Martha Woodroof. St. Martin’s, $25.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-04052-7

“Woodroof nails the debut novel: This warm, wise tale leaves a smile long after the final page is turned.” —People Magazine

This book is a charmer: quirky, clear-hearted and effervescent.” —


Paperback is here!Small Blessings_tp

“A warm, caring and thoroughly entertaining debut that reads remarkably well.” —Library Journal (starred review)

“Along with dark humor and a confident command of story, strong characters and absurdist twists add to the fun.” —Publishers Weekly

“A delightful tale about what happens when good intentions go well.” —Good Housekeeping

“In Small Blessings, Woodroof displays a lovely gift for inventive plot turns and glittering moments. The novel brims with life and complexity and characters who never stop surprising themselves, and each other. This is a delightful and splendidly intelligent comedy.” —Margot Livesey,  New York Times bestselling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy

Small Blessings is a comedy of manners that will capture your heart. Woodroof’s prose is tart and sweet — smart enough to make you laugh, but with an aching soul that will make you cry. I loved these characters even as I was chuckling at the, and I know Rose and Tom are a couple you’ll relish rooting for…Get ready for pure pleasure shot through with moments of illumination: maybe this is how love really is.” —Lydia Netzer, author of Shine Shine Shine

“In the world of Small Blessings, to choose happiness is to take a risk… Optimistic, wise, and beautifully written, this book about love in all its colors, hope, and the glory of third chances will stay with you long after you close the cover.”—Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of A Grown Up Kind of Pretty

Order Small Blessings here! (indiebound) and here! (amazon) and here! (Barnes & Noble)


heart imageI so enjoy the theater of life, by which I mean the random happenings that unexpectedly delight us.

For example:

There’s a Family Dollar on the way to my gym.  I stop there often on my way to work out to buy an energy drink. The store is bright, cheery and cheap — and today it is packed with Valentine’s merchandise.

I’m checking out, chatting away with the cheery, young manager, when a stranger — a somewhat shy and shambly middle-aged gentleman — approaches the register. He’s wearing a plaid flannel jacket and a knit hat, and he’s holding a Valentine card.

“Excuse me,” he says.

I step back, figuring he wants to ask the manager something. But no, he wants to talk to me. He needs some Valentine advice, he says, from a woman.

“I’m your woman!” I say.

family dollarValentine Man hands me his card, asks me to read it. I do. The card is very sweet. I say as much. But still, he leans toward me, anxious for clarity. “Is it something I could give to a woman and not have her think I’m — you know — that I have ideas about her?”

“You mean, would she read this card and think you’re hitting on her?” I ask

He nods vigorously. “Yeah. You know, that I want us to be something other than — than just friends.”

I reread the card, consider its message seriously from my woman’s point-of-view. “I wouldn’t get any kind of come-on from this,” I say. “But then I have lots of men friends. You know what you could do is write a message on it saying how much you value her friendship. That would make your intentions really, really clear.”

Of course, the cheerful young manager has been listening. “That’s a good idea!” he says with enthusiasm.

Valentine Man looks relieved. “Okay then!” He smiles  a beautiful, sunny smile that lights up his whole face — the whole store, for that matter. “You know, I walked all over this place looking for a woman to give me advice, and there wasn’t a one, and then I saw you!”

“I’m honored to help,” I say. “And if you end up  not giving this card to your friend, you can give it to me.”

The three of us — Valentine Man in his knit cap, the cheerful young manager, and me — we are all beaming now.

I leave the store full of small, good feelings. You know, the kind that come from a sharpened awareness that all us humans are in this life together, and that our days are so much more fun when we stop for a moment to enjoy each other’s presence.

valentine 2

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