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Wayward Saints

by Suzzy Roche

Wayward Saints by Suzzy Roche X
Wayward Saints by Suzzy Roche
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There are currently 33 member reviews
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  • Joan V. (Miller Place, NY)
    Redemption, Reconciliation
    I didn’t know what to expect from "Wayward Saints". It turned out to be very enjoyable and once I began the book, I couldn’t put it down. I really cared about the characters and wanted to know how the story would end.

    Mary Saint escapes her physically abusive father, Bub, and passive mother, Jean, and goes on to become a second tier, grunge style R&R star. After the death of her lover, a fellow band member, Garbargio, she goes into a tailspin, too many drugs, too much sex and you can fill in the rest.

    A high school teacher in her hometown of Swallow decides to find Mary and ask her to do a concert at the school. He’s amazed to find out that Mary’s mother Jean lives in Swallow. Jean has lived a sad, lonely life, she finds a bit of domestic peace and freedom when her husband Bub is put in a nursing home, but she has never understood her daughter.

    I don’t want to give away the secrets and some plot twists that occur in this book. There is a religious theme that runs throughout stemming from Mary’s early obsession with the Virgin Mary and her mother’s strong Catholicism. However, it is not preachy.

    All in all I really liked this book and would recommend it to friends. I look forward to Suzzy Roche's next book.
  • Carole C. (Upper Marlboro, MD)
    Oh, when the Saints come marching....
    In the early pages of Wayward Saints, I thought the language harsh, the character Mary edgy, and the story dark. I almost put the book aside. I am grateful that I decided to read on. Mary Saint, an angry, defiant teenager, flees from her hometown of Swallow, New York, and from her family. She rises to near fame as an alternative rocker, but then descends into drink, drugs, and depression, deepened by the death of her fellow band member and boyfriend Garbargio. When author Suzzy Roche introduces the second Saint, Mary's mother Jean, the novel gains depth and complexity. Through the musings of this conservative, religious small-town mother, the reader gains insight into a family held in thrall by an abusive man, a town where little compassion or tolerance exists, and a gentle mother's heart that yearns for her daughter's love.

    With such heavy themes it may be hard to believe that this is also a funny book. Roche's voice is true to her characters and the dire problems they face -- abuse, astraingment, dementia, and death --but she writes laugh-out-loud prose, as well. When Jean answers a student who asks about Mary's back tranvestite friend Thaddeus with the quip, "Oh, don't worry about him, he's a chocolate tranny." this reader did just that Throughout there are the themes of music, famly, friendship and spirituality, but above all this book is a warm and witty ode to tolerance and empathy.
  • Jan M. (Jenks, OK)
    A Pleasant Surprise
    I'm a senior reader who is not "in to" rock music, so I was prepared not to like this book. I must say I was pleasantly surprised. The author, quite skillfully, told the story of a mother and daughter's estrangement and some of the reasons behind their distant and difficult relationship. Mary Saint's rebellion against convention, and her mother's, "oh my, what will the neighbors think" attitude. As the story built toward Mary's coming home concert, I found myself hoping things would turn out well and unable to put down the book until the lovely ending.
    I doubt that I will suggest it to my book club for I don't think it would generate much discussion, but it certainly was a pleasant read. It would probably appeal more to those who are not so far over the hill as this reader.
  • Diane W. (Lake Villa, IL)
    Wayward Saints
    Though I picked up and put down this book several times (a bit hard to get into the "voice")...I did end up enjoying the characters and their "quirkiness" more than I originally thought I would. I felt the book had a few editing issues that were overlooked that would have helped with the flow of the story. All in all, a story based on some real life experiences and a decent read.
  • Marta M. (Santa Ana, CA)
    What a fun novel!
    I was excited about reading this book and I wasn't disappointed. I felt that the characters were very vivid and I felt for all of them. I especially liked the character of Thaddeus who came into Mary's life at the right time to help her through her life's journey. It just proves that angels come in all shapes and sizes and genders. Not a lot of action in this story but a lot of thought and feeling. The characters stayed with me for a long time after. Three cheers for Suzzy Roche and I hope to read more from her.
  • Debra V. (Kenosha, WI)
    Wayward Saints
    I really enjoyed Wayward Saints by Suzzy Roche. It is very interesting to read novels written from the perspective of an author who has actually "done" what they are writing about. In most cases, this type of author does not mix a good story with great writing, however Suzzy Roche mixes wry style with graceful writing and the result is a great book that captures your attention until the last page! The only criticism I have is that the "arch nemesis" Adele is never really formed as a character, so why mention her at all?
  • Tracy B. (New Castle, DE)
    Wayward Saints
    The characters started out living in very different worlds. I was wondering how they would or if they could ever be in the same room. The religious thread challenged almost everyone's belief system and in the end was what brought "family" together.

    Stories where people find their voice resonate with me. This was one of those journeys. Struggle's, sorrow, faith and joy were the foundation of the clear development of each character. The twists, coincidences, clashes and surprises made for a good read.

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