Small Blessings is up for the Library of Virginia People’s Choice Award… please vote early and often
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 coming May 5th from Picador!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)


Pops baseball USEThe photo at the right show a cartoon someone did of my father, Jay Hege, back in the late fifties when he was head of the Community Chest in my hometown, Greensboro, North Carolina. Along with my  Washington Nationals baseball hat. Because to me,  Pops and baseball are inseparable

I think he really was as hard-driving in business as he looks in that cartoon. If there was something to be done, Pops wanted to organize people and get on with it. He was not, I think, a particularly patient man, and he was downright impatient with lollygaggers. Including his younger daughter when, for example, I didn’t keep up when the family went hiking. One of my earliest memories is of my mother saying to my father, “Jay, be patient with her, she’s only four.”

Pops, however, is also the reason I have never seen my professional life as in any way constrained by being a woman. And this is where baseball comes in.

My father was the only son of five children, his only children were girls. So, as he really loved baseball, I ended being his baseball buddy. Pops taught me to pitch — really pitch, not just lob the ball at the batter — while playing catch in our backyard. And he also taught me the nuances of the games we watched together on Saturday afternoons.

For a while as a kid,  my ambition was to be the first woman player in the Major Leagues. Pops never scoffed at this. He was the rare father of girls in those days who would look a daughter in the eye and tell her she could be anything she really wanted to be. If I was willing to work hard and not rely on some man to do life’s heavy lifting, Pops would say, there was no place I didn’t belong.

A woman’s place, he said, is everywhere.

Charlie and I watch the Washington Nationals a lot. The game of baseball, I find, has changed. Beane Ball — the application of sabermetric principles – has made “small ball” much more important. The Nats are fortunate to have the announcing team of Bob Carpenter and F.P. Santangelo who are much more  interested in the science of baseball than in talking about themselves. And thanks to Pops, I understand the nuances of this new, modern game they’re talking about


Reporting on NASCAR … I think for Marketplace

I never played baseball in the major leagues, but I was an early woman sports reporter. How well, I remember  my first days in press boxes; the surprised look on men’s faces. What is she doing here? 

Thanks to Pops (who also taught me a lot about football and basketball), I, however, knew I belonged there. And since I also knew the game, pretty soon, so did the guys.




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