Dec 01, 2020
All Saints
Posted by Liam Callanan

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 friendsThe 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 anything but 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.From the Hardcover edition.

  • Title: All Saints
  • Author: Liam Callanan
  • ISBN: 9780385336963
  • Page: 449
  • Format: Hardcover
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    All Saints 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 A

    Diane

    I really wanted to like this book because Liam Callanan is such an entertaining speaker and a Wisconsin local author But I had trouble making myself finish it and found myself wanting to grab the main character by the shoulders and shriek Snap out of it So, if Callanan was trying to evoke strong emotion, he succeeded.Pace was slow, excrutiatingly so for me The story thread about the three students had promise and though that promise remained unfulfilled, Paul s character story were enough to kee [...]


    Linda

    I REALLY liked this book not everyone would, however It has few joyful parts to it Rather, there is one crisis or weird incident , after another In the same fashion as Wally Lamb in SHE S COME UNDONE, we have a male author taking a female point of view Calanan writes beautifully and captures Emily s slightly injured, slightly vulnerable, quite cynical characterization perfectly ALL SAINTS refers to the name of the Catholic high school I enjoyed the saints stories intermixed with the plot The aut [...]


    Katie

    The story of how a neurotic woman teaching at a Catholic high school assumes everything is always about her.Okay, I m exaggerating This is the story of Emily Hamilton, a woman who is constantly restating her name, as well as the pronoun I, throughout this story of her romantic entanglements with students and a dying priest I initially thought the approach would be satirical Emily s propensity for saying clearly ridiculous things like when I am finally elected president or pope don t seem to allo [...]


    Pauline Harder

    Apparently a pullitzer prize short lister, but deliberately tries to be vague and obscure Characters never say anything they are thinking out loud and never even let us know what they are thinking but just hint at it as if if we were perceptive readers we d surely know But we re too damned dumb or the author is just so subtle and esoteric Almost can t picture any of the characters no real sense of who they are Seems pretentious.


    Jake

    Both frustrating and beautiful this is one of the powerful books that I ve read in a long time It s not often that I would want to both hurl a book against the wall for not telling me something, and then moments later make me pause and think for 10 minutes Better to read with less distractions, where you can really take some time with it.


    Dai

    Catholic theology An illicit affair between a teacher and a student A very sarcastic narrator What s not to love here


    Baglady

    Comedic tragedy, tragic comedy, your choice A 50 something now single Catholic female teacher narrates the tale of her never quite right life, with finally at last insight into why everything ended up the way it did, and not necessarily the way she wanted A conversational style lends itself to feeling like one is sitting beside the narrator sharing a bottle of wine which was destined for consecration at the altar until it was appropriated for personal use The story jumps back and forth in time, [...]


    Marian

    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 anything but Though her popular, occasionally irreverent church history course is rich with stories of long [...]


    Meghan

    The syntax of this novel is obtuse It is very difficult to differentiate between the narrator s internal dialogues and actual conversations in the book It is also extremely hard to identify what happens in plot and what is imagined by the narrator While reading it you don t develop any connections to the characters so you don t care what happens to them, even when you can figure it out The info provided on some of the saints is mildly interesting but the same information, plus , could certainly [...]


    Lee

    I enjoyed this book It was a truly different character study of a fascinating complex woman I laughed out loud a few times, was captivated by the insightful observations at others, yet could not help noticing that some of the details just did not hold together Perhaps my problem with this book is that it represents the postmodern constructivist view of identity and I favor the idea that, at least mentally, people are driven to create coherent narratives that explain themselves I so wanted, and d [...]


    Elizabeth

    I don t know what to think about this one At first I really disliked it the narrator seemed so irritatingly self absorbed yeah, I know, if you re the narrator, it really is all about you , and it jumps around in time constantly Some lines are very clever and some are annoyingly too clever There are moments of beauty and some parts that seem profound, but I m sort of mixed up about how it all comes together or does it come together I went looking for a professional review to see if someone had at [...]


    Mai Ling

    I want to give this five stars, but the end was so sad that I think I have to leave it at four The characters in this book are so rich so rich that I almost wish I was Catholic Just kidding Talk about a bizarre love traingle it may have had five sides , of all places, at a Catholic high school called All Saints on the beach in L.A I don t want to get into details, but the main character was quite a mess, and I love the way she told her story, picking pieces from the present and the past in a way [...]


    Beth Caruso

    I don t know how to review this book the writing was in many ways interesting and creative The story line made me crazy The book took on a number of very serious story lines and tossed them around as if they were everyday occurrences At times I wondered if I wasn t following the story correctly but I was Most of the story was somewhat slow moving and then the last 50 pages were all action most of which didn t add up to me So why 3 stars instead of one or two the writing and the fact that I could [...]


    Ann

    Emily Hamilton seduces the reader the same way she draws people to her in real life None of us escape unharmed Emily is so sure she knows what other people are thinking that she never listens and by not listening she destroys other people s lives Of course, all of us will recognize pieces of ourselves in the narrator and that in itself is a cautionary tale.This is a very interesting and engaging novel You may not ultimately like the book but it has a haunting quality that stays with the reader.


