Monday, July 26, 2010

Book Review: The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas

"But then, all Catholics are a weird bunch. Especially the Italian ones." (pg. 6)

Published: August 5th, 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Description (from Goodreads):
Antonia Lucia Labella has two secrets: at fifteen she's still waiting for her first kiss, and she wants to be a saint. An official one. To Antonia, saints are royalty and she wants her chance at being a princess.
All her life she's kept company with these kings and queens of small favors, knowing exactly whom to pray to on every occasion. Afraid of tripping in gym class? Try St. Sebastian, athletic and golden. Working in the family store? Light a candle for St. Leonard, Patron Saint of Grocers. And a good all-purpose one: St. Jude, Patron Saint of Desperate Situations and Hopeless Causes.
Unfortunately, the two events Antonia has waited for her whole life seem equally unlikely to happen. It's not for lack of trying. Every month for the last eight years, Antonia has sent a petition to the Vatican proposing a new patron saint and bravely offering herself for the post. (So what if she's not dead?) And how long has she been praying for the attention of the tall, dark, and so good-looking Andy Rotellini? Too long to mention.
But as Antonia learns, in matters of sainthood, things are about as straightforward as wound-up linguini, and in matters of the heart, she's on her own.

My thoughts:
Antonia is a bit obsessed about saints. She knows a lot about them, and she always as a saint in mind for different situations in life. Since she was little, she has idolized those creatures of the catholic royalty, and she has decided that she wants to be one as well; the first living saint of the Catholic Church.

Antonia lives at Rhode Island with her mother and grandmother. Since her father death, her mother has been wearing all black and she has refused to date other men. Antonia's grandmother is a funny little lady who remembers thing well from the past and not so well from the present. Antonia's mother is famous for her pasta which is sold on the market they own. The market, which happens to be at the same building with their apartment, gives both joy and headache for Antonia.

Antonio is working at the market daily. When she hears that the guy she has been in love with for years, Andy Rotellini, is going to work at the market, she thinks that her life is going to change. She is already dreaming about her first kiss with Andy; she wants it to be the most romantic moment of her life. But is Andy what she really thinks he is? And is there more than friendship between Antonia and Michael, a guy Antonia calls "her friend".

I loved 'The Possibilities of Sainthood' by Donna Freitas. It introduces the reader to a different culture (American-Italians) and a different religion. I did not have that much of previous knowledge about the saints of the Catholic church, but I must say that this book taught me a lot. I've been wanting to travel to Italy for years now (this books takes place at US, but it vividly describes the Italian culture) and this book made me want to pack my bags and leave. 

The novel is also really funny. It is interesting to read Antonia narrating the different situations of her life. Also the way she describes the other characters, especially her mother, is hilarious. 'The Possibilities of Sainthood' by Donna Freitas is an interesting read about a catholic girl who dreams of becoming a living saint. After writing several letters to Vatican to enquiry different saint positions, she understands, that maybe she can be a saint without the approval of the Vatican city; she can be a saint in the eyes of people. 

I recommend 'The Possibilities of Sainthood' to the fans of young adult fiction. If you want to learn something about the Catholic religion, saints and Italian culture, this is a funny and adorable read for you.


  1. I really liked this book too! Great review!

  2. Carrie, thanks! :) Great that you enjoyed it as well.

  3. Very interesting! A book about a girl obsessed with saints who wants to be a saint herself - now THAT gets my attention.;)
    Great review, Milka! I will keep this one in mind, definitely.

  4. Irena, I also fell in love with the idea of this book when I saw it at the library. I had it on my shelf for months before I read it though, I have so much books as my own copies so I don't really have time for library books. :/


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