Blessings: A Novel

Blessings - Anna Quindlen I really enjoyed this. Quindlen has a strong, clean prose style that skillfully picks the telling details that vividly evoke both setting and character. Blessings is the name of an estate in upstate New York. There are passages that lyrically put before your eye the pond with snapping turtles and leaping trout, the herons, the apple orchard. And the characters are well-drawn too, the two major characters are a study in contrasts. There's eighty-year-old Lydia Blessings, born to wealth and her young estate caretaker Skip Cuddy, who came to work for her straight out of jail and lives above the garage. They're bound into an unlikely friendship when a newborn baby is left on their doorstep that Skip is determined to raise as his daughter. Whether it's the small details of how an infant moves or smells, or the habits of mind of an elderly lady born in the 1920s, Quindlen writes it in a convincing way you think of as authentic. If I don't rate this higher, its not because I'm not conscious of flaws, but it just doesn't rise to a level where it moved me, made me think, made me want to dogear the pages because of a particularly striking quote or surprised me. But it was a warm, feel-good and entertaining read.