Saints for All Occasions

Saints for All Occasions

A Novel

Book - 2017
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"A sweeping, unforgettable novel fromThe New York Timesbest-selling author ofMaine, 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 from one of our most beloved writers, 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"-- Provided by publisher.
"A sweeping novel about two sisters--one the matriarch of a boisterous Irish Catholic family, the other a cloistered nun, hidden from the world--and the secret that drove them apart"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 2017
Edition: First Edition
ISBN: 9780307959577
0307959570
9780307949806
Characteristics: 335 pages ; 25 cm

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i
IrishCoffee
Jul 08, 2018

I thought that the characters were very thinly developed. The main character, Nora, was extremely unsympathetic. The description of Abbey life was the best part of the novel for me.

s
singasong70
May 31, 2018

Like previous comment, read due to (high rating) of Washington Post, did not like it, find it readable, wouldn't recommend. Didn't like characters or believable I thought, main character particularly grating, unrelenting references to drinking, pubs, language (of characters) made them hard and jaded. Slog to get through, almost gave up on it.

a
ABrown84
Apr 09, 2018

It was good but I felt like it ended abrubtly and that was mostly likely by desgin so I got over it. I would have liked to know if the secret about Patrick was ever reaveld to his sibblings. I also was interested in Bridget and Natalie and what happened with them, So I was disapointed. This is the second book by Courtney Sullivan I have read and I am about to begin a third soon she is a writer with stories that cause me to become completly engaged in her books.

f
FoxLarkin
Mar 01, 2018

I loved this book: the ending especially: being left with ambiguity re: whether or not the truth to those left behind would ever be revealed: the legacy of secrets change lives

s
sandraperkins
Nov 25, 2017

This book was disappointing. It was recommended in a Seattle Times article, but it is really not very good. The characters are not believable or especially likeable. This is another dysfunctional family, but the characters are not very interesting. Each character is a caricature of some "type." The sister who becomes a nun is just not convincing. The author alludes to problems (e.g, pedophile priests) in the church, but her treatment is superficial. I kept reading, thinking it would get better and would tie together in the end. It did not. I am sorry I wasted my time reading this book.

a
AnneCarolineDrake
Oct 01, 2017

The sloppy editing of this book was annoying. The medal the sisters pinned to Patrick's diaper, for example, became a pendant later in the book. The details of a fight involving Patrick and Rory McClain similarly shifted.

It was also annoying that so many story lines were endlessly repeated without ever being brought to a natural conclusion. Couldn't there have been a few words of mourning for poor Charlie? How could Nora not know what happened to the family farm after her brother's death? How could John and Patrick not notice how much Patrick resembled Rory? It isn't credible that in a hard-drinking, boisterous Irish family that nobody ever slipped and mentioned the absent Aunt Theresa. Patrick never told John about the pedophile priest?

d
davidp3
Sep 23, 2017

I liked it a lot! I've posted a video of the author discussing the book.

b
brangwinn
Sep 04, 2017

If you enjoyed Colm Toibin’s Brooklyn, this book with its multilayered story about two Irish sisters who emigrated to Boston Massachusetts in the 1950’s will be equally appealing. Like Toibin, Sullivan can create memorable characters who shape and are shaped by their experiences. When one sister gives birth out of wedlock to a baby boy, the other sister and her husband adopt the baby. This action shapes the entire story, showing how, even in close knit families like the immigrant Irish, secrets which are meant to shelter others from pain can impact all in the family.

f
furlan
Jul 19, 2017

I was disappointed in this novel- in fact, I quit reading it after 125 pages. I didn't find any of the characters to be very likeable. I felt the story was not very original or well written.

HMWLibrary2017 Jul 14, 2017

There are a million Irish Catholic immigrant stories out there, but this one stands out. The characters are well-drawn and interesting. I especially loved the ending which stubbornly refused to answer every single unanswered question and tie the whole story up with a nice pretty bow.

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