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Twelve Times Blessed Hardcover – April 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1st ed edition (April 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0066214750
  • ISBN-13: 978-0066214757
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,598,342 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The author of The Deep End of the Ocean delivers once again in this overstuffed story about a middle-aged woman's complicated second marriage. She chronicles one year in the life of True Dickinson, the owner of a thriving mail-order business on Cape Cod. Widowed for eight years, she is raising her 10-year-old son, Guy, with the help of her office assistant, Isabelle, and her controlling mother, Kathleen. On her 43rd birthday, she is lamenting her lack of love life when fate, in the form of a road accident, brings her together with Hank Bannister, a man 10 years younger than she. They court and marry quickly-then life gets tricky. Having been freewheeling most of his life, Hank is loath to accept his new responsibilities. True, for her part, must do more than just pencil him into her structured life; he wants to feel needed and integral. Hank, a sexy chef of Creole background, is as much a laid-back Southerner as True is a mistrustful New Englander. "He may be one in a million. Or this may be the biggest ratio of bullshit since time began," True thinks. Mitchard infuses the courtship and domestic life with gentle humor. Kathleen is a caricature of the withholding mother, but such characters as True's brother, Dog; her new mother-in-law, Clothilde; and True herself resonate with distinctive voices as Mitchard explores the intimate details involved in making a family work.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

The widowed True Dickinson feels a bit wistful on her 43rd birthday, but love shows up when she lands in a ditch on the way home from her birthday party. Look for a one-day laydown.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Customer Reviews

I had no sympathy for the main character, True.
Ruth
Having labored through the second half, with little additional (or unexpected) development, I wish I had skipped the last 200 pages and just read the last chapter.
jan
The writing is sloppy and too wordy, the characters go from one strange quirk to the next, and the story isn't consistent at all.
M. Brown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Happy Scherer on May 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have to agree with most of the previous reviews. This one is a disappointing, incredibly long read that I plodded through without much enthusiasm. The heroine, True, is a very immature woman who is impossible to like. She continues to do incredibly self-destructive things, is a lousy mother to her so-called beloved son, and doesn't listen to a word anyone says. She's condescending to everyone - including the medical professionals who saved her son's life. Her so-called beloved, Hank, is equally a jerk. But I didn't need 500 pages to find out that they deserve each other. Even the minor characters were neither interesting nor likeable. I have found Mitchard in the past, for example in her first book, to show a great insight into the issues and "voice" of adolescence - but I'm not sure she hits the mark with Guy - a pretty obnoxious kid. The adults in this story seem hell bent on [messing] him up as much as possible - his self-obsessed mother ignores his medical symptoms, slaps him across the face when he's in the hospital, talks about washing his mouth out with soap for swearing, and obviously emotionally drags him through hell and back during her ambivalent new marriage. It's hard to like a heroine who supposedly is motherhood personified when she's such a jerk. Finally, I don't understand this author's obsession with sexual issues and body fluids. Much more information than I need to know - for example - who wants to hear about a 10 year old boy's balls flapping as he runs down the stairs? Come on!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I began this book with hopeful anticipation but it wasn't too long before I considered abandoning Mitchard's 500+ page book. Finally, it was all just too much nonsense as just about every sub-plot in noveldom was dragged into the story. I suppose True, the main character, and Hank, the "younger" man exist somewhere, but I don't want to know them. Or even care about them. It's rare that I don't finish a book but midway through (why did I read that far?) I skipped to the last chapter and realized I'd wasted far too much time. A huge disappointment.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By T. A. Kane on August 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I was a huge fan of Mitchard's other books, but this one was just awful. Like other reviewers, I kept reading thinking that it would get better. IT DOESN'T! I don't understand how this book got published. The damage to Mitchard's standing will be long-lasting. (...) It was just awful!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 29, 2003
Format: Audio Cassette
Jackie Mitchard won a host of fans and hearts with her appealing novel, "The Deep End Of The Ocean" (also brought to life on the big screen). It was the story of a family; the dynamics that held them together, the pain that pulled them apart. To date, Ms. Mitchard has pretty much stuck to this familiar turf which she limns so well. Such is surely the case with her latest.
TV and stage actress Robin Miles imbues her reading of Twelve Times Blessed" with charm and understanding as listeners meet and come to care about 43-year-old True Dickinson. Many would think that True has or has had all that life offers. She is widowed now; it has been eight years since her husband died. It was a blessed union, but now she's raising their young son alone. Her business is a resounding success, and she has a large group of supportive, good friends. Yet, in her heart, True knows something is missing.
Chance steps in when True and her assistant are driving home on a winter's night and slip off the road into a snowy ditch. Their rescuer is Hank Bannister, a handsome young chef (actually, ten years younger than True). Nonetheless, the chemistry between them is undeniable, and immediate.
After knowing each other only briefly the two marry. This is a surprise to True's son, but he soon adapts to having Hank as a permanent part of their home. Yet, Hank has spent a few years unencumbered. A half grown son is one thing, but when True becomes pregnant it seems that domesticity may lose some of its luster.
As always, Ms. Mitchard is an expert at examining the tensile strengths of family love. Her many fans will relish another exploration of the ties that blind and bind.
- Gail Cooke
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Barb Gee on September 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I possibly would have rated this book a little higher had it not been written by Mitchard. The story line lacks the originality and insight into character of her other work, especially The Deep End of the Ocean and The Most Wanted, and to that extent, it didn't live up to expectations. It's pretty much a standard love the second time round story, except that the protagonist is a good bit older than the new love, resulting in too predictable rocky steps on the relationship pathway. Its strengths if it has any, are more in the secondary character cameos than in the main cast, especially in some members of the lover's Southern family and how they are perceived by the Cape Cod Northerners. Not nearly as engaging of the reader as Mitchard's earlier books, not quite formula driven but at times perilously close. A pleasant but forgettable read is probably a reasonable assessment. Definitely below Mitchard's usual standard
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 3, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I really have to wonder whether Mitchard had an editor on this one. Almost every line of French has a mistake in it (She can't even spell simple phrases like "Comment vas-tu?" correctly), almost every ballet step is misspelled ("chine" turns for "chaine" turns), and, perhaps worst of all for a novel supposedly set in Massachusetts, she uses the phrase "in Cape Cod," which a Cape Codder would never use; it's "on Cape Cod"!
Aside from the mistakes, the book is slow going and descends midway to the level of soap opera. Don't waste your time on this book.
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More About the Author

Jacquelyn Mitchard was born in Chicago. Her first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was published in 1996, becoming the first selection of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club and a number one New York Times bestseller. Eight other novels, four children's books and six young adult novels followed, including The Midnight Twins, Still Summer, All We Know of Heaven, and The Breakdown Lane. A former daily newspaper reporter, Mitchard now is a contributing editor for Parade Magazine, and frequently writes for such publications as More magazine and Real Simple. Her essays and short stories have been widely anthologized. An adjunct professor in the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at Fairfield University, she lives in Wisconsin with her husband and their nine children

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