Excerpt from The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Possibilities of Sainthood

By Donna Freitas

The Possibilities of Sainthood
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Aug 2008,
    280 pages.
    Paperback: Aug 2010,
    304 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Jo Perry

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


“Veronica,” I said, whirling around to face my cousin— who also starred as the evil nemesis in my life, not to be overly melodramatic or anything, because it is totally true. Veronica is eVil with a capital V. I tucked my Saint Diary behind me, making sure it was hidden.

Veronica was at the apartment trying to learn some of the Italian cookie recipes from my mother because her mother, my aunt Silvia, was determined that at least one of her three daughters would turn out to be a kitchen natural and grow up to usurp my mother at the family store. I’d thought I could successfully avoid Veronica’s visit, but I was wrong. My blood began to boil, but I took comfort in the fact that Veronica’s outfit was way too tight and her hair was so teased and sprayed that she was the caricature of a Rhode Island Mall Rat. “Remember when you used to be a nice person and people like me could actually stand to be around you?” I asked, once I knew my temper was in check.

“Remember when you used to not be such a total baby?” Sarcasm oozed from Veronica’s voice. Something— maybe almond paste?—was smeared down the side of her face. I bet she squeezed it straight from the tube into her mouth like a greedy glutton. “You and your mother think you’re so high and mighty.”

“Veronica . . .” my mother was calling. “Veronica? If you are not here to watch, you are never going to learn how to fold these egg whites into the batter properly . . . Yoohoo! Where are you?”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m coming, Auntie,” she said, rolling her eyes and disappearing back down the hall. Her footsteps thudded against the wood floor. Thud. Thud.

My cousin, the elephant.

As soon as Veronica was gone, the tension disappeared from my body. I grabbed my Saint Diary from where I’d stashed it and sighed with relief.

My Saint Diaries were also my most secret possessions.

Each year on my birthday, February 14, St. Valentine’s Day, I began a new volume, fixing different colored pockets onto the pages of a thick book, compiling a section marked “Notes” for my new saint ideas (like a Patron Saint of Homework or a Patron Saint of Notice—as in “Notice me, please, Andy Rotellini!”). Most important of all, I chose which out of the many thousands of official saints to venerate during the year. Tradition, my tradition, dictated that St. Anthony of Padua, the Patron Saint for Lost Things, got page number one. Always.

Volume 8, the record of my fifteenth year, was rose red, my favorite color.

In the back was a section for the occasional, precious response letter from the Vatican. (Really they were rejection letters, but I liked to think of them as responses because that sounded less depressing.) I held on to these to remind myself that at least they knew I existed. For the hope that one day, I might just get through to them.

You know, The Vatican People.

Any day now, the news would arrive. My Patron Saint of Figs proposal was a winner. I could feel it.

“Antonia! Sbrigati!” my mother yelled, shattering this moment of hope with her I’m-getting-angry voice and an Italian command that loosely translated as “Get your butt off to bed immediately and don’t tell me you’re still praying because I won’t buy it this time.” Early bedtime somehow applied to me but not my cousin.

I faced Sebastian one last time, the heat of the candle flame warm on my chin. “St. Sebastian,” I whispered, gazing into his blue eyes, “if you can help me figure out the saint thing, I’d really appreciate it. It’s already been thirteen days since I sent the last letter.”

“Antonia Lucia Labella!” (That’s “lou-chia,” by the way, like the pet.)

“Okay, one more last thing,” I said, tempting the full force of Mom’s rage, my lips level with Sebastian’s now, as if we were about to kiss. “Even though I know that technically in the Catholic church you have to be dead to be a saint, I really don’t want to die if you can help it. Fifteen is too young to die.”

Excerpted from THE POSSIBILITIES OF SAINTHOOD by Donna Freitas.
Copyright © 2008 by Donna Freitas.
Published in 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Search
    by Geoff Dyer
    All hail the independent publisher! In May 2014, Graywolf Press brought two of long-revered British ...
  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  27The Arsonist:
    Sue Miller
  2.  167The City:
    Dean Koontz

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.