Monday, September 7, 2009

"The Possibilities of Sainthood" by Donna Freitas

It's nice for a girl to have a hobby, and Antonia Lucia Labella has a whopper - every month, she writes a letter to the Vatican petitioning for a new patron saint (as in The Patron Saint of Figs, or The Patron Saint of Irons) AND nominating herself for the position. She is undeterred from her passion despite a. her fractious, if loving relationship with her Italian mother b. her job at her mother's Italian market c. her longing to receive her first kiss and d. the fact that the Church only canonizes dead miracle-workers as saints.

Antonia buffers her petitions by diligently studying about, and praying for assistance, from the many patron saints in her Saint Diary. She also breezes through her home, school, and neighborhood with a determined faith in herself, her family, and her future, working miracles large and small with humor, open-mindedness, and faith.

Freitas paints a wonderful portrait of an appealing, positive, and determined young woman. Although Antonia's life is highly influenced by her Italian heritage and Catholic religion, her quests are ones that any teen can identify with, and the humor that is found on every page makes this a terrific read. Sigh - the only detail lacking in this novel is a recipe for the Italian wandies (pastry) that were mentioned in Chapter 20 - they sound delicious!

Rated FOUR and a HALF out of five stars.

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