Saints for all Occasions (Hardback)J. Courtney Sullivan (author)
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'This year's best book about family' Ron Charles, The Washington Post
A sweeping, unforgettable novel from The New York Times best-selling author of Maine, about the hope, sacrifice, and love between two sisters and the secret that drives them apart.
Nora and Theresa Flynn are twenty-one and seventeen when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America. Nora is the responsible sister; she's shy and serious and engaged to a man she isn't sure that she loves. Theresa is gregarious; she is thrilled by their new life in Boston and besotted with the fashionable dresses and dance halls on Dudley Street. But when Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan - a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand.
Fifty years later, Nora is the matriarch of a big Catholic family with four grown children: John, a successful, if opportunistic, political consultant; Bridget, privately preparing to have a baby with her girlfriend; Brian, at loose ends after a failed baseball career; and Patrick, Nora's favorite, the beautiful boy who gives her no end of heartache. Estranged from her sister and cut off from the world, Theresa is a cloistered nun, living in an abbey in rural Vermont. Until, after decades of silence, a sudden death forces Nora and Theresa to confront the choices they made so long ago.
A graceful, supremely moving novel, Saints for All Occasions explores the fascinating, funny, and sometimes achingly sad ways a secret at the heart of one family both breaks them and binds them together.
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Number of pages: 352
Weight: 598 g
Dimensions: 240 x 157 x 32 mm
Carefully plotted . . . Sullivan succeeds in creating a believably complicated, clannish Irish-American family . . . Engrossing * New York Times *
Moving . . . Eloquently testifies to the durability of the fabric of family . . . Touched with . . . warmth, kindness and gentle wisdom * Wall Street Journal *
A blockbuster . . . An engrossing family drama with feisty humor and transformative tough love * Elle magazine *
An engrossing family drama . . . Sullivan's profound understanding of her characters and the Irish-Catholic culture that defines them illuminates every scene * People magazine *
A breathtaking literary ode to life, change, and the unbreakable bonds of family * Redbook *
Fabulous and smart -- Emma Straub * New York Times *
With tenderness and a knack for depicting Irish grandmothers that anybody who has one will appreciate, Sullivan celebrates ordinary people doing their best to live saintly lives * Time *
I hope to read another novel as strong and wise and beautiful and heartbreaking as J. Courtney Sullivan's Saints for All Occasions this year, but I'm not sure I will -- Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls
A fascinating, riveting read -- Sarra Manning * Red *
Depression over the state of the world kept me from reading for a few weeks towards the end of last year, but I started again with Saints for All Occasions, devoured it over a weekend and found my reading mojo again -- Jane Green * New York Times *
This graceful and compelling family saga is beautifully drawn and full of grief, regret and wonderful period detail. At times Saints for all Occasions is achingly sad but it is always completely absorbing * The People *
Skilfully written, involving read * Woman & Home *
Beautifully drawn, with wonderful period detail. A compelling family saga, full of grief and regret, it's always absorbing * Sunday Mirror *
A fabulous read * Hello! *
In the spirit of Colm Toibin's novels comes Saints for All Occasions . . . A bittersweet story, but a brilliant one * The Lady *
Reminiscent of both Colm Toibin's Brooklyn and Matthew Thomas' We Are Not Ourselves, this enveloping novel follows a fraught Irish family through unimaginable trials. It introduces its two main characters as young sisters ready to emigrate from Ireland to America and follows them through the rest of their lives. All of Sullivan's characters leap off the page. You don't read this book; you breathe it * Independent *
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