Monday, July 17, 2017

Book Review - Saints for All Occasions

J.Courtney Sullivan has been a reliable author in my list. She spins family sagas with heart, develops rich characters, and produces satisfying conclusions.  Saints for All Occasions, her latest, does not disappoint.  I actually heard her speak once at a book festival. She’s young and personable and I’ve been rooting for her. At this point in her career with three books (The Engagements, Maine, and Commencement) under her belt, I’d say she’s doing darn well.

The book begins in Ireland and Nora and Theresa Flynn are headed to America. Nora, the elder, is responsible at 21. Theresa is energetic and pretty at age 17. Unfortunately, she ends up pregnant and Nora has to devise a  plan to avoid family shame. However, the decisions made will forever haunt them both. Flash forward fifty years. Nora sadly must deal with the death of her oldest son, Patrick. He was the good looking black sheep – hard drinking and trouble. Now what? We learn about the siblings – John, Bridget, and Brian and their interactions with their brother and parents. And what of Theresa, now Mother Cecilia, cloistered in a convent. What happens when Nora contacts her about this death? Suddenly an aunt no one knew about appears in their lives at the funeral.

p. 234  Nora:  Now she saw that marriage was like being in a three-legged race with the same person for the rest of your life. Your hopes, your happiness, your luck, your moods, all yoked to his.

p. 320  Without warning, grief might poke you in the ribs, punch you in the gut, knock the wind out of you. But even then, you seemed just fine. The world went on and on.


Saints for All Occasions moves between the past, the present, and the family life versus the convent life. Secrets in a family can break and bind at the same time. Sullivan spins a grand tale and it keeps you interested until the end. 

14 comments:

  1. Hi Joanne - I guess lots to learn here too - I think I'd enjoy this book - lovely to read your review ... cheers Hilary

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  2. A great review Joanne, to which appears to be an excellent book and will make good reading.

    Yvonne.

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    1. It keeps you engaged in the characters

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  3. How neat that you have met the author. That makes reading the book all the more interesting. Sounds like a good one!

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    1. Indeed been fun to watch her succeed.

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  4. Not my type of book but very cool you got to hear her speak.

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    1. and that's okay. She is a good writer but not in a fantasy mode, that's for sure!

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  5. Secrets can sure help play a part, taking family to heart.

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    1. ssshhhh. It's amazing what secrets can do

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  6. I like family sagas like this. Does sound like a good read!

    betty

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    1. It will be winner for you. Check that local library

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  7. Nice, strong quotes from the book, Joanne. I also like the idea of a fast-forward 50 year jump. Sounds intriguing. Thanks for another great review.
    Be well and keep smiling.

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    1. Thanks. The author knows her stuff and keeps you turning pages

      Take care my friend

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