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The Patron Saint of Ugly
by Marie Manilla


Overview - Born in Sweetwater, West Virginia, with a mop of flaming red hair and a map of the world rendered in port-wine stains on every surface of her body, Garnet Ferrari is used to being an outcast. With her sharp tongue, she has always known how to defend herself against bullies and aggressors, but she finds she is less adept at fending off the pilgrims who have set up a veritable tent city outside her hilltop home, convinced that she is Saint Garnet, healer of skin ailments and maker of miracles.  Read more...

 
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More About The Patron Saint of Ugly by Marie Manilla
 
 
 
Overview
Born in Sweetwater, West Virginia, with a mop of flaming red hair and a map of the world rendered in port-wine stains on every surface of her body, Garnet Ferrari is used to being an outcast. With her sharp tongue, she has always known how to defend herself against bullies and aggressors, but she finds she is less adept at fending off the pilgrims who have set up a veritable tent city outside her hilltop home, convinced that she is Saint Garnet, healer of skin ailments and maker of miracles.

Her grandmother, the indelible Nonna Diamante, believes that Garnet's mystical gift can be traced back to the family's origins in the Nebrodi Mountains of Sicily, and now the Vatican has sent an emissary to Sweetwater to investigate. Garnet, wanting nothing more than to debunk this "gift" and send these desperate souls packing, reaches back into her family's tangled past and unspools for the Church a tale of love triangles on the shores of the Messina Strait; a sad, beautiful maiden's gilded-cage childhood in blueblood Virginia; and the angelic, doomed boy Garnet could not protect.

Saint or not, Garnet learns that the line between reality and myth is always blurred, and that the aspects of ourselves we are most ashamed of can prove to be the source of our greatest strength, and even our salvation.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780544146242
  • ISBN-10: 0544146247
  • Publisher: Mariner Books
  • Publish Date: June 2014
  • Page Count: 334
  • Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.7 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2014-04-07
  • Reviewer: Staff

Manilla’s second novel is clever, funny, heartbreaking, and heartwarming, all at once. Garnet Ferrari, of Sweetwater, W.Va., has flaming red hair and birthmarks over her entire body that create a map of the world. Intelligent and sharp-tongued, she is the product of an Italian Catholic father and a lapsed-Episcopalian mother. Garnet finds solace in her maternal grandfather’s collection of globes and her maternal grandmother’s deeply rooted beliefs—a mixture of paganism and Catholicism. After Garnet seemingly manifests magical abilities of healing, the people of Sweetwater and beyond come to believe that she is a saint. The Vatican sends out an investigator to verify Garnet’s supposed powers, which she herself doubts. It takes a while to warm up to the structure of the book, presented as a transcript of the investigator’s interview with Garnet, with occasional interruptions from her Italian grandmother and her Aunt Betty, but it’s worth it. Garnet digs through the tangled past of both bloodlines, looking for answers and learning to move toward people rather than shut them out. How she manages to do that results in a lovely, hopeful tale. Agent: Kate Garrick, DeFiore and Company. (June)

 
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