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Blessings

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  13,423 Ratings  ·  1,273 Reviews
Blessings: A Novel (Random House Readers Circle)
Paperback, 237 pages
Published August 19th 2003 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published September 17th 2002)
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Margitte


The blurb says it all:
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
...more
Jane
Aug 14, 2010 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book was a selection for my daughter's book club. Let me say straight off that I loved it!

A baby is left by the garage of the local "big house" by a couple of teenagers, and found by the handyman who lives over the garage. A strange complicity develops between him and the house's owner, and two people from opposite sides of the social divide enter into a friendship that reconciles their own pasts.

So now I'm going to talk about the rules it breaks. You get a lot of talk on writer blogs abou
...more
Holli
Aug 13, 2008 Holli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carol Storm
Oct 12, 2013 Carol Storm rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
THE OLD BAT AND THE BABY

by Anna Go-Away

She was an old bat who lived alone in a crumbling mansion and she had gone seventy-five years without a man. During the first seventy-three years she had lived alone, but now that she was too old to mow her own lawn and wash her own socks a boy lived with her.

"Boy," said Lydia Blessings. "I hear a baby crying. Go and bring him into our house, so I may vicariously enjoy the thrill of motherhood."

"Yes, boss lady." The boy was thirty-seven years old, and he w
...more
Maria
Apr 29, 2013 Maria rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found this on a free pile of books and thought the title vaguely intriguing. Free appeals, and I seemed to recall that I'd read Black and Blue once -- same author -- and liked it. This novel is soothing, yes it is, but it's a bit trite, and there is only one, just one, really sharply depicted poignant moment late in the narrative (where the hero has suffered a tremendous loss) which is so well-done I was left openmouthed; also, there is a charming enjoyable assessment of Agatha Christie books. ...more
Christina
Jun 20, 2007 Christina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When a baby is abandoned at Blessings, a rural country estate, it is up to the ex-con groundskeeper, the crotchety old woman who owns Blessings, and the daughter of the Korean housekeeper and the local garage owner to take care of her. Blessings is a story about the skeletons in our closets, and every mistake helps us to become the people we are today.
Kellie
Jan 17, 2009 Kellie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
a story of unconventional relationships that grow in unlikely places – stories of regret and wishes – stories of improvement – simultaneous intertwining of past and present – challenges some traditional notions and judgments
Lydia Presley
Aug 01, 2011 Lydia Presley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Original review posted here

Anna Quindlen is one of those authors who holds the power to knock the socks off of me. Every time I go to pick up one of her books I know that, at some point, I’m going to end up in tears – so I have to pace myself accordingly.

Blessings was no different. While it didn’t contain nearly the same amount of tragedy some of Quindlen’s other books have (Yes, Every Last One, I’m looking at you), it still had some heartbreaking moments, but, in true Quindlen style, I knew tha
...more
Lori
Oct 21, 2009 Lori rated it really liked it
Blessings is the third Anna Quindlen novel that I've read and enjoyed. She is such an eloquent writer with accurate descriptions of the silent suffering and happiness that occurs in the human psyche. I enjoyed this story of Lydia Blessing and Skip Cuddy who through the nuturing and love of an abandoned baby girl make an usual "family." Much of the story takes place in a bittersweet remembering that occurs in Lydia's mind as she reviews the last eighty years of her life. The reader is touched as ...more
Jamie Stanley
Mar 23, 2012 Jamie Stanley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, uplifting
I really enjoyed this book. I love how the woman keeps on having flashbacks of her past. there are a lot of really well written lines in this book as well. The actual story isn't half as good as the brief glances off the past. Reading this book made me treasure my memories that much more, the good and the bad. I recommend this book to everyone.
Cass ☘
Mar 10, 2017 Cass ☘ rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really good and easy read. A nice break from my usual thrillers. At times it moved a bit slow. My only real complaint is that I had difficulty knowing when I was reading a past memory or current. The characters were likeable and it was a good storyline
Pamela
4.5

This quiet, somewhat controversially-evocative novel touched me in so many diverse ways. Quite unexpectedly, I might add. A foundling baby girl, two strung-out college kids, an ex-con, derelicts, an elderly reclusive heiress, an immigrant domestic and her daughter..... Character driven and atmospherically transporting. So subtly rich. And frankly, because of the books diverse redolence, I find it challenging to properly categorize it, precisely.

