All Saints

By Liam Callanan
(Dial Press, Paperback, 9780385336970, 278pp.)

Publication Date: March 25, 2008

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The acclaimed author of The Cloud Atlas returns with a wondrous second novel. Set in a small beachfront Catholic high school, narrated by a beautifully complex heroine-theology teacher Emily Hamilton-All Saints is at once a mystery, a love story, and a powerful rumination on secrets, temptation, and faith.
By life's midpoint Emily has seen three husbands, dozens of friends, and hundreds of students come and go. And now her classroom, long her refuge, is proving to be
anything but.
Though her popular, occasionally irreverent church history course is rich with stories of long-dead saints, Emily uneasily discovers that it's her own tumultuous life that fascinates certain students most. She in turn finds herself drawn into their world, their secrets, and the fateful choices they make.
A novel of mystery and illumination, calling and choice, All Saints explores lives lived in a fragile sanctuary-from Emily and her many saints to a priest facing his own mortality and a teenager tormented by desire. Told with grace and compassion, this is a spellbinding novel of provocative storytelling.

"From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author
Liam Callanan is the author of The Cloud Atlas, which was an Edgar Award finalist for best first novel. A frequent public radio essayist, his work has also appeared in the "New York Times Book Review, Slate, Good Housekeeping," and elsewhere. He teaches at the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee.

"From the Hardcover edition."

Conversation Starters from


  1. How did it affect your reading to know that a male author had created Emily, a pitch-perfect female narrator? How would you characterize the way she sees the world?

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