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Small Blessings: A Novel Hardcover – August 12, 2014
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“Woodroof nails the debut novel: This warm, wise tale leaves a smile long after the final page is turned.” ―People Magazine
“This book is a charmer: quirky, clear-hearted and effervescent.” ―Oprah.com
“A warm, caring and thoroughly entertaining debut that reads remarkably well.” ―Library Journal (starred review)
“Along with dark humor and a confident command of story, strong characters and absurdist twists add to the fun.” ―Publishers Weekly
“A delightful tale about what happens when good intentions go well.” ―Good Housekeeping
“In Small Blessings, Woodroof displays a lovely gift for inventive plot turns and glittering moments. The novel brims with life and complexity and characters who never stop surprising themselves, and each other. This is a delightful and splendidly intelligent comedy.” ―Margot Livesey, New York Times bestselling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy
“Small Blessings is a comedy of manners that will capture your heart. Woodroof's prose is tart and sweet -- smart enough to make you laugh, but with an aching soul that will make you cry. I loved these characters even as I was chuckling at the, and I know Rose and Tom are a couple you'll relish rooting for...Get ready for pure pleasure shot through with moments of illumination: maybe this is how love really is.” ―Lydia Netzer, author of Shine Shine Shine
“In the world of Small Blessings, to choose happiness is to take a risk... Optimistic, wise, and beautifully written, this book about love in all its colors, hope, and the glory of third chances will stay with you long after you close the cover.” ―Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of A Grown Up Kind of Pretty
About the Author
MARTHA WOODROOF was born in the South, went to boarding school and college in New England, ran away to Texas for a while, then fetched up in Virginia. She has written for NPR, npr.org, Marketplace and Weekend America, and for the Virginia Foundation for Humanities Radio Feature Bureau. Her print essays have appeared in such newspapers as the New York Times, The Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Small Blessings is her debut novel. She lives with her husband in the Shenandoah Valley. Their closest neighbors are cows.
Top customer reviews
The central characters are Rose Callahan, who comes to town to work in the college bookstore, and Tom Putnam, an English professor. Rose is committed to a life of no commitments and no permanent home. Tom is committed to a fragile, mentally ill wife, Marjory, who has taken up all of his energy for the last twenty years. The sudden death of one character and the unexpected arrival of another opens up new possibilities for both. But the idea of living, really living a happy life is as frightening for them as it is intriguing.
Small Blessings was a delightful read that reminded me a bit of Maeve Binchy’s novels—full of good-hearted people, good sense, and plot twists that work themselves out to a satisfying conclusion.
The prose was unexpected also, often brilliant, sometimes funny and poignant. I found myself going back many times to smilingly re-read a sentence that had caught me off guard. I know I'll return to this book in my mind many times.