The acclaimed author of The Cloud Atlas returns with a wondrous second novel. Set in a small beachfront Catholic high school, narrated by a beautifully complex heroine–theology teacher Emily Hamilton–All Saints is at once a mystery, a love story, and a powerful rumination on secrets, temptation, and faith.
By life’s midpoint Emily has seen three husbands, dozens of friends, and hundreds of students come and go. And now her classroom, long her refuge, is proving to be
Though her popular, occasionally irreverent church history course is rich with stories of long-dead saints, Emily uneasily discovers that it’s her own tumultuous life that fascinates certain students most. She in turn finds herself drawn into their world, their secrets, and the fateful choices they make.
A novel of mystery and illumination, calling and choice, All Saints explores lives lived in a fragile sanctuary–from Emily and her many saints to a priest facing his own mortality and a teenager tormented by desire. Told with grace and compassion, this is a spellbinding novel of provocative storytelling.
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|Title of Fantasy eBook: All Saints|
|Release Date: 02-27-2007|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||All Saints|
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I am named for virgins.
Four, actually: three saints and another woman whose canonization has stalled.
Saint Emiliana, aunt to a pope, died in the sixth century, never having left her father’s house. Saint Emily de Vialar didn’t leave her father’s house until she was thirty-five, when she received a large inheritance from her grandfather, which she promptly put to use founding an order of nuns. Saint Emily de Rodat devoted her life to teaching poor children and caring for what her biographers unfailingly call “unfortunate women.” And when the Blessed Emily Bicchieri (beatified in 1769, she, like me, is still awaiting promotion to full sainthood) learned that Dad was planning a big wedding for her, she said no: no, take all that money and build me a convent, please. Which he did and which she entered and there she died, forty years later. On her birthday. A virgin.
So it’s really no surprise, then, that tradition holds Emily is the patron saint of single women.
And no surprise, an Emily, I’m single.
And maybe it’s no surprise that in the fiftieth year of my life, thirty-four years after leaving my father’s house, ten years into a career of teaching children who were, on the whole, quite fortunate, I did something I had never, ever done before.
I kissed a boy.
When I die, a bell will ring. Mrs. Ramirez told me this over coffee, after mass. Mrs. Ramirez, half my height, twice my age. She also told me that she was part Gypsy. That she could see the future. That if I gave her twenty-five dollars she would tell me my fortune, and Father–she was referring