Kristin Strong's Reviews > Ten Thousand Saints

Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson
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's review
Nov 28, 2011

really liked it

I saw this recommended someplace...of course, I can't remember where now. I requested it from our local library and, upon reading the jacket copy, put it at the bottom of the stack of books I'd brought home. I thought it would be the least engaging of the three books I planned to read.

Much to my surprise, once I started reading it, I could not put it down. Before I started the book, I thought the action took place in a milieu and among people I couldn't relate to. But Eleanor Henderson makes her characters if not likeable, at least relatable. There are parents here who come from different ends of the socioeconomic spectrum, but who all want the same thing: the best sest of options for their children. There are kids from the same set of places who all want the same thing: a chance at love, at life, at freedom and choice. While their choices and actions might not be mine, Henderson was able to make me see beyond the plot and into the (watch out -- tedious undergraduate lit paper theme coming up) deeper universality of the human experience. From rural Vermont to 1987's New York City hardcore scene, every detail and bit of dialogue rings true. I can't wait to see what Eleanor Henderson does next.
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Rene Dunkley I completely agree with your post. When reading the summary I was worried hat the novel would not be interesting, but just as you said, the author was able to pull me into the story and make me care about the teenagers and their lives. I also agree with your point in saying that the novel was hard to put down. There was so much happening in the novel that I always wanted to know what was going to happen next. This story was an interesting coming of age story, I didn't find it relatable like you did, however I did find it extremely fascinating. The novel was a great read.

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