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Saints for All Occasions: A novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, May 9, 2017
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"Reminiscent of both Colm Toibin's Brooklyn and Matthew Thomas's We Are Not Ourselves… All of Sullivan's characters leap off the page. You don't read this book; you breathe it." –Janet Maslin, "Times Critics' Top Books of 2017," The New York Times
"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
J. COURTNEY SULLIVAN is the New York Times best-selling author of the novels The Engagements, Maine, and Commencement. Maine was named a 2011 Time magazine Best Book of the Year and a Washington Post Notable Book. The Engagements was one of People Magazine's Top Ten Books of 2013 and an Irish Times Best Book of the Year, and has been translated into seventeen languages. She has contributed to The New York Times Book Review, the Chicago Tribune, New York magazine, Elle, Glamour, Allure, Real Simple, and O: The Oprah Magazine, among many other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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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.