Saints for All Occasions Book Cover Saints for All Occasions
J. Courtney Sullivan
Fleet / Hachette
June 13, 2017


Nora and Theresa Flynn are twenty-one and seventeen when they leave their small village in Ireland and journey to America.


Nora is the responsible sister; she's shy and serious and engaged to a man she isn't sure that she loves. Theresa is gregarious; she is thrilled by their new life in Boston and besotted with the fashionable dresses and dance halls on Dudley Street. But when Theresa ends up pregnant, Nora is forced to come up with a plan - a decision with repercussions they are both far too young to understand.


Fifty years later, Nora is the matriarch of a big Catholic family with four grown children: John, a successful, if opportunistic, political consultant; Bridget, privately preparing to have a baby with her girlfriend; Brian, at loose ends after a failed baseball career; and Patrick, Nora's favorite, the beautiful boy who gives her no end of heartache.


Estranged from her sister and cut off from the world, Theresa is a cloistered nun, living in an abbey in rural Vermont. Until, after decades of silence, a sudden death forces Nora and Theresa to confront the choices they made so long ago.


A graceful, supremely moving novel from one of our most beloved writers, SAINTS FOR ALL OCCASIONS explores the fascinating, funny, and sometimes achingly sad ways a secret at the heart of one family both breaks them and binds them together.







J. COURTNEY SULLIVAN is the New York Times best-selling author of the novels The EngagementsMaine, and Commencement. Maine was named a 2011 Time magazine Best Book of the Year and a Washington Post Notable Book. The Engagements was one of PeopleMagazine’s Top Ten Books of 2013 and an Irish Times Best Book of the Year, and has been translated into seventeen languages. She has contributed to The New York Times Book Review, the Chicago TribuneNew York magazine, ElleGlamourAllureReal Simple, and O: The Oprah Magazine, among many other publications. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.





‘This year’s best book about family’ Ron Charles, The Washington Post





I completely devoured this book in two sittings. I would have preferred one but as I said earlier, those days are most certainly behind me. I’m almost convinced after reading Saints for all Occasions, I was an Irish immigrant in a previous life.


From a personal level, there was a certain sense of familiarity, especially in terms of family dysfunction, scandals and secrets. I’m normally one to shy away from family dysfunction on the page or screen, no matter how good the story line, having lived through it but this book manages love, life, all the craziness in between and the themes that go hand in hand with dysfunctional family life well.


Courtney’s writing style is easy to read and somewhat captivating. You’ll find this book hard to put down.




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Managing Editor of Agent Mystery Case. Follow Raychael aka Mystery Case on her mystery adventures 'casing' people, products and places to bring you her worth casing favourites.