THE RESURRECTION OF TESS BLESSING by Lesley KagenThe Resurrection of Tess Blessing by Lesley Kagen
Published by Sparkpress on December 9, 2014
Pages: 371
Genres: Family Life, Fiction, Women's Fiction
Paperback provided by BookSparks


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.

Reading time 2 mins

Don’t you just love when a book gives you good feels? This book was great and made me feel so good. The writing is addictive, I could not put it down. I want more of Tess and Birdie and more IFs. I rooted for Tess the whole time. The Resurrection of Tess was the story of a woman checking off her to-do list and couldn’t have been penned better!

The whole story is told through the narrator, Grace, who is Tess’ guardian angel/imaginary friend, (IF). Tess has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Tess had a traumatizing childhood with a mother who didn’t show love, and now she has a sister that won’t talk to her and a (possibly) failing marriage with two kids who have a bit of trouble showing their love. Tess sets out with a to-do list to make a few things right before she departs from this life. This story takes us through sisterhood, heartbreak, and abuse. Lesley Kagen skillfully guides us through Tess’ journey with tears and humor.

This book touched me in a way few reads can. Tess’ story is close to home for me. Tess is growing older and she suspects her husband may be cheating on her. As if this wasn’t bad enough her children are going through problems of their own and take them out on poor Tess. On top of that the only one who knows what Tess really went through in her childhood, her little sister Birdie, won’t talk to her anymore. She is lonely and suffering with PTSD that affects everything in her world.

I loved this tale. I don’t usually cry while reading, and almost never with someone sitting in the room with me. I felt bad for Tess. I cried big sloppy alligator tears for her. I just couldn’t help it. Tess and I have similar issues with our kids, and that really got me. Tess reminisces a lot, because her past is so haunting and her present is so not right. The characters felt so real to me. I rooted for Tess and awed at her strength. I appreciated that not everything got magically resolved. In real life, somethings just don’t and we accept what we got. This book shows that asking for help is necessary sometimes and true strength comes from within.

My Rating

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. She’s the mother of two and grandmother of two. She lives in a hundred-year-old farm house in a small town in Wisconsin.

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