Book Review: Small Blessings by Martha Woodroof

Posted September 10, 2014 by love2dazzle in Fiction, Giveaways, Reviews / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Small Blessings by Martha WoodroofSmall Blessings by Martha Woodroof
Published by Macmillan on 2014-08-12
Genres: Fiction, Literary
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: St. Martin's Press
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From debut novelist Martha Woodroof comes an inspiring tale of a small-town college professor, a remarkable new woman at the bookshop, and the ten-year old son he never knew he had.   Tom Putnam has resigned himself to a quiet and half-fulfilled life. An English professor in a sleepy college town, he spends his days browsing the Shakespeare shelves at the campus bookstore, managing the oddball faculty in his department and caring, alongside his formidable mother-in-law, for his wife Marjory, a fragile shut-in with unrelenting neuroses, a condition exacerbated by her discovery of Tom’s brief and misguided affair with a visiting poetess a decade earlier.Then, one evening at the bookstore, Tom and Marjory meet Rose Callahan, the shop's charming new hire, and Marjory invites Rose to their home for dinner, out of the blue, her first social interaction since her breakdown. Tom wonders if it’s a sign that change is on the horizon, a feeling confirmed upon his return home, where he opens a letter from his former paramour, informing him he'd fathered a son who is heading Tom's way on a train.  His mind races at the possibility of having a family after so many years of loneliness. And it becomes clear change is coming whether Tom’s ready or not.A heartwarming story with a charmingly imperfect cast of characters to cheer for, Small Blessings's wonderfully optimistic heart that reminds us that sometimes, when it feels like life has veered irrevocably off track, the track shifts in ways we never can have imagined.

This story is about Tom Putnam, who is a college professor. He has been married for many years to a woman that suffers  from a fairly sever mental illness. Putnam’s wife passes away just as a new woman shows up in town. Rose is new to town and she seems to intrigue anyone that meets her. It was definitely a little weird that Tom’s wife passed away very early in the story. It seemed that most of the characters just seem to mock the poor woman.

I can’t say that I really liked this book because none of it seemed very realistic. On top of that I felt pretty bored reading this novel. Rose comes into the pictures and seems to just be this shinning light for everyone. This novel is a very light hearted read. It will probably make a great beach read but I didn’t find my substance to it. I didn’t feel attached to the characters at all. I feel as if I can read it and be done with it never going back to it again. I just don’t feel like this book was meant for anything too serious.

The characters where alright. They had better moments I think but I like I stated in the earlier paragraph, I wasn’t attached to them at all. They weren’t interesting to me and I don’t feel like they were fleshed out at all. I want to see fleshy characters, ones that can seem like real to the reader and this novel was just lacking that. I don’t think that it is because of bad writing because Woodroof does know how to entertain a reader because she wrote a novel to entertain but I really think it is just small one time entertainment. This isn’t a novel I would ever read again just because I thought it was that good. Unfortunately I think this one is a one time read and that is all.



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About love2dazzle

Ali Kiki is a reader, writer, reviewer, blogger, and photographer in Portland, OR. An avid reader since childhood, you can usually find her devouring a book or stalking the bookstagram hashtag in her lovely apartment surrounded by books. Ali has been blogging since 2006 and she created Dazzled by Books in 2012. Her most recent adventure is making bookish candles for Stub Tail Candle Co., which are sold on Etsy.

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