Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Blessings

The Blessings
Elise Juska

The Blessings

Genre: Fiction

Summary (from the publisher):  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.

Review:  I loved the idea of this novel, which was written from the differing points of view of various members of the Blessing family.  When one narrator's story is over, I always found myself wanting to know more about what happened to them, and the author inevitably provided insights into their lives in a future narrator's section.  It worked well as a story device, and the writing was vividly descriptive and emotional, and yet still easy to read.  But this just wasn't my kind of novel.  Primarily because each story was a little sad, focusing on the negatives in a person's life.  I found it to be lacking in hope, and I prefer stories where characters find some joy in their lives.

So I would say this is a lovely novel, just not for me.

Rating: 3.5 stars

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