Small Blessings, by Martha Woodroof, is about a small college town where everyone cares about each other just a little more than usual.
Professor Tom Putnam is planning to live out his life quietly teaching English and quietly caring for his mentally ill wife. But a series of sudden events, beginning with the arrival of a new bookstore clerk and a letter from an ex-lover telling Tom he has a son, change that for him.
I want to tell you about this story, but listing the events just sound like random plot twists. Sure, there’s insanity and alcoholism, and a paternity test, a surprising death, a backpack full of cash, and a kidnapping. But mostly what matters is each character trying to connect with others.
This is, despite all the dramatic events, a really gentle story about fallible humans trying to care for other fallible humans.