“Eleanor Henderson is in possession of an enormous talent which she has matched up with skill, ambition, and a fierce imagination. The resulting novel, Ten Thousand Saints, is the best thing I’ve read in a long time. ”
— Ann Patchett, bestselling author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder
JR: I am partial to stories set in the 1980’s NYC, having spent some time there as a kid. I seem to have rose colored memoires of those years, especially the downtown art scene, and sleeping on the floor of an artist’s loft on 17th street when I was in grade school. The fine folks at Ecco sent a galley of Ten Thousand Saints my way, and I was immediately sucked into this coming of age story. I loved Teddy and his friend Jude, even though PW spoils what happens, I guess it doesn’t matter, unless you haven’t read it.
I loved the way these two boys talked to one another and shared the same dreams. We get to see how their parents treat them, and why they felt like they were impervious to bad things. Teddy and Jude desperately wanted to form a band, and that’s just what Jude does, but a mutual friend of theirs, Eliza, a troubled and very well captured young lady holds some pretty juicy secrets, (I loved the scene where Teddy and Eliza share a lost contact lens). There is a romantic intimacy to the first half of this story that is truly captivating.
Then it becomes Jude’s novel, and I liked it even more, even though he can’t really grasp the responsibilities of growing up. Ms. Henderson grabs at the big picture while not forgetting what it’s like to be a kid, filling the corners of this story with tales of downtown NYC, and youthful nostalgia. At some point didn’t we all want to be in a band and move to NYC? I promise you’ll follow Jude and Eliza anywhere, and root for them right up to the end. I liked how everything meant something either to me or the characters. Ms. Henderson easily held my attention for the full ride.
This books goes on sale: June 7th 2011.