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3.60  ·  Rating details ·  16,602 ratings  ·  1,534 reviews
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 reason ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published March 30th 2004 by Fawcett Books (first published September 17th 2002)
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Average rating 3.60  · 
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 ·  16,602 ratings  ·  1,534 reviews

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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 i
Aug 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Carol Storm
Oct 12, 2013 rated it did not like it

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
Apr 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Jun 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Linda Hart
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Jamie Stanley
Mar 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
Jan 17, 2009 rated it liked it
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 rated it really liked it

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
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
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.
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
Dec 02, 2007 rated it liked it
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
Kaye McSpadden
Feb 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-fiction
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
Pam Jones
Mar 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Great characters. Interesting story. I already miss everyone.
Valley Brown
Sep 26, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Kara Hansen
Jul 19, 2018 rated it liked it
3.75 stars. This book was written some time ago, but so glad I picked it up as a summer read. In Blessings, we meet an array of characters. We first meet Lydia Blessing, eighty year old matriarch and sole resident of “Blessings”, the family estate. Skip Cuddy, a young man who was down on his luck is her newly hired grounds caretaker. As Skip works long hard hours, he comes across a box left on the property with a baby inside. Rather shocked and taken by what he found, he decides that he should c ...more
Mar 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
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 framework
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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
Anna Lumpkin
Jul 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: she-wrote-it, own, 2019
i usually love quindlen's work, but this was just awful. baby gets dropped off, young farm hand takes care of her while living in an old woman's house, xyz happen, and that's it. not a lot going on here, folks. i didn't connect with any of the characters and barely made it through. if you're considering reading her work for the first time, please don't choose this one! ...more
Sep 05, 2007 rated it liked it
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.
Aug 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
A young mother leaves her baby on someone's doorstep, and this book is primarily about the people who take the baby in. This is one of my all time top 10 or 15 reads. She writes very beautifully - lots of her novels are good, but I think this is her best. ...more
Kasey Hill
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful! much less 'dark' than some of her other books I have read. Great characters. ...more
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 stars

Blessings is the name of the home for the Blessing family. Lydia Blessing, in her eighties, lives there alone except for the housekeeper Nadine who comes daily and the caretaker, Charles (Skip) Cuddy who lives in the apartment above the garage. Lydia is mildly cantankerous, hugely judgmental and is all about what is proper. All bets are off when Charles finds a newborn baby in a box in front of the garage. This is exactly the sort of story that interests me.

The problem with the book is
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
File this under: You can’t judge a book by its cover. I went into this one thinking it might just be a “meh” read for me...but I ended up really liking it!

Blessings is a touching story about love, friendship, and family. I absolutely loved Skip and the relationships he formed throughout the book. There were a couple of heartbreaking parts that brought me to tears, which I did not expect at all.

I think the only negative thing I have to say about it was the fact that there were a lot of sudden f
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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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