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When We Were Saints
Han Nolan
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When We Were Saints

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  279 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
Archibald Caswell could never please his domineering granddaddy Silas. Now with Granddaddy gone, Archie finds himself lost, confused, and wondering what his grandfather could have possibly meant by his dying words: "Young man, you are a saint!"
Clare Simpson knows "exactly what Silas meant. She convinces Archie to dedicate his life to God, give up his possessions, steal hi
Published March 1st 2005 by Turtleback Books (first published October 1st 2003)
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Christine Grabowski
Feb 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens, ya
Very well developed characters. In fact reading this book was a homework assignment for my Developing Characters writing class.

As an adult, I enjoyed the story but it was definitely geared towards a tween or young, young adult with a 14 year old boy and 15 year old girl as the main characters. I believe a boy would find this as interesting as a girl as it was narrated by the boy. The story revolved around two teens becoming closer to God. I found it fascinating and I believe any young adult exp
Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books)
When We Were Saints is the story of Archibald Lee Caswell, your everyday, average 14 year old boy, who goes on a pilgrimage to become a saint. Archie’s life drastically changes the day his grandfather Silas, an old prophet, dies and tells Archie he is a saint. The day of the funeral, a young girl comes up to Archie and hands him a card that basically says the same thing. Clare Simpson, the girl from the funeral is a very religious 15 year old who convinces Archie that he truly is saintly and tha ...more
Samantha Lawson
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book. This book is mostly about this kid named Archibald (Archie). His grandfather (Silas) passed away. When Silas was dying,his last words to Archie were,"Young man,you are a saint." Soon after his grandfather pass,Archie was lost,confused,and wondering why his grandfather said those words to him. Archie dedicate his life to God. Later in the book,Archie relationship with God was closer. I recommend this book to anyone. It's such a good,heartwarming book.
Jun 30, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult-lit
This book frustrated me. Claire was slightly annoying because she never worried about actually DOING anything about her faith. True, her faith must have been pretty strong, but her works were few. Alright, maybe that isn't completely accurate because she DID do a lot of good for others by simply lightening them up a bit and encouraging them to do the things they wished they did or wished that they could return to. I guess the part that frustrated me most was that Archie would simply follow her w ...more
Michelle Starrs
Jul 11, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-read
Oh man. Get ready to freak and and possible re-examine what it means to be a person of faith.
We follow Archibald and post trauma-inducing-death-of-grandfather. Archibald blames himself for his grandfathers death. With his last breath he calls Archibald a Saint. Not knowing what to do with this message and being a very easy to sway, Archibald grabs on to the strange ideas of Clare. Clare is a girl from town with severe dedication to her faith. She and Archibald will literally pray for hours, say
Louisa George
May 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked how the book ended. Because this book brought about confusing, extreme spiritual circumstances (and because it was introducing this to a teen audience) I was glad that at the end of the novel it concluded in a non-confusing way and left the reader with little phrases of truth to hold on to and feel good about. I really think this is an excellent book for blowing teen's minds about religion and God and faith. It didn't shake my beliefs too much, maybe because I wasn't fighting with myself ...more
Jun 05, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eng-356
I was searching really hard while reading this book for something that would really catch my interest, but I neared the last pages and never found it. The whole time I was reading it, I was getting annoyed at the fact that the same thing kept happening over and over again. Archie would follow Clare, then he would change his mind and realize that she perhaps didn't know what she was doing and he would change his mind, but then a few lines later he would be following her again. This happened so ma ...more
Apr 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-356
I don't know where to even begin. The author pushed the story farther than I thought possible. The plot kept taking unexpected turns and of the worst kind. Throughout the entire book I wanted to knock sense into Archie. Scream at him to think for himself for once, that he was a follower, and needed to wake up and meet reality! Worst, by the time he realizes what is happening, it seems too late....

When We Were Saints is a brilliant piece of writing. I'd put this novel as a psychological thriller
McNeil Inksmudge
I initially hated this book, and still hate the entire second third. But it really is a good book for anyone religious to read. And probably only ammo for someone non-religious. The point of the book is to say that zeal and passion is great, but some people with both can be real charmers, and ser the ground for cultism. It's a warning. At first you feel like it's a born-again work, meant to baptize you. It seems like that for most of it. There is one sober part halfway through when you feel clar ...more
Mar 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Being a YA book, it's a fairly easy read; I finished in a few hours. I picked up the book because it was religiously themed. I didn't see the cover illustration of stigmata until I actually sat down to read it. I remember watching the movie Stigmata and having been intrigued by the concept ever since.

The book makes you think about a lot of different things. For me, it made me question beliefs, perceptions, and the power of being able to "read" people simply through body language and their action
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Han Nolan is widely acclaimed for her evocative language, her gritty subject matter, and her ability to plumb the psyche of her characters. Her books include Dancing on the Edge, which won the National Book Award, Send Me own a Miracle, a finalist for the National Book Award, Born Blue, A Summer of Kings, and several other acclaimed novels. She and her husband live on the East Coast.
More about Han Nolan...