Friday, January 06, 2012

Blessings by Anna Quindlen
This book provides an inside look at the residents of a secluded pastoral estate somewhere outside of New York City. The name of the owner is Lydia Blessing; the name of the estate is “Blessings”; the theme of the story is coming to an understanding of the blessings of life. Lydia is an octogenarian who definitely needs to learn how to let go of the regrets and hurts that have prevented her from appreciating her many blessings. Through the unusual circumstance of her young male grounds-keeper who takes on the parenting of an abandoned infant girl, Lydia finds happiness and contentment and a renewed connection to her own daughter.
Without going into details, I will say that this book does not have the happy conclusion that I imagined when I was about 2/3 of the way through. That would have made the novel feel contrived, I suppose, and critics would not have given it such glowing reviews. My overall feeling as I finished the book was that it concluded in such as way that the reader still has hope for the future of the young man… and the baby. But it was not a fairytale ending by a long shot.
Great characterizations – I felt as if I had met Skip and Lydia and Nadine. Interesting writing style – not chronological, but snippets of Lydia’s past are revealed throughout the text, fleshing out her background and the events that shaped her personality.

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