Epub Clarissa Harwood ò Impossible Saints MOBI ✓ ò

Set in England in 1907 Impossible Saints is a novel that burns as brightly as the suffrage movement it depicts with the emotional resonance of Tracy Chevalier and Jennifer Robson Escaping the constraints of life as a village schoolmistress Lilia Brooke bursts into London and into Paul Harris’s orderly life shattering his belief that women are gentle creatures who need protection Lilia wants to change women’s lives by advocating for the vote free unions and contraception Paul an Anglican priest has a big ambition of his own to become the youngest dean of St John’s Cathedral Lilia doesn’t believe in God but she’s attracted to Paul’s intellect ethics and dazzling smileAs Lilia finds her calling in the militant Women’s Social and Political Union Paul is increasingly driven to rise in the church They can’t deny their attraction but they know they don’t belong in each other’s worlds Lilia would rather serve time in prison than see her spirit destroyed and imprisoned by marriage to a clergyman while Paul wants nothing than to settle down and keep Lilia out of harm’s way Paul and Lilia must reach their breaking points before they can decide whether their love is worth fighting for


10 thoughts on “Impossible Saints

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    from my blog pardon the loquacious fervour Why is it that men's courage is called bravery but women's courage is called recklessness or even worse foolishness?That's just it Harriet Doesn't It bother you that we're still making the same arguments she Wollstonecraft made than a hundred years ago and so little has changed? Imagine a work of fiction that helps you reconcile years of insecurity and forces you to finally confront some of the rifts between the religious traditions that informed your childhood and the views you established as a thinking reading hyper sensitive feminist inclined adult Imagine this piece of fiction wrapped in a perfect historically romantic like honest to Pete romantic with the gushing and the kissing and the pining package and bow Impossible Saints by Clarissa Harwood was the best reading experience because indeed it was an experience I have had in an age I was at turns giddy and shaking and smiling so wide my cheeks hurt and then crying because it is emotional to read a transparent transcription of all of the challenges you have encountered as a woman eager to reconcile the traditions and conservative beliefs of her childhood with the progressive views of adulthood Part of me wishes that this novel had been around when I was 17 trying to find myself in Catherine Marshall and Lynn Austin and Dorothy L Sayers amidst a tradition that found women largely in potluck kitchen service or on nursery duty A worthy calling not my calling Part of me wishes that when I spent the weekends at Crux bookstore at my alma matter U of T running my finger over the spines of titles on Christian Feminism and doling out a chunk of my student loan on a burgeoning new library that this had intercepted me But part of me is so happy that it found me now now as a woman who has written a series that tries to exercise some of the contradictory tenets of my faith within the structure of two lady detectives wearing trousers and exploring women's roles in confining Edwardian times And part of me is happy I found it now when I am a little sure of who I am what I believe beyond the expectations of others and beyond the traditions of my upbringing I wouldn't mind being an outcast if I were free to live and work as I choose I am a huge believer in the kismet that happens when the right books find the right reader Often at odds with my strong opinionated feminist views pitted against my upbringing as a pentecostal minister's kid I have an insatiable thirst for the dialogue and debate that pings throughout this brilliant and evocative historical treatise on faith and conviction And while I still muse on and try to decipher how the square peg of feminism can fit in the circular hole of the Church's long traditions books like this wonderfully packaged in a beautiful excessively readable love story there is the brilliant elasticity that allows for interaction with characters who play out all of the questions and thoughts and muddled confusions of tradition and faith and feminism on a well worded page And yet if you're like what? NO I want to read for enjoyment Well Saints be Praised You get that too this is a rare package of perfectly lovely prose enveloping deeper truths In 1907 teacher Lillia Brook re establishes her friendship with Canon Paul Harris a rising figure at St John's Cathedral who helped her navigate Greek and Latin studies in her formative years by letter when such subjects were deemed useless to females best honed to play angel of the hearth Lillia and Paul's re acquaintance in adulthood sparks from their first meeting as they encounter themselves as pendants for Women's Suffrage and the Tradition of the Church the quintessential male sphere respectivelyWhile Lillia becomes deeply involved in the growing danger of the Women's Movement in a circle that includes Emmeline Pankhurst Paul is forced to confront his comfort in the sacred symbol and tradition of the church communion prayer the solemn process of a worshipful Sunday with the worship in action met head on when he accompanies Lillia to the brutal cloisters of a penitentiary for fallen women It is in these early chapters so lovingly expressed and evoking the feeling of a hot cup of tea with a dose of Masterpiece theatre on a sun slanted weekend that Harwood begins to develop her deeper thesis A startling contradiction of tradition meted against two shifting worlds that startlingly parallel ongoing conversations in the modern church Miss Wells I'm not in the least concerned about my reputation A complicated love story set amidst the turmoil and transition of the shifting roles of tradition in anglo catholicism and the pressure to move worship into action beyond the pulpit paralleled with the changing course of women finally meeting their snatches and life outside the home with violence and misery WAS THIS WRITTEN FOR ME??? A love story that intellectually and spiritually challenges the reader to confront the loop holes in their own beliefs as they sit across from Paul and Lillia who on equal mental footing discover themselves and their roles in each other's lives through constant debate? IS IT MY BIRTHDAY??? And romance? OH ROMANCE clutch your heart and catch your breath romance sparring here is hotter than kissing and the romance Paul and Lillia find is symbolic of a marriage between a shifting