In some ways, BLESSINGS is character studies i
...more
Becky
Oct 09, 2012 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this fast and easy read. Its a story of a man who works for a wealthy woman and lives in an apartment above the garage and wakes one morning to find a baby in a cardboard box left on the step. He gets a baby book and decides to raise the baby as his own, and the elder woman ends up helping him. Very likeable characters, very descriptive dialogues... but almost "Garrison Keillor" like in describing details. Could have been said much faster. And the dialogue flip flops from past t ...more
Kaye McSpadden
I decided to read a book by Anna Quindlen after hearing her speak last fall. She's a wonderful speaker and a great journalist. However, based on this book, I don't think that writing fiction is her forte. I very much enjoyed the story in "Blessings," but didn't really enjoy her writing style all that much. As she is telling about future events, her characters reminisce about their past in a way that I found distracting. I do think the story would make a good movie, but can't recommend the book a ...more
Lorrie
Sep 21, 2016 Lorrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like this author but almost didn't read the book because of the title. I was in a hurry, getting ready for a trip & needed an audio for the car, so decided to grab it anyway. It was fragile, succinct & thought provoking. The appearances we keep, the moments we miss, the happiness we deny ourselves...all for the sake of what is right when we might have opted for instead what is good.

The story of little Faith and Skip Cuddy is worth the read. Oh, to be loved so.
Pam Jones
Mar 22, 2011 Pam Jones rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: light
Great characters. Interesting story. I already miss everyone.
NancyInWI
May 03, 2009 NancyInWI rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library
pretty boring book
Valley Brown
Blessings is an antiquated estate belonging to the elderly descendant Lydia Blessing, and attended to by her contentious housekeeper, Nadine, and newly-hired groundskeeper Skip Cuddy. Life at Blessings revolves around the routine and social etiquette of a by-gone era, which Lydia refuses to move beyond. When Skip discovers an abandoned newborn child on his literal doorstep, he inexplicably chooses to keep the baby. He was only recently released from a jail sentence for being at the wrong place ...more
Claire S
I like this quiet, gentle, sweet book; the two main characters are a bit world-weary, having experienced harshnesses in life such that they don't take good for granted. They don't know each other at the outset of when this book is set; a baby is dropped off and they rebel at first individually, but for both it is a perfect element in their lives. And so far their fears prove unfounded and life is unfolding in its own, sweet way. Reminds me a bit of Margaret Atwood's 'Bean Trees', only that was m ...more
Carol
Jun 05, 2014 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: very-good
What a precious book, totally enjoyed reading it. One night a baby is dropped off at the wealthy Blessings home, they look inside a cardboard box outside the estate and find a new born baby. This act totally changes Blessings forever. Richly written, deeply moving, beautifully crafted. Quindlen 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 ...more
Kyra
Mar 09, 2010 Kyra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely book. Ms Quindlen's writing style is reminiscent of that of one of my favourite authors Rumer Godden. The plot is a framework for character development, and both plot and characters slowly open like a flower. Corny, I know, but hypnotic & beautifully done.
The basic plot is simple: town loser finds abandoned baby & falls in love with baby, cranky rigid old lady who is his employer becomes a part of the conspiracy to keep the baby a secret, and, yes, there is a girl. Around this f
...more
Jennifer
Jul 27, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book tells the story of a baby left on the garage steps at the house named Blessings. The house's new caretaker, Skip, finds her and wants to raise her as his own. He hides her from the world until the house's mistress, Lydia, questions why he mows the lawn hunched over. (The baby is in a sling around him, and he's hiding her while mowing. He's too afraid to leave her alone.) Lydia decides to help him raise the baby, despite the fact that she is nearing 80 and hasn't been around a baby in s ...more
Nicholas
Oct 09, 2014 Nicholas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are parts of this book that are pretty much unabashed sentimentalism -- single, male, salt-of-the-earth working-class caretaker and rich, elderly woman with secrets take care of orphaned baby together. It's playing with stereotypes and your heartstrings the entire time. Well, it worked. I also think that Quindlen does enough to surprise you and upend some of your expectations that it resists being the saccharine treacle that it could have ended up being. Quindlen is never showy with her pr ...more
Lain
Dec 02, 2007 Lain rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe it's just some personality defect on my part, but Anna Quindlen kind of bugs me. I never got into her columns, and I wasn't crazy about her novel, "Black and Blue." And anyone who has the chutzpah to publish a book of "life secrets" that's only 64 pages -- and to charge $12.95 for it -- is someone I don't want to know very well.

That said, I thought "Blessings" was an okay book. Not terrific, but worth a read if you're 3,000 miles from home and don't have a lot of other choices (which was
...more
Linda Ostrom
Skip is working hard as an overall handyman for Lydia Blessing, after a spot of trouble with the law, basically due to keeping the wrong company.

One morning Skip discovers a cardboard box near the garage where he is living. He discovers an abandoned newborn baby girl. He decides that if he was to report the find it would make the child's life into a circus so he therefore decides to keep the baby and care for it himself.

Babies tend to change things in the lives they touch and this baby is no exc
...more
Sue
Sep 05, 2007 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually enjoyed this book, including the ending. It was an easy read with a back story that was brought out in a believable way throughout the book. I really liked the main characters but felt the weakness of the bookk was that I never really got to know the supporting characters.
Erin Quinney
Nov 05, 2010 Erin Quinney rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone (PG-13-slight language issues)
First of all, Anna Quindlen loves flashbacks. Object Lessons was infected with them. It's distracting and the whole time I'm reading all I can think of is a scene from the 1980's Chevy Chase movie, "Funny Farm." His wife is reading his "masterpiece" novel and bursts out crying. She says,

There's all these flashbacks. I'm not sure when any of this is taking place. There are flashforwards, flashbacks, and even a flashsideways. (Not quoting exactly)

That being said, Blessings is not as awkward as Ob
...more
Linda Hart
Dec 01, 2016 Linda Hart rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Pulitzer Prize–winning ANNA QUINDLEN is such a wonderful writer that she is listed as one of my favorites. Her prose is just lovely. Washington Post Book World said, “Quindlen knows that all the things we ever will be can be found in some forgotten fragment of family.” I concur. She really captures both place and characters. BLESSINGS is a powerful novel of personal change, redemption, and love. The growth in her immaculately drawn characters is well-developed and believable. I cared so deeply a ...more
Jayme
Nov 28, 2015 Jayme rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I found the book boring. The plot constantly jumps around, making it difficult to follow the story. Those long, long passages dedicated to Lydia Blessing's past? They felt a lot like being trapped on in the dark parlour of an elderly great aunt, forced to listen to her life story and uncertain if any of it is even true.

The story had potential, but the characters were depressing - and several of them were just evil. I disliked the lack of any complexity or any development of these characters. The
...more
Sterlingcindysu
Jun 30, 2010 Sterlingcindysu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't often give out five stars. This book really covered everything well--plot, character development, great pacing, no mushy/hollywood ending. Add to that that it was less than 230 pages! A great book. (copied review) 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 wa ...more
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"Blessings" ---Sonny's Secret 2 16 Sep 16, 2014 07:40PM  
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Anna Quindlen is a novelist and journalist whose work has appeared on fiction, nonfiction, and self-help bestseller lists. She is the author of eight novels: OBJECT LESSONS, ONE TRUE THING, BLACK AND BLUE, BLESSINGS, RISE AND SHINE, EVERY LAST ONE, STILL LIFE WITH BREAD CRUMBS, and MILLER'S VALLEY. Her memoir LOTS OF CANDLES, PLENTY OF CAKE, published in 2012, was a number one New York Times bests ...more
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“Four A.M. and the darkness had a quality of inexorability and menace as though it would never lift, as though, without anyone noticing it, the dawn of the day before had been the beginning of the last light ever in the history of the world.” 4 likes
“She had filled her days mourning that shadow life, and it had no more meaning than the chattering of monkeys. Instead, these last few weeks, she had seen what might have been had she not felt perpetually done out of something better.” 3 likes
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