Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Saints for All Occasions

Saints for All Occasions / J. Courtney Sullivan, 335 pp.

The story of two young sisters, Nora and Theresa, who leave Ireland in the 1950s and head to Boston.  Their paths diverge quickly when one of them becomes pregnant by a married man.  The consequences of their rift play out over generations, and a kind of resolution comes only years later at the funeral of Patrick, one sister's son.

Sullivan writes using straightforward, plain language, which gives an emotionally-charged tale nice balance.  The excellent sense of time, place and people here would lead me to pick up another Sullivan novel.   My only objection to Saints was a later chapter or two detailing the travails of Catholic women religious in the U.S.,  a cause with which I am wholly sympathetic; but the inclusion felt forced and was unnecessary to the plot.

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