Friday, January 9, 2015

Book Review: The Resurrection of Tess Blessing by Lesley Kagen

Members of the Vise Library were selected to participate in a blog tour for The Resurrection of Tess Blessing.  We received a copy of Lesley Kagen's book for an honest review.

About the book:

After she’s diagnosed with breast cancer, forty-nine-year old Tess sets forth on a mission to complete her TO-DO List before, what she’s sure is, her impending death. She needs to make peace with her estranged sister, Birdie, scatter her mother’s long-kept ashes, rescue her daughter, Haddie, from the grip of an eating disorder, guide her teenage son, Henry, through a bumpy adolescence, and reignite the spark in her almost thirty-year marriage to her husband, Will.
Tess is aided on her quest by narrator, Grace, who lends the story its most brilliant elements: subtle magical realism and deep psychological complexity. Is Grace an imaginary friend, guardian angel, or a part of Tess that knows better than she? The Resurrection of Tess Blessing is by turns poignant, gritty, spiritually uplifting, and hilarious as hell.
Lesley Kagen has created an unforgettable, redemptive story about a middle-aged woman with the odds stacked against her, who discovers that in the end, love really does conquer all

Tess Blessing has received some horrific news: she has been diagnosed with breast cancer.  She has a terrible feeling that this disease will kill her and she sets out to enjoy and make things right in her life.  She doesn't tell her two children that she has cancer, because she feels that they have enough to deal with.  Her daughter has a very serious eating disorder and Tess is afraid the news will spin her even further out of control.  She is afraid to burden her son with her illness.  Tess eventually tells her husband the news, but his original response to the news is that he believes Tess is overreacting.  Tess also believes that her husband is having an affair with the woman he dated before meeting Tess.  Tess has a lot to deal with and due to very traumatic events early in life; Tess suffers with PTSD.  Tess seems to expect the worse of her situation and worries more than normal people.

This novel takes you through Tess' journey as she learns to deal and suffer through this illness. She sets out to make things easy for her family and try to get to the root of everyone's problems.  Tess has long been estranged from her sister and sets to repair that relationship as well.  Tess Blessing has her own obstacles to overcome during this story.  Even though I do not know what it like to have PTSD, I can understand the way Tess operated due to her previous circumstances.  The reasoning behind Tess' daughter's eating disorder shows that something that seems so minor can trigger something major.  This also illustrates that even though you think you can be trying to hide your struggles from other people, you may not actually be doing a good job of that.  This book has an interesting way of showing the inter-workings of Tess' mind and how just one event can change the way you think and act.  You also realize with this book that things can always be worse and to enjoy what you have right in front of you.

Buy the book:
·        Amazon

Praise for the book:

“How wonderful it is to spend time inside Lesley Kagen’s creative mind. In The Resurrection of Tess Blessing, Kagen deftly illustrates her gift for blending the serious and the funny, the light and the dark. With a touch of magical realism, she once again creates a story that’s as hopeful as it is poignant. As a reader, I feel safe in her hands.”
   —Diane Chamberlain, international bestselling author of Necessary Lies and The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes 
“Kagen’s talent shines in this wholly original and richly imagined story where unbearable heartache is softened with humor and a touch of magic.”
   —Beth Hoffman, New York Times bestselling author of Looking for Me 
“Read The Resurrection of Tess Blessing, but don’t read it in public because it’ll yank the emotions out of you. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and by the end you’ll be Tess Blessing’s best friend.”
   —Cathy Lamb, bestselling author of What I Remember Most 

About the author:

Lesley Kagen is an actress, voice-over talent, former restaurateur, sought-after speaker, and award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of five previous novels. Her work has been translated into seven languages. A mother of two and grandmother of two, she lives in a hundred-year-old farm house in a small town in Wisconsin. Visit with her on Facebook and at her web site 

Connect with the author:
·        Facebook
·        Website

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