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Blessings | [Anna Quindlen]

Blessings

Anna Quindlen, best selling author of A Short Guide to a Happy Life, returns with this "immensely appealing" novel. 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 story of love, redemption, and personal change.
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Publisher's Summary

This powerful new novel by the best selling author of 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."

©2002 Anna Quindlen; (P)2002 Random House Inc., Random House Audio, a Division of Random House Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Immensely appealing." (Publishers Weekly)
"Quindlen writes with power and grace." (The Boston Globe)
"Written with intelligence, clarity, and heartrending directness." (Newsday)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (294 )
5 star
 (113)
4 star
 (94)
3 star
 (54)
2 star
 (21)
1 star
 (12)
Overall
4.0 (60 )
5 star
 (25)
4 star
 (15)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.1 (63 )
5 star
 (28)
4 star
 (20)
3 star
 (10)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (4)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Marilyn M Felix Carmel, CA USA 05-02-03
    Marilyn M Felix Carmel, CA USA 05-02-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
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    2
    1
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    1
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    Overall
    "A book club favorite"

    This was a bookclub choice and it was well received... often we choose more "complicated" reads than this story ~ however, upon discussing it, we discovered there were many layers to this story. We all felt we got to know the characters well but did disagree at times regarding their motivations and character perceptions. We had a great discussion which reflected that Quindlan managed to get us to care about the story and the characters in it.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Rock Hill, SC, United States 03-19-08
    Susan Rock Hill, SC, United States 03-19-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    195
    ratings
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    150
    67
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    14
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    Overall
    "Nice Blessings"

    Although this book was a little slow, I did enjoy it. The story was interesting and the descriptions were beautiful. Enjoyed the narrator also. It was just a little slow with all of the memories of the past. I guess I was a little more interested in the present.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Bronx, NY, USA 10-17-03
    Ron Bronx, NY, USA 10-17-03 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    25
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "Unique and touching"

    Maybe partly due to the fact that I am currently a full-time dad, I found this novel especially touching... But in any case I think it is a great story and a wonderful audiobook.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Roseville, CA, United States 12-19-02
    Janet Roseville, CA, United States 12-19-02 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    5
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "Captivating"

    I exercised more this month just to keep listening!

    11 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nanci Bellevue, WA, USA 01-16-03
    Nanci Bellevue, WA, USA 01-16-03 Member Since 2000
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
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    FOLLOWING
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    Overall
    "wonderful unfolding character study"

    I'm not finished yet, but it's hard to stop listening.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 07-10-14
    Mark Waltham, MA, United States 07-10-14 Member Since 2010

    MTF

    HELPFUL VOTES
    170
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    109
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    Performance
    Story
    "Very boring!"

    I had read or listened to other books by Anna Quindlen and loved them (One True Thing and Black and Blue). This was just boring. Half the book is flashbacks, and I never cared much about characters from the past. Even the modern story, which had my interest for a while, lot its momentum. In this story, a young man finds a baby in a basket and wants to raise it on his own. He befriends his boss, a strict 80 year-old. None of these characters were realistic to me, and so my heart was not broken, as happened with so many readers and listeners.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael kansas city, MO, United States 01-31-11
    Michael kansas city, MO, United States 01-31-11 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
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    181
    55
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    6
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    Overall
    "good story.."

    i liked this story.. in fact i like books like this.. narrator was great.. good character development.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca Stillwater, NJ, United States 01-11-11
    Rebecca Stillwater, NJ, United States 01-11-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    11
    4
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    Overall
    "Loved it"

    I absolutely loved this book, definitely kept my attention. Although the plot was predictable the story-telling depicts vivid emotion of tragedy amidst an ordinary life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathy Northern CA Coast 03-14-06
    Cathy Northern CA Coast 03-14-06 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    233
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    745
    53
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    16
    6
    Overall
    "Luminous Descriptions and Wonderful Reading"

    I been reflecting for several days about Blessings. Was it the excellent reader I enjoyed so much, or the insight on a life lived in a particular time, a particular style? I've pondered the remaining scent of an old house occupied by a woman at the end of her life - a house and grounds filled with memories and natural beauty. The story of this place and the story of how people, without regard to age, can learn and discover inner truths will linger in my mind. I savored Blessings, and enjoy the lingering thoughts of it, like the dust motes disturbed in the Blessings attic, and like the echo of the wildlife at the Blessings pond.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Randell Weston, CT USA 01-24-06
    Robert Randell Weston, CT USA 01-24-06 Member Since 2004

    kasrob

    HELPFUL VOTES
    31
    ratings
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    12
    6
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    3
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    Overall
    "Not so great"

    I adore Anna Quindlen, both as a columnist, and from her fiction, which I have previously read. So, I had high expectations from this book, which wer not realized. It was certainly fine, and exposed some good ideas and characters, but was just not that compelling. I kept waiting for the big turn to occur, and it never did. Certainly readable enough, but just not that great.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 20 results PREVIOUS12NEXT
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  • AACCEOB
    LONDON
    12/23/12
    Overall
    "Too short"

    This is a good short story but the narration is a bit irritating.

    I love Anna quindlen so anything he writes is a must for me .

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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