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Extended Audio Sample Blessings: A Novel Audiobook, by Anna Quindlen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (7,614 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anna Quindlen Narrator: Joan Allen Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2002 ISBN: 9781415919149
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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.”

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Quotes & Awards

  • One of the 2002 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 2/19/2014

    " Read this with the Morgantown book club and loved the sweet story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sheila | 2/17/2014

    " It's been a few years but I remember I enjoyed the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dana | 2/16/2014

    " I found Blessings to be an interesting story about characters who formed an unlikely family. I enjoyed reading about the changes brought about to and within each person by the presence of the baby left on the doorstep. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina | 1/29/2014

    " I thought it was okay. I had a really hard time keeping track of the characters. Quindlen is a good writer though. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dianesugars | 1/22/2014

    " Well, I really stuggled with the rating on this book. I debated between 1 star and two stars. I really did not care for this story, so I ended up giving it 1 star. I felt that this story rambled along and I got lost along the way. There were a couple storylines going on in this story and to me, it just felt cluttered. I really struggled to get to the end of this book. There was a shocking revalation twords the end of the story that just seemed thrown in the story for some interest, but I felt that the two main characters storylines just did not mesh together and I just could not find them interesting or likeable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam | 1/20/2014

    " I liked this story of forgiveness and responsibility in people in unforeseen ways "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura Turnbaugh | 1/18/2014

    " No real depth. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peggy Walker | 1/18/2014

    " I like Anna Quindlen's writing, and decided to read this after finishing "Every Last One", which I thought was excellent. This one, not so much. The descriptions were very visual, and I liked the main character, but I thought the relationships were not really developed and the ending was very unsatisfying to me. Ultimately disappointing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 1/16/2014

    " A wonderful beginning and I love the matriachal characters. This is a better place to start with Quindlen than Black and Blue. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bobbie Mission Viejo | 12/20/2013

    " Unusual but interesting. I liked it, but I'm not sure why - the ending was very "real life" as the hero of the story makes the right decision, which of course is the hard decision. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dianne Alexander | 10/8/2013

    " I didn't enjoy this book as much as I hoped to. Just seemed to drift between characters with no resolution at the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kourtney | 10/7/2013

    " A good beach read. You could see the ending coming from a mile away but that was okay. I liked all the details and family history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam Jones | 9/17/2013

    " Great characters. Interesting story. I already miss everyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 marcy | 8/12/2013

    " I loved this book. Anna Quindlen has been one of my favorite authors for many years, and I thought I had read every one of her books. Somehow I missed this one when it came out in 2002. Definitely worth reading ,especially if you're an Anna Quindlen fan! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jackie | 7/26/2013

    " I wanted something fluffy to read over the holidays....and I got it. This was a nice, albeit predictable story from Quindlen. A quick read. I would have enjoyed more plot twist but it just didn't happen. Time to sink my teeth back into Enneagram...... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wwpray | 7/12/2013

    " I love Anna Quindlen's editorials & love her non-fiction. This was my first foray into one of her novels & I liked it okay. I probably would've liked it more had my expectations not been so high. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 6/28/2013

    " I love Anna Quindlen's writing style...this character driven novel included. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tara | 2/7/2013

    " This was just okay, it had more swearing then I care for and although I liked the characters it just drug on and on and the ending was not what I hoped for. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Misse | 6/1/2012

    " I liked this book and wanted it to go on a little longer, but I'll just imagine how things turned out... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Florence Primrose | 10/6/2011

    " Skip Cuddy, the young caretaker at Blessings finds a box on the steps. The baby he finds in the box changes the lives of Skip, the elderly owner, and many others. This book was somewhat predictable, but I really enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andra | 9/21/2009

    " This book was a little slow and I ended up skimming a lot of the wordy descriptions. Luckily, I found it at I time when I'm a big sucker for stories about babies born healthy and people who take good care of them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tori | 9/4/2008

    " I was disappointed by this book, esp the ending. The whole thing felt kind of contrived at times, and it didn't seem up to par with the rest of her stuff. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Caroline | 2/20/2008

    " Not a favorite. I didn't like the ending for several different reasons and it wasn't a make you feel happy book either. There was some unnecessary bad language that bothered me too. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gretchen | 3/4/2007

    " I read/listened to this book and found it to be very touching. Why did I listen? Because I didn't want to put it down long enough to drive. : ) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chuck | 5/4/2006

    " I enjoyed the book overall. It was an easy read with some good character development. I found the idea of Skip caring for the child a little hard to accept at first, but it did become more believable as the story developed. It was worth the read and I am looking forward to our book club discussion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 2/9/2006

    " Such a touching novel. I loved the main character's description of the baby. It wasn't an entirely happy ending, but still fun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christie Zukor | 6/13/2004

    " Love Anna Quindlen but this one was a little slow for me. :-( "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mare | 7/18/2003

    " Enjoyed this book because of the characters and it was a fun quick read, but I didn't feel the style by the author is such that I'd seek out more of her books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gay | 4/2/2003

    " My least favorite of Quindlen's books. "

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About the Author
Author Anna Quindlen

Anna Quindlen is a novelist and journalist whose work has appeared on fiction, nonfiction, and self-help bestseller lists. Her book A Short Guide to a Happy Life has sold more than a million copies. While a columnist at the New York Times she won the Pulitzer Prize and published two collections. She currently lives in New York with her husband and children.

About the Narrator

Joan Allen has worked in theater, television, and film during her early career and achieved recognition for her Broadway debut in Burn This, winning a Tony Award. She has received three Academy Award nominations, including two for Best Supporting Actress for Nixon and The Crucible and one for Best Actress for The Contender. Her other films include The Ice Storm, Face/Off, Pleasantville, The Notebook, and The Bourne Ultimatum.