From a press release:
Martha Woodroof, author of “Small Blessings,” reading and signing, Aug. 26
Martha Woodroof Reading & Signing
Small Blessings, a Novel
August 26, at 7p.m.
Malaprops Bookstore/Cafe 55 Haywood St
A freelance contributor to NPR and npr.org, Martha Woodroof has now written a sparkling debut novel, SMALL BLESSINGS, about a small-town college professor, the son he never knew he had, and a remarkable bookshop girl, who are all brought together when life presents each of them with a second chance at happiness. Already receiving wonderful advance praise, the book has been generating lots of exciting early buzz, and Woodroof has been chronicling her experiences as a first time novelist in a ten-part series on npr.orgs Monkey See.
Tom Putnam, an English professor at a Virginia womens college, has resigned himself to a quiet and half-fulfilled life. For more than ten years, his wife Marjory has been a shut-in, a fragile and frigid woman whose neuroses have left her fully dependent on Tom and his formidable mother-in-law, Agnes Tattle. Tom considers his unhappy state self-inflicted, since Marjorys condition was exacerbated by her discovery of Toms brief and misguided affair with a visiting poetess. But when Tom and Marjory meet Rose Callahan, the campus bookstores charming new hire, and Marjory invites Rose to dinner, her first social interaction in a decade, Tom wonders if its a sign that change is on the horizon. And when Tom returns home that evening to a letter from the poetess telling him that hed fathered her son, Henry, and that Henry, now ten, will arrive by train in a few days, its clear change is coming whether Toms ready or not.
For readers of Helen Simonson and Anna Quindlen, SMALL BLESSINGS is funny, heart-warming and poignant, with a charmingly imperfect cast of characters. Readers will fall in love with the novels wonderfully optimistic heart that reminds us that sometimes, when it feels like life is veering irrevocably off track, the track changes in ways we never could have imagined.
About the Author:
MARTHA WOODROOF was a regular contributor to NPR news programs, and now writes for npr.org. She has also written for Martketplace and Weekend America, and for the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities Radio Feature Bureau. Her print essays have appeared in such newspapers as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The San Francisco Chronicle. She lives with her husband in Virginias Shenandoah Valley. Their closest neighbors are cows.
Follow Martha Woodroofs blog at npr.org/blogs/monkeysee.
Praise for SMALL BLESSINGS:
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
“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