The Blessings by Elise Juska is the perfect story to while away an afternoon or two as you acquaint yourself with this large Irish Catholic Philadelphia family. Told through the various viewpoints of four generations of family members, you will be surrounded by the simple every day life each encounters. This quiet novel loudly grips you as it brings you into every facet of their family life. From the mundane to the painful, you will sympathize and empathize with the members as you are made aware of all their trials and tribulations over a span of twenty years.
This moving, multigenerational story may be reminiscent of your own extended family as you read about the Blessings as they gather for occasions large and small- graduations, illness, deaths, holidays. Some of these events will stick in your memory as you remember your own mother, aunt or grandmother baking the same snowballs, pecan crescents, thumbprints or carrying the Corning Ware chicken casserole up the stairs to your relative’s house. Just like every other family, each generation of the Blessings has its own challenges whether it is a failed marriage, deteriorating health, an eating disorder or a long kept family secret.
You will come away from this book experiencing life as it used to be when loyalty and family allegiance trumped all, even as the years add up and people’s’ lives change. This heartwarming book is the perfect antidote to much that is going on in the world today. When you are finished, you will hope that there will be future updates about the Blessings. That’s a mark of a really good author!