I’m not sure how this novel ended up on my “to read” list as it is definitely geared toward teenage girls. All the same, I enjoyed the change of pace and different perspectives. Better yet, this is a deeply Catholic novel steeped in the Italian-American culture of Providence, Rhode Island. The protagonist and narrator Antonia is a 15-year old girl who works in her family’s Italian food store and goes to an all-girls parochial high school. She is fascinated with the saints and has two dreams: to become the first person canonized as a saint while still alive and to get her first kiss from the boy of her dreams. Although set in current times, aspects of this book seem at least 30 years gone by, but then again Catholic childhoods are behind the times which may be good or bad depending on your point of view. While Antonia is charmingly old-fashioned in her devotion to the saints she is believably progressive as well. This novel is a bit slow and not much happens overall but it takes many a humorous turn and charms with its innocence.
Recommended books: My Life With the Saints by James Martin