melancholic and evaluates her life or rather not living her life due to societal demands. Towards the end, she observes "what a soft patina the passage of time gives." It is only with the passage of time, is she able to figure out some of the secrets of her upbringing and come to grips with family ties. The other main character is a young man who wants to improve his circumstances and do the right thing in spite of an impoverished, dysfunctional background. The novel is short at only 226 pages. It is a great read without being overtly philosophical, it compels one to think about the meaning of life and relationships.
I am sorry first off to all that have written and said GREAT things about this book. It was an absolute waste of time. I wanted this books for WEEKS it looked so great.....it isn't
It jumps around so much I can't even pay attention to it. I was so sick of it after 100 pages I wanted to just throw it. But I finished it and the end was a horrible dispointment, the guy (by the way) was protrated horribly wrong. I am sorry but seriously DONT WASTE YOU TIME. I read it in less the three hours.. and what a waste of three hours it was.
A well crafted story about figuring out what truely are the blessings in your life and finding out where home is. I enjoyed reading this book. There is a lot of sad/unhappy people in this book learning to come to terms with the hand life dealt them, but in the end everything mostly come out alright. There is a fair amount of symbolism in this book, not all of it I comepletely understood, but I enjoyed reading this book.
This is reminiscent of 'Where the Heart Is.' You feel for the plucky, down on their luck characters. The young man's redemption and determination, his commitment to truth, and his openness to love, make for a warm and satisfying story. His ability to engender to love of an old woman and a little baby, as well as his own love interest, are charming. One of Quindlen's best, I think, and very easy to listen to on CD.
The CD narrative was great. Although the story and plot were awsome, I found the writing of this particular Quindien story tedies at times. Several times I wanted to give up, but suddenly the story would become quick paced again.
The story revolves around an infant who was left on the doorstep of a wealthy family.
The characters are well developed, and the story is not predictible.
The ending is unexpected, and definately is not a cookie cutter mystery. I recommend it if you can deal with the lags.
A newborn infant, abandoned at a remote country estate, brings changes, love, and heartbreak to the young handyman who discovers her, and to the reclusive woman whose life has faded to a collection of memories.
Wonderful book. The first time I had read this author. After finishing the book, I looked for other books by Quindlen....always a sign the book was good. Great characters and wonderful story line...moves right along.
Book Description: Teenage couple drops off a child at the Blessing estate. The caretaker and the matriarch of the estate agree to keep the child and take care of it. "Blessings explores how the secrets of the past affect decisions and lives in the present; what makes a person or a life legitimate or illegitimate and who decides; and the unique resources people find in themselves and in a community."
Late one night, a teenage couple drives up to the big white clapboard home on the Blessing estate and leaves a box. In that instant, the lives of those who live and work there are changed forever. Skip Cuddy, the caretaker, finds a baby girl asleep in that box and decides he wants to keep the child . . . while Lydia Blessing, the matriarch of the estate, for her own reasons, agrees to help him. Blessings explores how the secrets of the past affect decisions and lives in the present; what makes a person or a life legitimate or illegitimate and who decides; and the unique resources people find in themselves and in a community. This is a powerful novel of love, redemption, and personal change by the Pulitzer Prizewinning 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.
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 authorities loom in the background, threatening to take the foundling away. In Quindlen's book, however, the foundling in question isn't an alien, but a squalling baby left at Blessings, a vast estate owned by an ancient, crabby matriarch named Lydia Blessing. By a fluke, the baby's parents abandon her by the garage rather than at the front door, and so she is discovered by Skip Cuddy, Lydia Blessing's newly hired handyman, who happens to be an ex-con. The plot proceeds from there in fairly E.T.-like fashion, minus the Reese's Pieces and flying bicycles. Skip, Lydia, and the baby they name Faith form a surprisingly loving and sustaining, albeit temporary, family unit.
Quindlen wrings a remarkable amount of pathos from this somewhat simple setup. One of her strengths as a writer is the quietness she brings to her story; family secrets of paternity and lost love are buried deep in the narrative, hidden in descriptive paragraphs where they subtly zing us with their news. Her ear is good, too: we believe Skip and his bad-boy friends when they're shooting the breeze. Best of all is her flair for observation. The book wouldn't work at all if she couldn't make us feel Skip and Lydia's amazement at the small joys of a baby ("The deep pleat in the fat at her elbow made her arms look muscled"). Here is a book that lives up to its title.
Late at night a teenage couple drives up to the estate owned by Lyidia Blessing and leaves a box. The story of Skip Cuddy, the Blessings caretaker, who finds the baby asleep in the box and decides he wants to keep her, and for reasons of her own matriarch Lydia Blessing, who for her own reasons, decides to help him.
Blessings begins when, late at night, a teenage couple drives up to the estate owned by Lydia Blessing and leaves a box. In this instant, the world of the estate called Blessings is changed forever. The story of Skip Cuddy, the Blessings caretaker, who finds a baby asleep in that box and decides he wants to keep her, and of matriarch Lydia Blessings, who, for her own reasons, decides to help him, Blessings explores how the secrets of the past affect decisions and lives in the present; what makes a person, a life, legitimate or illegitimate, and who deides; the unique resources people find in themselves and in a community.