Fiction Anna Quindlen Blessings

ISBN 13: 9780099446934

Blessings

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9780099446934: Blessings

One night a young couple sneak onto the estate of wealthy Lydia Blessing and leave a box in the driveway. In the box is a baby and Skip Cuddy, the caretaker who finds her decides secretly to keep her. When Lydia Blessing discovers this she has choices to make, as she had many years before.

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Review:

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. --Claire Dederer

From the Back Cover:

Praise for Black and Blue

“Quindlen writes with power and grace.”
—The Boston Globe

“Like her columns, Quindlen’s novels are written with intelligence, clarity and heartrending directness.”
—Newsday

“Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Anna Quindlen demonstrates the same winning qualities that inform her journalism: close observation, well-reasoned argument and appealing economy of language. This portrait [is] illuminating and, as is true of most anything Quindlen writes, well worth the read.”
—People

“A refreshing, wise and truth-telling novel about life and marriage...Quindlen writes about women as they really are—neither helpless victims nor angry polemicists, but intelligent human beings struggling to do what’s right for those they love and for themselves. A book to read and savor.”
—Kirkus Reviews
Praise for One True Thing

“Like a brush with mortality, One True Thing leaves the reader feeling grateful, wide awake, lucky to be alive.”
—Michael Chabon

“A triumph.”
—San Francisco Chronicle

“Readers of her columns in the Times are aware that Anna Quindlen has a first-class mind; now they will know
she has a great heart as well.”
—Susan Isaacs

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