Liz's Reviews > Ten Thousand Saints

Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson
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's review
Jul 02, 2011

really liked it

In the first few pages of this book, I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to get into it. But shortly thereafter, I had the exact opposite problem--I couldn't put it down! Set in Vermont and New York City in the late 1980's, "Ten Thousand Saints" focuses on the life of teenager Jude Keffey-Horn and the cast of characters around him. Jude's best friend Teddy dies (this is not a spoiler, as the author lets you know it's coming on the first page), and Jude has to make sense of his life without its primary witness. He becomes involved in NYC's early Straight-Edge scene, using the brotherhood and the strict moral code to help him forge an identity when he is otherwise adrift. The characters in this book are so vivid that I found myself thinking about them as if they were friends of mine, and the tragic elements of their lives are always redeemed by a sweet desire to do the right thing (even though they often fail). Henderson's writing is magnificent--she always picks the perfect metaphor, which is almost unnerving. Highly recommend.
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