Family Blessings [NOOK Book]

Overview

The classic New York Times bestseller.

Lee Reston has a fulfilling life imbued with the love of her three wonderful children. Then a shattering event-the loss of her oldest son, Greg-tears her world apart. In her anguish, she turns to police officer Christopher Lallek, Greg's best friend. Their shared mourning develops into friendship, and...
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Family Blessings

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Overview

The classic New York Times bestseller.

Lee Reston has a fulfilling life imbued with the love of her three wonderful children. Then a shattering event-the loss of her oldest son, Greg-tears her world apart. In her anguish, she turns to police officer Christopher Lallek, Greg's best friend. Their shared mourning develops into friendship, and then something deeper. But life is never simple. The family that was once the core of her existence becomes a mixed blessing, as Lee explores where family ties end-and her needs as a woman begin.


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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ordinary people coming to grips with real problems are handled with a sure, restrained touch that makes this latest novel from the bestselling author of Bygones a moving tale. When Greg Reston, a young policeman in the small Minnesota town of Anoka, is killed in an automobile accident, it is up to his best friend and fellow officer Chris Lallek to break the news to Greg's widowed mother Lee. In the months following the tragedy, Chris proves invaluable to the Reston family, as a surrogate brother to Greg's siblings Janice, 23, and Joey, 14, and a source of unwavering emotional strength for all of them. But underlying his devotion is a clandestine and highly charged affair with the 45-year-old Lee, 15 years his senior. Is their need for each other really love, or is it simply comfort for two grieving people? When Chris proposes marriage, Lee must consider not only her judgmental mother and prudish sister, but also Janice, who has developed a crush on Chris. Spencer depicts the Reston clan with empathy, presenting fully dimensional characters with carefully limned vulnerabilities and hostilities. While residing safely within the parameters of romance fiction, this novel has an appealing candor that transcends the genre. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selections. Jan.
Melanie Duncan
Lee Reston answers her front door and learns that her son, Greg, has been killed in an accident. Chris Lallek, Greg's roommate and fellow police officer, brings the news and grieves with the Reston family. Lee, a widow who has already lost one son, tries to be strong for her remaining children and for Chris. Chris refuses to let her shoulder her grief alone, and through shared memories, the two are drawn closer together, first as friends and then as lovers. Lee and Chris face opposition from her family: her mother and sister feel Chris is too young for Lee, and her daughter wants Chris for herself. Only with strong support from Lee's son and from her former father-in-law do Lee and Chris find the courage to elope and make plans for a life together. Spencer delivers a moving novel, which revives memories of the loss of loved ones and allows a resolution of feelings and a sense of peace.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101219317
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 3/1/1995
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 156,264
  • File size: 482 KB

Meet the Author

LaVyrle Spencer was
born in Minnesota, where she attended high school and met and married her high school
sweetheart, Dan Spencer a decision she calls the wisest choice of her life.



Although she showed a flair for writing during high school, LaVyrle didn't begin her
first novel until she was in her thirties, working as a teacher's aide at Osseo Junior High
School. Spencer decided to try transferring to paper a recurring dream she was having
about a story based on her grandmother's lifestyle on a Minnesota farm. She awoke at
4:00 a.m. one morning, and as Spencer recalls, "you think that you can do
anything at 4:00 a.m. I wrote the first half a page in a three-ring notebook with a
ball-point pen." She finished that first novel, The Fulfillment, and it was
published in 1979.



LaVyrle Spencer could be a character in one of her own bestselling novels, as she has
experienced as much love, pain, and bliss as any of her characters. And like her heroines
she is a charming mix of fire and warmth, strength, savvy and soft-heartedness. Her books
are family love stories, and the characters in her novels aren't perfect, they are real people
with real problems. Before they live happily ever after they must overcome some sort of
adversity pregnancy, divorce, a lengthy separation, the loss of a loved one and then
undergo a catharsis. Along the way there are moments of anger, happiness and self-
revelation. The stories center on themes of abiding love, family ties and strength in
difficult times. According to Spencer, "the trademark of my books is mending
relationships, showing people how to mend relationships."



Whether set in the Old West of the 1880s, or today, in suburban Minnesota, opening
a Spencer novel means seeing love in a new light, and meeting characters so real it's all
you can do not to climb into the pages yourself.



In the last 12 years, LaVyrle Spencer has written 12 New York Times
Bestsellers. Her books have been sold to book clubs both here and abroad, and have
been published around the world. Condensed versions of many of her novels have
appeared in Reader's Digest and Good Housekeeping magazine.



