There are good reviews and there are rave reviews, and then there are the rare few, that make you want to run out and get the book right away. Ron Charles, chief book critic for The Washington Post does that for Saints for All Occasions by J. Courtney Sullivan (PRH/Knopf; RH Large Print; RH Audio/BOT; OverDrive Sample). The novel is climbed up Amazon’s rankings, jumping from #257 to just outside the Top 100, at #110.

He calls the novel a “quiet masterpiece,” “engrossing,” and “ingeniously plotted,” and is most impressed with the way Sullivan develops her characters, writing that the book, “in the rare miracle of fiction, makes us care about them as if they were our own family.”

He is also lauds her writing chops, saying she “never tells too much; she never draws attention to her cleverness; she never succumbs to the temptation of offering us wisdom. She trusts, instead, in the holy power of a humane story told in one lucid sentence after another.”

Librarians are impressed as well. It is a LibraryReads pick and a GalleyChat choice. As we wrote earlier this week, it is also a title frequently on monthly and seasonal best lists.

Trisha Rigsby, Deerfield Public Library, Deerfield, WI wrote the LibraryReads annotation:

“Sisters Nora and Theresa Flynn leave their home in Ireland for a new life in 1958 Boston. Each adjusts to life in America in her own way. Steady Nora watches younger Theresa, until choices made by each woman drive the sisters apart. We follow the story from 1958 to contemporary New England, Ireland, and New York, exploring how siblings and children relate to their parents and each other as they age. Novels about Irish immigrant families and their American descendants are a weakness of mine and the way this story unfolds from everyone’s perspectives is very satisfying!”

Holds have yet to take off, although they are topping 3:1 ratios in a few libraries we checked, soaring over an 8:1 ratio in one locations.

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