SMALL BLESSINGS final coverReviews 
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)


Is there a heaven? Got me? But if there is, I hereby nominate John Grisham for admittance.


Let me explain…

I’ve been doing a lot of driving lately, both personally and professionally. Personally, because my friends are flung across a pretty wide geographic area, and they must be lunched with. Professionally, because that’s the nature of simultaneously working for a tiny public radio station and loosing your first novel into the world. And what a lot of driving means to me is a lot of time to listen to an audio book. And I refuse to make do with just any audio book. I insist on listening to audio book that makes me forget what a twitch-meister I become when I’m doing a lot of driving.

The book I’ve been listening to is Mr. Grisham’s latest, Gray Mountain. And my prevailing response, as a storytelling public radio person who lives in the shadow of the Appalachian Mountains is, “You go, guy!


Because once again Mr. Grisham is using the bully pulpit of his exalted celebrity to expose the greedy, destructive practices of a mega-business; in this case, the coal industry’s rapacious romance with strip mining.

Golly, I love how this guy takes on the rich and the powerful with story-telling; how he bamboozles the rest of us through character and plot into confronting corporate evils we might otherwise choose to ignore. As to why we chose to to ignore corporate evils, I, naturally, have my theories. But the only real issue – as Mr. Grisham reminds us – is that we do chose to ignore them.

I challenge anyone, however, to read Gray Mountain and then continue fantasizing that coal produces nice, clean power that we may gobble up with impunity.

strip mineThe thing about Mr. Grisham’s storytelling is that it seduces our consciences. After reading Gray Mountain, we have to at least acknowledge that a lot of our electricity comes from coal and a lot of our coal comes from strip mining, and strip mining is killing our country’s oldest mountains and irreparably damaging real people’s lives in the process. Just think about that, Mr. Grisham suggests, the next time you crank up the air-conditioner!  Just think about it!

Back to heaven…

If there is one, I’m pretty sure it belongs to those of us who have the guts to face the world as it actually is and do what we can to fix its problems.

Which is why I’m nominating  John Grisham for admittance.

Out my kitchen by Charlie Woodroof

Out my kitchen window…photo by Charlie Woodroof



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