The Blessings are a pretty typical family in Philadelphia. They have seen struggles and heartache, as well as happiness and celebrations.
Abby narrates the first chapter as a new college student coming home from break to celebrate the holidays. She enjoys time with her mother's side of the family and her siblings. As various members of the Blessing family narrate their own stories, years pass. Her aunt Lauren (married to Abby's uncle) is widowed as Jeff succumbs to kidney cancer, and Lauren is left to raise her children by herself.
These children, Elena and Max grow up without their father, but closely tied to their dad's family. Abby's parents separate and divorce, her sister is treated for an eating disorder, and time marches on. Through all of it the Blessing family remains intact, getting together in good times as well as challenging ones.
As I began reading I wasn't sure if this format would work for me. Yet, the more I read, the more I enjoyed seeing the different perspectives of these family members. Everyone's lives were so interconnected that the events they experienced impacted the others as well as themselves.
I would love to see how time continues to change this family. Juska's characters were so human that the Blessing family could easily be mine or yours, the experiences unique yet universal to families everywhere.