Estate Planting

I just finished book number 44 in my pursuit to read 52 books this year, Blessings by Anna Quindlen. After a slow start, I was very impressed by this book. From the reviews and description on the book jacket, I was afraid that this would be Anne Tyler Lite. While I like her writing very much, this book was much deeper than what I have read by Tyler, if not as intimately written as Tyler's books. Like Richard Russo's Empire Falls (one of my all-time favorites) the book deals with a wealthy matriarch living in a large estate. But unlike that book, which held the old lady up as an enigma, Blessings gets into her mind by having her help her groundskeeper raise an infant left on his garage/apartment doorstep (the baby was obviously left there to be taken care of the rich owner of the estate). The most interesting parts of the book are the flashbacks into her own life that explain what forced her out of Manhattan debutante life and into lifelong exile at her family's country estate. At time the book reminded me of Ian McEwan's Atonement, but never actually reaches the heights of that book.

Since none of the books I wanted to read next were ready for me at the library, I picked up Sandra Cisneros' Caramelo. It's either the story of a Mexican family traveling cross-county, or it's about the Cleveland Cav's rookie forward.


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