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Download The Blessings Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Blessings, by Elise Juska Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elise Juska Narrator: Thérèse Plummer Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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When John Blessing dies and leaves behind two small children, the loss reverberates across his extended family for years to come. His young widow, Lauren, finds solace in her large clan of in-laws, while his brother’s wife, Kate, pursues motherhood even at the expense of her marriage. John’s teenage nephew Stephen finds himself involved in an act of petty theft that takes a surprising turn, and nephew Alex, a gifted student, travels to Spain and considers the world beyond his family’s Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood. Through departures and arrivals, weddings and reunions, The Blessings reveals the interior worlds of the members of a close-knit Irish-Catholic family and the rituals that unite them.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In Juska’s latest, her beautiful storytelling captures the trials and tribulations of the Blessing family. Told from multiple poignant perspectives, Juska’s story touches on matters of the heart and the importance of family. With genuine characters who resonate and a pace that moves along well, this heart-stirring novel is one readers will savor.”

    RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

  • “Several generations of the Blessings, a Philadelphia-based, Irish American family, come beautifully to life in a deceptively simple tale that examines the foibles, disappointments, and passions that tie family members together…The Blessings rally round each other—whether that attention is wanted or not—and the reader leaves feeling lucky to have spent some time in their presence.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “This family saga explores the ups and downs of a close-knit extended Irish American clan in Philadelphia over a couple of decades…This wonderfully readable work about family life will have you eagerly turning pages to find out what happens to characters about whom you really care.”

    Library Journal

  • “The Blessings are a large, close-knit Irish Catholic family. Living within a short radius of Philadelphia, all four generations of the Blessing clan gather together for every life event, no matter how big or small…This heartfelt tribute to the ups and downs of a large, devoted family is warm, uplifting, and recommended for readers from families of all sizes.”

    Booklist

  • “Juska explores the collective experiences, traditions, and loyalties of a close-knit family and the perspectives of individual members as they journey through a span of thirty years…The author has created an ordinary fictitious family and stitched together a multilayered, sympathetic account of its members’ lives.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A May 2014 LibraryReads Pick
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About the Author

Elise Juska is a writer of novels, nonfiction, and short fiction that has appeared in numerous publications including Ploughshares, The Gettysburg Review, Harvard Review, American Literary Review, Salmagundi, Black Warrior Review, The Seattle Review, Colorado Review, The Carolina Quarterly and The Hudson Review. Her story "The Way I Saw The World Then" was published in The Missouri Review and cited as distinguished by The Best American Stories.

Elise earned her Master’s in Fiction Writing at the University of New Hampshire, where she received the Tom Williams Memorial for fiction writing and the Charait Award for best short story. She has since taught fiction writing at The New School in NYC, in the MFA program at the University of New Hampshire, and at various summer writing conferences.

Elise now spends summers writing on an island in Maine and the rest of the year teaching in Philadelphia, where she directs the undergraduate Creative Writing Program at the University of the Arts.