When We Were Saints

When We Were Saints

by Han Nolan
4.1 6

Paperback(First Edition)

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When We Were Saints by Han Nolan

Archibald Caswell could never please his domineering granddaddy Silas. Now with Granddaddy gone, Archie finds himself lost, confused, and wondering what Granddaddy could possibly have 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 his granddaddy's truck, and head north to the Cloisters in New York, where she and Archie secretly live after museum hours. For Clare, the journey is a return to the only place where she has felt happy and loved. For Archie, the pilgrimage leads him to a closer relationship with God--and a burning desire for home.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780152053222
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 03/15/2012
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 314
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.00(h) x 0.78(d)
Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

HAN NOLAN is the author of five critically acclaimed novels, including the National Book Award winner Dancing on the Edge. She lives in New England.

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When We Were Saints 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I don't even believe in God or really agree with any religion, but this book captured my heart. I strongly recommend to anyone. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nikkayme More than 1 year ago
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 that the two of them are soul mates. From there, Archie goes on a journey to find God and become the saint he believes he is destined to be. This book was a rollercoaster of a ride for me. There isn't a lot of action or crazy things happening, but it truly made me think. Archie's journey to sainthood is moving and made me think about religion in an entirely different way. That being said, this book is filled with the Catholic religion. I think that alone may make a lot of readers pass on this. I'm not particularly religious, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Nolan has created an unforgettable character in Archie. He is your average boy, but unique in the so many ways. His devotion to Clare is startling at times, but almost understandable. Clare herself is a startling character. Her complete, unwavering devotion to God is incredible and terrifying. Archie wants what she has and almost loses himself to find it. Their pilgrimage moved me to tears. I couldn't even put the book down towards the end because I was so connected to Archie and I needed to know what was going to happen to him. It's impossible not to care for him. Archie is so young and naïve and he has so much love pouring out of him that I instantly felt connected with him. I never really felt that way with Clare, but I don't think the reader is supposed to. Clare is the catalyst for the pilgrimage and Archie's reason for wanting to be closer to God, but she does so much more than that for him. Their journey isn't just about finding God, it is about finding the goodness in humankind and becoming saintly in ways that aren't even related to religion. When We Were Saints isn't a love story and it isn't necessarily a story about finding God either. It is a story about a boy finding himself. Archie goes on a pilgrimage to be closer to God, but he actually discovers the person he is and the person he wants to be. It is a moving, emotional journey that will stay with me for a long time. Opening line: Archibald Lee Caswell had named the still he and his best friend, Armory Mitchell, had built in the basement of his grandparents' home The Last Hurrah, in honor of Armory, who was moving with his family to Washington, D.C. Favorite line: Maybe that's all it really takes to be a saint - those simple acts of kindness.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When we Were Saints was fantastic! This book was incredible. If you think you don't want to read it because it is religious- think again! It really isn't about the religion- although it does bring out great principles- it is more about coming into yourself and the steps it took Archie to get there. Mrs. Nolan did a very good job in telling the story and at the very end, I truly liked that she didn't answer all the readers questions and kept you guessing. Some people don't like that type of a book but really, the happy and sad, touching, makes you REALLY think books are my favorite. I think if every little detail had been explained word for word and some things not just been insinuated, it would have changed my whole perspective on the book. Again, I commend Mrs. Nolan on her masterpiece. I had fun reading this book and I couldn't put it down. I recommend this book to nearly everyone, despite what your beiefs are, for if you don't read it for the religious aspect, I believe you still get about 80% out of the book. Read it, read it, read it! This book has definatly earned a place on my bookshelf!
Guest More than 1 year ago
¿Young man you are a saint!!¿ those are the last dying words spoken by Archie¿s Grandfather. What could being a saint have to do with anything? Days after Archie¿s Grandfather said his words to Archie. . . he leaves with his Grandmother to go the funeral with guilt and the sound of his Grandfathers words ringing over and over in his head. At the funeral it not only pours down rain but Archie is giving a card by a mysterious girl in black. The card reads similar words to what his Grandfather says to him. Archie later finds out this girl he met is named Clare, and she wants to meet up with him again .. Clare tells Archie how to be a faithful Christian and what his Grandfather meant when he said ¿You¿re a saint¿. Clare later comes up with the idea of excluding things out of life that we sometimes take for granted because they block people from God. They set out for a pilgramige in a religious museum in New York. Archie later starts to question Clare¿s gifts that were suposivly given to by her God. Why dose Clare seem to make things look almost as if they were planed out? Is she being to obsessive with this whole thing? Archie learns more about God, how to love God, and most of all¿what in being a faithful Christian really matters. This book takes awhile to get into and will probley loose alot of readers because of that. Me being a big Han Nolan fan is probley the only reason I continued reading this book. If you were asked to read this with free choice you might hesitate about it.