Household Saints: A Novel

Household Saints: A Novel

by Francine Prose


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Monday, September 23


This tale of a family in Little Italy is “a minor miracle . . . documenting the madness and the grace of God in everyday life” ( Newsweek ).
On a 1950s September night so hot that the devout Catholics of Little Italy wonder if New York City has slipped into hell, the butcher Joseph Santangelo invites his friends to play pinochle. At the end of a long, sweaty, boozy evening, his friend Lino Falconetti, addled by wine and heat, bets the hand of his daughter, Catherine—and Santangelo wins.
Santangelo’s modern new wife clashes immediately with his superstitious, fiercely protective mother. But years later, it is Catherine who is horrified when the daughter they raise turns out to have more in common with the old world than the new.
From a New York Times –bestselling author, this story of two generations of an Italian-American family is imaginative, evocative, funny, and warm—and was made into an acclaimed film directed by Nancy Savoca, starring Tracey Ullman, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Lili Taylor.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781480445437
Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media LLC
Publication date: 04/12/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 250
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Francine Prose is the author of sixteen novels, including A Changed Man , winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and Blue Angel , a finalist for the National Book Award. Her most recent works of nonfiction include the highly acclaimed Anne Frank: The Book, the Life, the Afterlife , and the New York Times bestseller Reading Like a Writer. A former president of PEN American Center and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Prose is a highly regarded critic and essayist, and has taught literature and writing for more than twenty years at major universities. She is a distinguished writer in residence at Bard College, and she lives in New York City.


New York, New York

Date of Birth:

April 1, 1947

Place of Birth:

Brooklyn, New York


B.A., Radcliffe College, 1968

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Household Saints 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
CherishD More than 1 year ago
I think I understand why there are so many low ratings...such a dark novel that evokes such sad emotions. But underneath it all was such a beautiful story, such vivid pictures...such a sense of the old world kind of family bonds and way of life.  Would not do justice to this author with anything less than 5 stars.
stvslayer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Household Saints takes place in 1950s Little Italy. The first line states that local butcher Joseph Santangelo has just won himself a wife from Lino Falconetti during a late night pinochle game. From here we¿re introduced to Catherine Falconetti, Lino¿s naïve 17 year old daughter and Joseph¿s future wife. The courtship, if you could call it that is whirlwind and the reader is quickly immersed in the daily lives of the Santagelo¿s, including Joseph¿s superstitious mother Carmela. Carmela keeps an altar to the saints in the living room and frequently talks with the ghost of her late husband Zio. After Carmela's death, Catherine remakes their tiny apartment into a modern American home and vows to raise her daughter Theresa the same, modern way. As Theresa grows, it becomes clear that Carmela¿s old fashioned Catholic legacy is alive and well in Theresa, who dreams of becoming a canonized saint. This is a novel written in two parts. The first half deals with the early years of the marriage of Joseph and Catherine. The second half speeds through important moments in the life of Theresa through age 20. Personally, I enjoyed the first half much more than the second half. Joseph and Catherine are more engaging and even with some tragedy the tone of this half stays light if slightly eccentric. Theresa¿s life is told more in the tone of magical realism and I had difficulty understanding some of her motivations and thought processes. Even with the drawbacks that arise near the end, this book is still worth the time. It¿s only 225 pages and the pacing is such that you¿ll get to the end and it will feel like a blur. It was also quite fun to be immersed in the era and mindset of 1950s little Italy and all the cultural mores that existed in that time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I never knew exactly where the story was going but was always eager to find out. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago