When John Blessing dies and leaves behind two small children, the loss reverberates across his extended family for years to come. His young widow, Lauren, finds solace in her large clan of in-laws, while his brother's wife Kate pursues motherhood even at the expense of her marriage. John's teenage nephew Stephen finds himself involved in an act of petty theft that takes a surprising turn, and nephew Alex, a gifted student, travels to Spain and considers the world beyond his family's Northeast Philadelphia neighborhood. Through departures and arrivals, weddings and reunions, THE BLESSINGS reveals the interior worlds of the members of a close-knit Irish-Catholic family and the rituals that unite them.
"There's no shortage of novels about the quirks and tragedies of large families, but The Blessings is a uniquely poignant, prismatic look at an Irish-Catholic clan as it rallies after losing one of its own."-Entertainment Weekly
"[A] bighearted novel. . . . Juska's moving, multifaceted portrait of the Blessing family gleams like a jewel."-Philadelphia Inquirer
"Fans of writers like Anne Tyler, Alice McDermott and even Richard Yates will revel in Juska's resplendent novel detailing two decades in the life of the Blessing clan. The story carefully balances the highs and lows of the everyday through the author's exquisite prism."-BookReporter.com
"Several generations of the Blessings, a Philadelphia-based, Irish-American family, come beautifully to life in a deceptively simple tale that examines the foibles, disappointments and passions that tie family members together. . . the reader leaves feeling lucky to have spent some time in their presence."-Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Elise Juska is so good at describing people, places, and moments that you not only picture them, you feel them."-Curtis Sittenfeld
"Afamily so real in all their sorrow, joy and complexity that they could be yours or mine . . . bursting with wise observations about the nature of love and belonging."-J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times-bestselling author of The Engagements and Maine
About the Author
Elise Juska's fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Ploughshares, the Gettysburg Review, the Missouri Review, Good Housekeeping, the Hudson Review, Harvard Review, and many other publications. She is the recipient of the Alice Hoffman Prize for Fiction from Ploughshares and her work has been cited in The Best American Short Stories. She lives in Philadelphia, where she is the director of the undergraduate creative writing program at the University of the Arts.
Praise for The Blessings…
"There's no shortage of novels about the quirks and tragedies of large families, but The Blessings is a uniquely poignant, prismatic look at an Irish-Catholic clan as it rallies after losing one of its own."—Entertainment Weekly
"[A] bighearted novel. . . . Juska's moving, multifaceted portrait of the Blessing family gleams like a jewel."—The Philadelphia Inquirer