Selling the Lite of Heaven

Overview

There it was in The Pennysaver - nestled among the other classified ads bravely singing out their romantic wares - each cleverly written heading masking a story of broken dreams. But who would believe hers? Who in her small western Massachusetts town would believe that the dutiful only daughter of Stanislaus and Edna, having against all odds and her mother's expectations finally found true love, has not only been left at the altar but for it? That she's a woman who has been left for God? Fittingly, her holy ...
See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$17.59
BN.com price
(Save 11%)$19.95 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (80) from $1.99   
  • New (15) from $3.00   
  • Used (65) from $1.99   
Selling the Lite of Heaven

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK Study
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$14.53
BN.com price

Overview

There it was in The Pennysaver - nestled among the other classified ads bravely singing out their romantic wares - each cleverly written heading masking a story of broken dreams. But who would believe hers? Who in her small western Massachusetts town would believe that the dutiful only daughter of Stanislaus and Edna, having against all odds and her mother's expectations finally found true love, has not only been left at the altar but for it? That she's a woman who has been left for God? Fittingly, her holy alliance with Eddie Balicki had begun in church, just after he mysteriously abandoned the big city and moved back to his boyhood town. One glimpse was all it took. His hands were folded in a way you only see in First Communion photos or in portraits of the Pope - fingers meeting exactly and pointing toward heaven, thumbs crossed and locked....With his eyes closed, he looked like he should have been a statue up on the altar, reeling in the ecstasy of what he already knew about heaven. But now the worst has happened. In one ghastly moment on Good Friday, her brightly lit future, her technicolor dreams, have turned to black and white. She has died, and he has gone to heaven. It is one thing to call the caterer, cancel the hall and the band, return the gifts. But selling the ring is another matter. One by one the prospective customers come to view, appraise, and haggle, treading through and over the life of the woman whose earlier days had been ruled by a simple rhythm: up and off to watch other peoples' lives develop in the machine at Fast Foto, then home to eat cabbage with her very Polish, very old-world parents. There's a beefy man shopping for a ring while patiently waiting for his fiancee's mother to "croak" so they can inherit the family manse. Then there are the browsers, the women looking to fill an afternoon and to gloat over someone else's misfortune. And finally, there is Randy, who glows almost as brightly as the ring, and who, despite the demands o

The dutiful daughter of Polish-Catholic parents works at the Fast Foto, watching other people's lives develop into full color. When her fiance leaves her at the altar, she is left with only a diamond ring. The local Pennysaver announces "The lite of heaven isn't as brite as this engagement ring, " which encourages her to begin her journey to true romance.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Shea's first novel is a delightful foray into the quirks and quibbles of the Polish-Catholic town of Chicopee, Mass. The unnamed narrator, ingenuous yet unflappable, is the 32-year-old daughter of immigrants who have slathered her in Vicks and mild exasperation. Still living under her parents' roof, she is abandoned by her fiance, Eddie Balicki, after, shortly before the wedding, he asks a statue of the Blessed Virgin if he should become a priest and, as Eddie puts it, `` `a minute later, she nods. Twice . . . . It was a miracle.' '' But never mind: Eddie, ``the kind of person who might straighten his sock drawer before company comes,'' was as a boy the sort of kid who played Holy Communion with Necco wafers. So the heroine returns candle snuffers and Corning Ware, cancels caterer and band and places an ad in the Penny Saver for her 2.5-karat, pear-shaped perfect diamond. Over the next 17 months, the pursuit of the right buyer fills out her days of knitting and living vicariously through the images she views while working as a film processor at Fast Foto. More than 60 prospective buyers respond to the ad, including the once-jilted Maria Dusza, who'll ``be back when you're ready,'' and Randy, the Quick Stop clerk whose dreams of an old-fashioned store embarrass his intended but who keeps checking on the ring. When the ring is stolen, the narrator comes to terms with what she wants to do and executes her plan in a particularly joyous conclusion. Rich, funny and gentle, this debut is one of those read-in-one-sitting novels that could be a real sleeper. (June)
Library Journal
Our thirtysomething heroine, who is never named, lives in western Massachusetts with her devout Polish Catholic family. Promising not to date until she is 18, she at last meets Eddie Balicki, every woman's dream. After dating for some months, they become engaged, and she gets a large, perfect diamond called The Lite of Heaven. Shortly before the wedding, Eddie announces that it is his fate to be a priest and breaks the engagement. He tells her to keep the ring, and the heartbroken young woman advertises it for sale in the Pennysaver. For over a year, she interviews prospective buyers at home while serving them homemade cookies. The people who come to look are so well drawn that you can see and smell them. Eventually, you also learn to know this society of first-and second-generation Polish Catholics. There is humor and pathos in first novelist Shea's poignant story of a woman jilted for God, a woman who desperately wants to keep her faith and family but needs to become her own woman. Highly recommended.-Barbara Maslekoff, Ohioana Lib., Columbus
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671798659
  • Publisher: Washington Square Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 1,314,160
  • Product dimensions: 0.65 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 8.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Suzanne Strempek Shea, winner of the 2000 New England Book Award for Fiction, is the author of the novels Selling the Lite of Heaven; Hoopi Shoopi Donna; Lily of the Valley; and Around Again; and the memoirs Songs from a Lead-Lined Room: Notes — High and Low — From My Journey Through Breast Cancer and Radiation; and Shelf Life: Romance, Mystery, Drama, and Other Page-Turning Adventures from a Year in a Bookstore. She lives in Bondsville, Massachusetts.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)