Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Blessings by Anna Quindlen

On a fading family estate, an abandoned newborn baby changes the lives of both the troubled young caretaker who finds her and the home's former socialite matriarch.

A main theme of the book is secrets - everybody's got 'em - and how the weight of those secrets affects their lives. Nearing the end of her life, Lydia Blessing is starting to have a different perspective on the choices she's made in life. Even the baby is both a mystery and a secret.

Skip's a good guy with bad friends and decisions to make on the direction of the rest of his life. He went to jail rather than rat out his friends, but now that he's on parole he's inspired not to fall back into the old comfortable ruts. His raising the baby is destined for failure, but everyone seems willing to overlook that fate for awhile, anyway.

We chose this for the library's book discussion, and I worried this book was would be too saccharine for my taste. It is sweet, but I loved that it didn't work out as tied-in-a-bow as I'd worried, and the characters were more complex that anticipated. It's more a slice-of-life story than the parable for clean living I'd anticipated.

Also, I listened to the audiobook, which was read by actress Joan Allen - quite the A-list talent!

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