Can I Get An Amen?

Can I Get An Amen?

by Sarah Healy


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When the last thing you want is the one thing you need, you've got to have a little faith....

Growing up, Ellen Carlisle was a Christian: She went to Jesus camp, downed stale Nilla Wafers at Sunday school, and never, ever played with Ouija boards. Now, years later, when infertility prevents her from giving her ambitious attorney husband a family, she finds herself on the brink of divorce, unemployed, and living with her right-wing, born-again Christian parents in her suburban New Jersey hometown. There the schools are private, the past is public, and blessings come in lump sums.

Then Ellen meets a man to whom she believes she can open her heart, and she begins to think that maybe it’s true that everything happens for a reason—until all that was going well starts going very badly and Ellen is finally forced to dig deep to find her own brand of faith.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451236777
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/05/2012
Pages: 352
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Sarah Healy lives in Vermont with her husband and children.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“Funny, smart, wise, and refreshing…the work of a great new talent and an obviously gifted writer.”—Valerie Frankel, author of Thin is the New Happy and Four of a Kind

“Touching, funny and full of heart. A highly entertaining novel about love and family, secrets and forgiveness. Don't miss it!" —Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author of Come Home and Save Me

"A soaring debut! Sarah Healy examines divorce, parental relationships, sibling relationships, religion, and love with humor, poignancy, and a compelling tension…A beautiful story that will leave readers waiting breathlessly for her next book." —Beth Harbison, New York Times bestselling author of Shoe Addicts Anonymous and When in Doubt Add Butter

