What’s on my nightstand? The Possibilities of Sainthood, by Donna Freitas. I finished this book earlier this week, but since I have little to say yet about the one I just started, I’m going back to this one. I liked it. I particularly liked learning a few things about the 5,000+ Catholic saints, especially what they are for or against. For instance, St. Walburga, Patron Saint of Harvests, Against Storms and Coughing. Or, St. Augustine, Patron Saint of Brewers; Printers; Kalamazoo, MI; and Sore Eyes.
I’ve done zero research as to the facts about these saints, but given that Donna Freitas is an Assistant Professor of Religion at Boston University, I’m willing to take her word for it.
I find the seemingly random and detailed issues over which the saints watch interesting and the combination assigned to some amusing. It’s a great thread for a novel.
Another thing I especially liked about this book was that the main character, Antonia, is a generally happy, capable, and well-adjusted girl. Her problems are normal and relatively small, yet they are sufficient to drive an engaging story.
One of the audiobooks I listened to while reading this one had a main character that is Dickens-sweet and good. She makes the sweetest lemonade out of every blasted lemon in her life. Much as I wanted to like the book (it’s by one of my favorite authors), I found it boooooring and predictable. Unfortunately, that feeds into the notion that good, happy, well-adjusted characters don’t work in literature, and that bugs me to no end.
So, cheers for The Possibilities of Sainthood!
This is one of the March suggested reads by the postergirlz, the readergirlz advisory council. It’s got what I call a Margaret Peterson Haddix premise, meaning the premise alone is so interesting and (often) unusual that it makes me want to read the book. Haddix is the hands-down Queen of these, in my opinion, but Zevin hits on one here. The amnesiac, Naomi, doesn’t lose all of her memories, just the last four years, ages 12 to 16. Her post-accident thoughts, feelings, and opinions are different from her apparent pre-accident thoughts, feelings, and opinions, so the story, I presume (I’ve just started it), will be about how she’s going to deal with those differences.
I’ve been listening a lot, lingering on that cold walk to the mailbox, doing a little extra cleaning, etc.