The Blessings

The Blessings

by Elise Juska
4.4 16

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The Blessings 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Writefast More than 1 year ago
There is so much grace in this novel. I really love it all--the joy and heartbreak of the Blessing family, the scope of each chapter's shifting point of view, the precise and detailed language, the compassion Elise Juska has for her characters. Each chapter reveals deeper layers of the Blessing family--and each chapter has the precision of a short story, with the short story's focus on the unfolding decisive moments, but they all move together in a cohesive narrative arc that make it work as a longer piece. The little repetitions that happen, one character commenting on something that another story already spoke of, work really nicely too, like a series of overlapping circles that form a pattern about how real people live their lives, and how strong families return again and again to the only solution to mounting conflict--love. I've read all of Elise Juska's novels and many of her stories and this is without a doubt her most accomplished, subtle, powerful writing to date.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished this warm, frequently moving story. The relationship between the family members is real and so full of love and caring. Quite moving, beautifully written. It was a "blessing" to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Masterful storytelling. I practically read it in one sitting- it flows so well and feels so true to life.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Family is so important this book reminds us of it, great book to read! First of all this book is good, like watching a neighbor or even your own family dramas unfolding before your eyes. Years past and years ahead, this story gripped the essence of a family, "The Blessings." Family is everything to this large close knit Irish-Catholic family of Philadelphia. They face the tragedies of death and grieving and the coping of it. They face marriages, divorces, breakups, births, miscarriages, addictions, illnesses, graduations, colleges, getting old, values, temptations and resistance. One thing that this family has and will always have is each other to hold on too. Striking out to be known as an individual only reverts back to their safe haven, family. Here's a tibit of what this family is all about; John's family the bigness, the competence, the tight sphere of constant togetherness is something to envy. Supremely confident Lauren, liaison, informant, nurse, repository for every questions and concern. Two parts of John's life that he's always struggled to reconcile, like having two friends who just don't click. Holding on to that old couch and then just letting go. Making mom's dating profile. A blur in her eye, declared unfit to drive? What a traffic violation? Wrote a check for $80.00 and mail the violation in only to put the keys in a drawer never to drive again. Cataracts, so it begins, joints, bones, edema getting old:( Kate thinks cooking is subservient, ungratifying something you do for others and get nothing in return, Helen's thought when her son Patrick entered her house. Here Helen thought's of how her son comes home with no cook meal prepared. To end this review I found this profound, "The older you get the more you revert to where come from." The author's writing flowed like a wisp in the wind so effortlessly. Read right through the book, flipping pages after page and left with exasperating emotions. Family is so important, at the end, family remains etched in your mind a dimmer of the past that you take with you no matter where you end up. Great read, love it! Won this on Goodreads First Read Giveaway. Thank you, Darlene Cruz
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I felt as thought I was looking into a mirror of my family's life....coming from a large Irish catholic family, and in turn having six of my, and living in Philly.....the ups, the downs of every normal family written in a way to draw you into their tomorrow....I hope for a sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderfully written, don't let the multiple perspective part scare you away. I enjoyed all the characters and could connect with each in some way.
IrishLadyPK More than 1 year ago
This was a great read, very heartfelt and genuine. Related to everyone in one way or the other that has had family connection issues. Highly recommend!
Matilda1 More than 1 year ago
"The Blessings" is a wise, inspiring and achingly real novel that explores the dynamics of a large, close-knit family. I am amazed by the range of memorable characters whose minds Juska so skillfully and believably inhabits; I became attached to each of them for their idiosyncrasies, their strengths and their vulnerabilities, the ways they understand each other, the ways they may not, and the frustrations and grace-filled moments that happen as a result. This novel burst my heart wide open and left me me admiring the structure of the book and the precision, quiet beauty and fearlessness of each line. Juska is a master at crafting beautiful sentences and scenes, but what raises her writing to the very top tier is the humility and the wisdom she imparts into her work as a whole.  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I kept waiting for something to happen to make me like this book. I wanted to like it. I think that the lack of one overall "voice" was a detriment. Having different chapters narrated by different family members was interesting but there was never a unity in the overall story.
Two2dogs More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the book very much but the end felt very flat and contrived...which ruined it, in my opinion.
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