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Saints for All Occasions: A novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 9, 2017
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"Fabulous and smart." —Emma Straub, The New York Times Book Review
“Moving… Eloquently testifies to the durability of the fabric of family… Touched with… warmth, kindness and gentle wisdom.” —Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal
“A breathtaking literary ode to life, change, and the unbreakable bonds of family.” —Redbook
“Carefully plotted... Sullivan succeeds in creating a believably complicated, clannish Irish-American family… Engrossing.” —Suzanne Berne, The New York Times
“An engrossing family drama… Sullivan’s profound understanding of her characters and the Irish-Catholic culture that defines them illuminates every scene.” —Kim Hubbard, People Magazine
“This year’s best book about family… Elegant… Captivating… Deft and insightful… A quiet masterpiece…impressive. Saints for All Occasions is so unassuming that its artistry looks practically invisible. In a simple style that never commits a flutter of extravagance, Sullivan draws us into the lives of the Raffertys, and in the rare miracle of fiction makes us care about them like they were our own family.” —Ron Charles, The Washington Post
“A blockbuster…An engrossing family drama with feisty humor and transformative tough love.”
“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.”
About the Author
- Publisher : Knopf; 1st edition (May 9, 2017)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 352 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0307959570
- ISBN-13 : 978-0307959577
- Item Weight : 1.45 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.63 x 1.2 x 9.56 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #548,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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A new generation enters with their own set of problems. Of this new world, they are only aware of the present, and a bit of their move from Boston’s Dorchester where their large extended family lives to their new home in the farther away Hull. The sudden move was never explained. Their parents’ past is unknown to them. A family tragedy occurs later as the children are grown and life unfolds before them.
Sullivan paints a strong portrait of Irish immigrants, the life and hardship that so many left behind with the hope of better jobs, improved education, while holding on to their beliefs and religion in a new country. What the second generation finds is that they are faced with a different set of troubles, yet some resemble similar predicaments of a previous era. We evolve but there is always difficulty and perhaps, we should not be so quick to dismiss the generation before us.
From the very first page I was pulled in by the characters. Throughout the entire novel, I felt I was standing in the background, observing, listening and sharing the experience. The characters are flawed, many reminding me of those who have also crossed my path. And yet, each one is so very human.
And this is what I love most about Sullivan's novels. How she captures the human spirit and family dynamics in a brilliant and reaslistic way. Her writing is beautiful, thought provoking and leaves the reader all the better for having read her story.