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Blessings by Anna Quindlen
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Blessings (2002)

by Anna Quindlen

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2,010584,948 (3.48)1 / 42

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There is immense sadness and loss in this quiet story. But, the tragedies woven throughout Anna Quindlen's novel Blessings occur in a world where love and forgiveness can still be found.

Skip Cuddy is the new caretaker for the Blessings estate. Once home to a wealthy family, it is now inhabited by the sole remaining child, an elderly daughter who is cared for by a maid who comes each day and Skip, who mostly tends the property. Skip, on parole after being released from jail, seems happy with his simple life, until he finds a baby on his door step. He makes a decision that changes everyone's lives.

The story is told in a matter of fact way that mirrors the quiet of the world of Blessings. The novel moves from the present to the past as Lydia Blessing remembers her own life, first as a debutante in New York City and then as the disgraced daughter relegated to the country where she finds she is content to stay.

This isn't a dramatic book: life happens, and we witness it, with characters who, for the most part, are trying to do the right things in a changing world. But it is a lovely written tale and worth the time. ( )
  witchyrichy | Jan 18, 2019 |
A young, desperate couple leaves an infant at Blessings, where the new caretaker Skip Cuddy finds the babe and decides to raise her. As he's on parole and the old lady Lydia Blessing is old and set in her ways, it may not seem like the best of situations. Can they manage to be a sort of family?

A heartwarming tale that reads very fast and was sometimes deceptively simple, while delving into themes of family and secrecy. Unfortunately I had one of the big reveals spoiled for me while researching for my book club before being quite finished with the book, so what should've been an "Aha!" moment was only a small nod of recognition. Though to be fair, there was plenty of foreshadowing. The ending seemed a little abrupt, a sense that the idyll couldn't have lasted anyway and though I knew that, it didn't make me any happier about it. A bittersweet tale exploring family, regrets and how we can never quite know if we're making the "right" choice. Lots of fodder for book discussions, too. ( )
  bell7 | Dec 22, 2018 |
While I liked the story in this book, I had some trouble with the flow of time. Within one page, you could be "the present", Lydia's childhood, and the time when she was first a mother. It was hard to follow sometimes because these flashbacks would happen in the middle of a conversation that would keep going throughout.
  sochri | Nov 21, 2017 |
A story of living and loving, reflections of the past, how the past shapes our future, but ultimately it shares that along our life journey, we make choices. And each new day provides opportunities to perhaps choose differently - opening our hearts, living and loving.

It is rare that I read a novel more than once. I know without doubt, that one day I will read this novel again. ( )
  Corduroy7 | Nov 16, 2017 |
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 Prize-winning 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."
  ObamaCenterBJ | Sep 26, 2017 |
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Epigraph
There will be stars over the place forever;

Though the house we loved and the street we loved are lost,

Every time the earth circles her orbit

On the night the autumn equinox is crossed,

Two stars we knew, poised on the peak of midnight

Will reach their zenith; stillness will be deep;

There will be stars over the place forever,

There will be stars forever, while we sleep.

--SARA TEASDALE
Dedication
For Christopher Krovatin, the dreamer. Who taught me to laugh constantly, love unconditionally, and live without fear.
First words
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.
Quotations
...she was cheap the way the rich are often cheap, about small things that do not last.
I don't know why you two don't have your own rooms. A lot of marriages have been saved by a little privacy.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
This powerful new novel 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. Richly written, deeply moving, beautifully crafted, Blessings tells 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 by the Pulitzer Prize?winning writer.
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No descriptions found.

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 Prize-winning 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."… (more)

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