A funny and illuminating debut novel about family, music, and second chances, from folk-rock star Suzzy Roche.
Mary Saint, the rule-breaking, troubled former lead singer of the almost-famous band Sliced Ham, has pretty much given up on music after the trauma of her band member and lover Garbagio's death seven years earlier. Instead, with the help of her best friend Thaddeus, a six-foot black transvestite with a troubled past of his own, Mary is trying her hand at making mochaccinos at the Crumb Bunny in San Francisco.
Back on the East Coast, in the tiny town of Swallow, New York, her mother, Jean Saint, struggles with her own ghosts. Both are startled when Mary is invited to give a concert at her old school, Swallow High. Mary seizes on the chance to perform again and to see her mom. Jean, of course, is thrilled to have Mary come home for the first time since she ran off at seventeen, though she's definitely worried about what Father Benedict and her neighbors will think of songs such as "Sewer Flower" and "You're a Pig." But when even her arch nemesis Adele from the Silver Tray Bakery takes notice of the upcoming concert, Jean realizes this is going to be a bigger event with bigger complications than she anticipated.
Rich with wild and quirky characters, Wayward Saints is a tender, emotionally complex, and hilarious look at how the past always bumps up against the present. Punctuated by insider pokes at the music business (written by someone who's been there), as well as loving flourishes about family, faith, and the unpredictability of talent, the novel touches on the very deep pain of loss, and the possibilities of the miraculous.
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"Roche's empathy for these broken souls allows readers to feel the depth of their pain and savor the novel's happier twists." - Publishers Weekly
"A great read for fans of The Roches; there are definite allusions to and pokes at the music industry here, from an insider's perspective... A well-done first outing; Roche handles sticky topics with grace." - Library Journal
"Not every dazzling musician has a novel in her, but Suzzy Roche, among all her other gifts, is a novelist, the genuine article. Wayward Saints is funny, smart, poignant, the prose so clear, so direct, so true. This book is a joy." - Jane Hamilton
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Along with her sisters, Maggie and Terre, Suzzy Roche is a founding member of the singing group the Roches, whose debut recording was named Album of the Year by the New York Times in 1979. She has been touring for over 30 years, appeared on SNL, the Late Show with David Letterman, and the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The Roches have collaborated with Paul Simon, The Indigo Girls, Philip Glass, and Laurie Anderson. She recently teamed up with Meg Wolitzer to co-host "A Love Affair Between Words and Music" for WNYC at Symphony Space in New York, and is the creator of "Zero Church," a performance piece that has been performed all over the United States. In 2013, her first children's book will be published by Random House. Visit her website at www.roches.com.
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"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
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