    Tanya

    This was our latest book club pick, chosen by a woman who s good friends with the author s cousin This was a intricate story, woven with tales of saints I found Callanan s short, fractured sentences endearing, emphasizing the conversational nature of this story Our group was intrigued at the prospect of reading this book written by a male author but told from the perspective of a woman I ll admit, I had pictured a masculine heroine until some of her physical details were revealed later in the b [...]


    Becca

    Intriguing subject matter scandal at a Catholic school interspersed with histories of the lives of saints I appreciated the unexpected turns of the story, the honesty with which the narrator, Emily, examines her ability to love, and the fresh conclusion she draws Her story, however, pales next to that of my favorite character, Martin, the priest having a crisis of faith Structurally, Emily interrupts herself and backtracks often, inhibiting the flow of the narrative.


    Emily

    Server issues, Server issues Before I start a rival website managed by my cat but still run better than yours Another man who doesn t know how to write a realistic woman Another author who uses thousands of words and hundreds of commas to say absolutely NOTHING This is a relatively short book that should have read very quickly and instead it just dragged, taking my will to live with it.


    Allison

    I hated the ending, but not because it was wrong or out of tone with the rest of the book Otherwise, it was a rapturous reading experience and I was utterly charmed by the foul mouthed, profane, irreverent, sarcastic Catholic school teacher with poor impulse control If there were people like this in it, I d still be Catholic I plucked this one at random off the library shelf for my Mom and then cracked it cautiously when she was done and my Tuesday night was totally hijacked.


    Suzanne

    I do like Callanan s conversational writing style, and this is an interesting story of faith, and the dysfunction it can sometimes cause I did have a problem believing that this was a woman narrator, however, I felt the voice was very masculine The ending, also seemed to come out of nowhere, and I had to reread it several times to understand what had happened Overall, an enjoyable read nevertheless.


    DeRay

    Wonderfully surprised at how solid this book was Not only was I engaged from the beginning to the end because of a well planned plot, but the narrative voice was nuanced and authentic in an intriguing and artful way And I can appreciate a piece of literature that is simply that a piece of literature This book made no pretensions about changing lives or being the harbinger of a new moral code It delivered a fine story and did it well.


    Sheila Reno

    Very interesting that a male author can be the voice of a 50 year old woman and make it work It was hard to get the rhythm of his writinga lot of not necessary by the waysbut refreshing in some ways as today s short novels are so succinct that it may spoil you for wordy prose The plot was good and each of the characters had value and meaning Good read Looking forward to his The Cloud Atlas It sounds really exciting.


    Linda Farnsley

    I enjoyed this book about a 50 year old divorced Catholic school teacher who is still struggling with her faith and finds herself in some complicated situations The descriptions of the characters was very real to me from the priests to the students at the school and the information about various saints was interesting.


    Deema

    The tale is very engaging The male author does an amazing job of developing the main character, a female Complex syntax works to define the throught process of the characters This story is not for everyone the charaters are deeply flawed and sad, yet you continue to hope the best for them as they struggle and make repeated mistakes Tragic, yet poignant.


    Sara

    Didn t expect to like this with its fifty year old theology teacher narrator who claims to be named after virgins, but the voice is intriguing, the narrator and the plot are full of surprises, and the sympathy of the writing was incredibly refreshing I ll be meeting the author on Monday wonder if that will dig up any new surprises.


    Sydney

    This book was really disappointing I picked it because the author has ties to the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee I was hoping to give a local author a bit of a boost But the book turned out to be much darker than I expected, with a questionable theme of a student teacher affair, that wasn t terribly creative.


    Rebecca

    I enjoyed the narrator s irreverent point of view and the writing style, but ultimately ding the story for predictability of plot points which are supposed to be surprising Also, at the time I read it, the tragedy piled upon tragedy just wore me down Maybe I needed to read an uplifting story about puppies rescuing children instead.


    Viki

    Precious but entertaining As I am near the protagonist s age 50 , its a little hard to feel sympathy for her as she succumbs to her fascination for a high school student But I am fascinated by the intercession of the saints lives with her narrative Just about the time the heroine started to get into the pants of one of her students I lost interest.


    Curlita

    Eh I had high hopes for this book about a teacher at a Catholic school Although well written, the plot deteriorates into a classic love rectangle pentacle It s annoying to read about a woman of a certain age getting all googly about a teenage boy Characterizations tend toward the 2 dimensional.


    Bobby

    the cover of this book proclaims the author of The Cloud Atlas oh that pesky The Thinking I was getting something by the author of Cloud Atlas I snatched it up The whole time I was wondering how could he possibly have written Cloud Atlas AND this book I finally realized it wasn t the same guy I finished it nonetheless Interesting in parts, but it never really pays off.


    Anita

    I liked this book I thought the teacher main character was awesome I love how she mumble fumbled her way through a few life situations I liked how the book was set up and how the author would take us through a few segues as the main character was working through an issue or explaining some idea to her class loved loved the humor and I liked the ending.



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      449 Liam Callanan
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      Posted by:Liam Callanan
      Published :2020-09-15T02:00:46+00:00