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Can I Get An Amen? 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
live2readPA More than 1 year ago
OK. I wasn't sure about the title or the cover - but now that I've read the book I get it. It's pretty smart, pretty funny, definitely quirky, and I liked the characters and the plot enough that it made me stay up WAY too late. My kids were late for school because I overslept, and then even later because I was reading it at every red light! I actually didn't want to like this book because I have a little bias against reading books that deal with religion. But a friend whose reading tastes I respect had reccomended it, so I gave it a go. It really deals with morality and spirituality, rather than religion, per se. When "church style religion" actually shows up in the book, it's sometimes to show how flawed it can be. That's not to say that it totally dogs church-y religion, just shows its fair share of flaws. I don't want to give anything away, so I'll just say that the one plot theme I thought I saw coming, did in fact come. But I didn't mind because it was such a satisfying idea, that if it hadn't happened that way I would have put the book down. The ending might have been my favorite part of the book. Once in a while, there's a last sentence that so perfectly ties up a book, that it just sings and resounds in my brain and sticks there forever. One book that had a last line like that was "Mudbound" by Hillary Jordan. This was another. This last line pretty much sums up my entire existence. What a surpise to know that there are kindred spirits out there, people that think the way I do, and that one of them wrote a book about it.
Ingee More than 1 year ago
I must admit, I was a little worried that I wouldn't like, "Can I Get An Amen?" - that I would find it preachy or worse, saccharine. So how delightfully surprised I was to find it poignant, laugh-out-loud funny, and reaching far beyond a story about a family with devout Christian values. Ellen is both relatable and likable. She handles her circumstances with the appropriate amount of self-pity without turning into a simpering someone you want to shake. (i.e. that pathetic creature in Eat, Pray, Love) Kat makes you acutely aware of how good it is to call someone (anyone) out on their crap. I found myself turning page after page captivated by characters who were, at turns, frustrating, enraging (i.e. Parker) but mostly endearing and highly realistic. (I love the very infrequent but terribly moving tender scenes and acts between Roger and his daughters.) This is not a book about being Christian. It's more a story about trying to navigate life's big disappointments and heartaches while staying true to who you are and who you want to be. I loved it. Kudos to Sarah Healy - as a debut novel, she knocks it out of the park! I am anxiously awaiting her next work!
af_maine More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I didn't know exactly what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised. I think we can all relate to Ellen in one way or another. This book was very well written, descriptive and I felt like I was watching it on the big screen as I was reading it. I read it in 4 days and it would have been sooner if I didn't have 3 kids to take care of. Don't miss this one!!
Kim_ColoradoReader More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book, I can't believe this is her first novel! I read everything, all the time. I am always so excited to find a new author and a book that just transports you. This is a perfect summer read. Can't wait to read another one by Sarah!
FlowerBunny More than 1 year ago
I would buy this book to give as a gift. I like how the story evolved and watching how the characters were developed. I will definitely be buying Sarah Healy's next book!!!
KennNYC More than 1 year ago
Anyone who's ever dealt with unexpected blows from life, anyone who's ever had to start over again, anyone who's ever had a family that at times seemeded like a race of alien life forms will love this book. Compassionate, clear-eyed, and enormously funny, CAN I GET AN AMEN truly has something for everyone. The characters--even (especially?) those who at first glance might seem to be "bad guys"--are brought to vivid, individual life; there's not a stereotype among them. It's a cliched phrase, but I literally laughed and cried throughout this lovely book; I was sorry when it ended.
eu_ny More than 1 year ago
Such a good book!! I love the characters, but I'm sad to say goodbye to them. This book definitely keeps you engrossed. I've been recommending it to so many friends at work because it's a book that I think everyone will enjoy.
ach_connecticut More than 1 year ago
CAN I GET AN AMEN is so much more than I expected it to be - in every good way. So much story told clearly and concisely. I loved it and can't wait for more.
Matthew_E More than 1 year ago
I SO enjoyed Can I Get An Amen. It's wickedly funny, a little dark, and by the end I was unutterably moved. It's very cinematic, and seems destined to be adapted into a movie or TV show. A perfect summer / beach read. Do not miss this fantastic debut...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book with twists and turns, people that you came to care about, and a very interesting storyline. Looking forward to her next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. I found myself enjoying it so much that I would literally laugh out loud. It made me both laugh and cry in good ways. I cannot wait to read another book by this fresh and clever author. Thanks Sarah Healy for writing such an oustanding book. I found myself deliberately slowing down my reading pace near the end so i could savor the characters just a little bit longer.
RtBBlog More than 1 year ago
Faith? This is something that has been missing from Ellen Carlisle’s life ever since she got divorced. She knows it is not her fault yet her husband reminds her it is because of her infertility. Going home to her parents was also not part of her plan but when God puts obstacles in your way you have a home to go too. Even though she is close to her parents there are still secrets in the family and trouble she never expected. Her life has always been to keep faith and hope in God yet lately she is having a hard time to keep that mantra. Everybody in her family expect her to follow God’s path but lately she has been upset with God. All her friends are having children yet somehow God missed her in the motherhood department. She is trying to be thankful but wonders exactly is she supposed to be thankful for. This is a first I have read from Sarah Healy for she has started her writing career with a book that speaks in so many ways to her readers. Throughout the book I kept wondering is the author telling her story is it Ellen herself who is coming alive in the book. There are times when the story is first point of view and then third party sometimes making me wonder who exactly is Ellen Carlisle. Here is a woman who feels like she got the short stick in life but actually we are seeing her bloom with God’s love. The moral of the story is basically to never give up on God yet we also see what happens when we lose our path in the life of Ellen. For me it was that with faith anything is possible and for Ellen this is hard for her to understand. My heart broke when she can’t have children yet rejoiced in knowing that she has family who love her no matter the situation they face themselves and a man who wants to give her all the love she deserves. This is definitely a book worth getting for with God anything is possible and Sarah Healy shows us so easily in this book. Posted by Meli on Romancing the Book. Thanks to the publisher for the ARC.
dwgodbyDG More than 1 year ago
Sarah Healy does an fantastic job of exploring the funny side of life in Can I Get An Amen? Healy’s story line is very rewarding and I was captivated from the very beginning until the very end. The main characters involved within the story are Ellen, her sister Kat and brother Luke. These children have many characteristics among them that are typical of many modern day families. Ellen grew up in church being told what not to do, hearing about all the rules and regulations that she must abide by. Later in life she gets divorced when she is declared to be infertile. Kat gets pregnant while in high school and is sent away to her aunt’s to have the baby without anyone knowing. Luke is gay and creates conflict for the church-going family, forcing his parents to learn how to respond. Speaking of the parents – they try to portray the perfect couple yet things seem to fall apart within their lives, both financially and emotionally. When Ellen finally meets the man of her dreams, she is shocked to find out the truths about him that send her running the other way. With all the ups and downs that the book presents, readers will find many situations they can relate to. You will want to follow Ellen along on her journey and share in her adventurous ways. Can I Get An Amen? also includes discussion questions as well as a conversation with the author. These two additions are a great asset to the book and the story within is humorous, enjoyable, witty and entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Couldnt put this book down!
TheBumbleGirl1 More than 1 year ago
A fun, witty and candid must read! This book was so funny, witty and candid - I couldn't put it down! While I was laughing out loud and shaking my head, it was also thought provoking and relatable. You definitely need to have a good heart full of sense of humor to read this book. Ellen's life falls apart in a matter of what feels like mere minutes - her husband wants a divorce, she loses her job and has to move back home to live with her overbearing Christian parents. Ellen goes through some entertaining and sometimes scary ups and downs while trying to figure out who she is and what she wants to do. And then she meets Mark - a handsome mysterious stranger who saves her one night and left quite an impression on her. Will she find get her answer? Totally unpredictable, it was such an enjoyable read! It is definitely worth the quick read to find out!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book - couldn't put it down! Cute story with likable characters. It was a joy to read!
daphu More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I could not put it down. I had to know what was going to happen next with this family that was so like my own!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a funny yet heartwarming book. The characters come alive as you proceed through the story. Sarah approaches many of today's social issues in a fresh and honest way.
bdc-maine More than 1 year ago
I stayed up last night until I finished this wonderful debut novel by Sarah Healy. The story lines will make you laugh, cry, be a bit po'd but, most of all, though you want to know how it all "turns out" you don't want the book to end! I can't wait for more from this wonderful author! Sarah, you hit it out of the park with 'Can I Get an Amen?' Congratulations!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exceptional! I read the book in three days. The story was so interesting and well written. I didn't want it to end. It's definitely a winner!!