In a television deal that Publishers Weekly called "precedent-setting," CBS-
TV is now producing two of Spencer's books for television movies, with an option on a
third. Home Song, the first book produced by CBS-TV, starring Lee Horsley,
Polly Draper, and Deborah Raffin, aired this past April 1996 to high praise. And in July
the filming started on Family Blessings. That production stars Lynda Carter,
and will be directed by Deborah Raffin and Nina Foch. The network also bought the
rights to first look at 11 other Spencer novels, as well as pre-cable broadcast rights to the
theatrical film of her book Morning Glory.



LaVyrle Spencer has already made the leap from page to screen, as two of her books
have been made into movies. Spencer's first novel, The Fulfillment, was turned
into a CBS-TV movie starring Cheryl Ladd, and Morning Glory, which Spencer
wrote in 1989, was released as a major motion picture under the same title, starring
Deborah Raffin and Christopher Reeve. LaVyrle and Dan appear as extras in the film.



LaVyrle and Dan Spencer live in a beautiful Victorian house in Stillwater, Minnesota,
and the Spencers often escape to their rustic log cabin deep in the Minnesota woods.
LaVyrle's hobbies include gardening, travel, gourmet cooking, entertaining, playing bass
guitar and the electronic piano, photography, and observing nature.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(5)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2004

    A Wonderful Story....

    I found it very believable that Chris could fall in love with Lee, who, at age 45, looked 45. That is to say, she had a few flaws and she was attractive and nice. However, I don't believe for one second that Chris's co-workers didn't snicker behind his back or make a few crude jokes about his relationship with Lee. I also don't believe that a handsome, nice, unmarried man like Chris didn't date - it had been two years since his last date! As good as Ms Spencer is about creating 'real' characters, she sometimes fall into a 'naive' mode. Overall, this book was really good, though. Chris was a truly great guy who took on a lot of responsibility and handled it well.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2009

    Amazing!

    This story touched my heart. Made me cry,laugh,grind my teeth with frustration lol...Pulled me in from the first page and everything else was on hold. I loved the characters and the whole book! The author is truly a great find for me one day browsing books in the library. I had just finished Bitter Sweet and didnt think i could find another story as touching. Ms Spencer is a wonderful storyteller and author, and i truly recommend these two books. Going back to the library today and getting more books from her. Enjoy! I know i did and will continue to do so.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2003

    The Best LaVyrle Spencer book yet!!

    I loved this book! It was so magnificently written. You could experience the emotions of the characters as you read. Christopher was my favorite character. He wasn't afraid of his feelings. Great job LaVyrle.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2002

    The best family story I ever read

    When I sat down to read this book I thought it would be like every other book I read. Well I have to say it was the best book I ever read. I sat down to read and didn't stop until I was finished. I was so captivated by the story. The characters were wonderful, the ending was just as it should have been.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2001

    GREAT STORY

    THIS WAS THE FIRST L.SPENCER BOOK I EVER READ AND I LOVED IT! IT REALLY TOUCHED ON REAL LIFE.WHAT HAPPENED TO THIS WOMAN COULD HAPPEN TO ANYONE.IT ALSO HAD A FANTASY TWIST OF HER GETTING INVOLVED WITH HER SON'S YOUNGER FRIEND AND HER DAUGHTERS RESENTMENT OF THAT RELATIONSHIP. YOU WILL ENJOY READING THIS BOOK

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2001

    A Beautiful Story

    Every time I read a book of Lavyrle Spencer it touches my heart. Well this book did it again!!!! ¡What a beautiful story!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2001

    Great Book!

    I bought this book as a 'Bargain Book' at my bookstore and I just loved it. It was hard to put down. It is still my favorite book of all the ones I have read and I have read many. LaVyrle Spencer has a way of making her charactors seem so real. This is a book I will keep and read again someday. I saw the movie based on this book and it was lacking a lot of detail. The book is so much better. This was also my first LaVyrle Spencer book. I had not heard of her before buying it. I am now a devoted reader of her books. She is a great writer.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    Great Read

    Loved this one Great Read

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  • Posted December 15, 2012

    Bittersweet was my favorite until I read Family Blessings. Someo

    Bittersweet was my favorite until I read Family Blessings. Someone gave it to me about twelve years ago and it is one that I keep going back to read again once in awhile, I enjoyed it so much. Lee and Chris really come to life for me in this book. This is my absolute favorite romance novel.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted June 15, 2011

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    Posted March 9, 2009

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    Posted October 24, 2008

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