church meeting head on the demands and views of its expectant believers So this is not your run of the mill Oh he has a dazzling smile and my heart grows faint type cliche though yes he does have a dazzling smile yet the evocation of true attraction between two mismatched puzzle pieces that need to figure out how to tweak themselves to fit into each other's livesBoth are forced to put faith in action Paul beyond the sacraments of worship by Lillia who changes how he views worship and Lillia who opens her mind to meet him halfway And you know that delicious moment in books when a character realizes their true love for someone when they unwittingly step up to defend them? Hello Bella Wilfer for John Harmon against Mr Boffin in Our Mutual Friend we get TONS OF THAT HERE WHAT BETTER TYPE OF LOVE STORY IS THAT THAN BETWEEN PEOPLE WHO ALLOW THEIR HEARTS TO BE CHANGED and are willing to reconsider convictions that to this point in their lives were etched in stone? I know I know so many caps but I cannot contain my enthusiasm here If I were sitting across from you my hands would be excessively flailingTheir compromise and eventually synchronicity encourages growth as two people willing to shift their stubborn views to let some leeway A treatise on the changes modernizing an era where everyone's roles were falling away and a new type of woman and man strode to find equal footing And Harwood does this ingeniously quietly thoughtfully with little crumbs in the narrative the pipes of the masculine sphere in Lillia's boarding house the importance of Paul's given name in contrast to the historical part that spoke for women's silence all of these little notes strung throughout ugh so goooood I die Horatio anyways What we sometimes forget about the power of fiction is how it can be used as a mirror or lens to our experiences and preconceptions More still how it can be the bind that helps us reconcile our past When you view the world through the lens of fictional emblems it becomes a safe space to be mentally engaged spiritually moved and challenged to change There is a balm in the constraints of fiction that allow your mind and heart to roam free in a way you might not confront what the fiction offers in real life or conversation Is fiction a mode of conversation of course but it is something silent and ruminative and in Impossible Saints I watched the war between my Christian upbringing and beliefs and my feminist views rile on the page in Paul and LilliaI can see you've placed me in the category of the fast modern woman and there I'll stay until I can prove to you I'm a real personIt takes a lot for a book to resound echoes long after the constructs of its time period but Impossible Saints is relevant Relevant to anyone who is shaped by expectation latches to tradition while still at odds with the convictions that force us to grapple with the malleability of theological tenets and basic human principles It is really brilliant to have this sewn up within the pattern of a novel and makes it accessible for readers who struggle and yearn to be challenged with their entertainment For as much as I would love to posture about the higher tenets of this book's grappling with spiritual philosophical and humane truths so I am always reminded of how friggin' ENJOYABLE the whole darned thing is Because seriously beyond the awesome discovery that it would hit me like the best kind of anvil its time period and subject are TOTAL RACHEL CATNIP I walked out of the film Suffragette a few years ago feeling flat like it was an open pop left out and devoid of fizz but all that I wanted it to be is resplendent here in a flesh and blood and contradictory heroine I finish an episode of Grantchester wishing that the dominant male sphere would be countered by feminine influence beyond the wishy washy turn ups of fashionable Amanda and I find it here as Paul's mind broadens and stretches with Lillia's influenceI often cite Catherine Marshall's Christy as a true love story thinking of how agnostic doctor Neil MacNeill challenges Christy to believe for herself beyond the expectations or platitudes of the Mission It is in this that he shows true love and devotion interested in hearing her as than a mouthpiece wanting a peek inside Here we have two people who through danger loss and strife are willing to sacrifice and meet in the middle after many exceptionally well written snapshots into their debates As they verbally spar so you might very well meet new thoughts and ideas that will encourage you to put the book aside and work things out for a little bit At one point in the novel an unhappily married woman repeatedly calls all men cowards cowards who must rise or work and strive to raise themselves up in church or society And yet Harwood's book proves the opposite of that again and again in two characters who are shaped in the truest form of courage there is willing to stumble and fall and admit fallacy willing to sacrifice moments of dignity and pride in order to find a surer footing with each other and with the higher plains they subscribe to Write me this romance again and again world for it is not only the romance between two people finding a lasting and heart clenching love but the romance in finding a surer belief in ones instincts when acting on conviction beyond human or church expectationsI have an equal readership of faith based readers and non and while I am speaking to this book as it pertains to my faith experience rest assured that it is not a prerequisite This can be read as a whizbang good snap crackle and pop story of historical romance which just happens to pair two people at odds with each other and one of these odds is Paul's life as a clergyman You don't need a lexicon or even to believe to enjoy Moreover it offers a succinct and troubling look at the brutality and intolerance facing the women who sacrificed their livelihood and comfort for a greater causeThere are the books you want to hand out to people so that they can understand your heart and mind and the vulnerable pieces of yourself and your strengths and weaknesses hand them out at Christmas with a little bow and a card that says here steal inside my heart for a moment And this is that book This is one of those thumb printed on my heart and mind and resolve and especially interwoven into the fabric of my reading life forever So I will forever be grateful to a casual facebook chain where a friend tagged me in a post about this book the post by another author I fangirl over Jennifer Delamere because this is just ack I cannot even form complete and cohesive sentences any just make sure you preorder this book and read it and think about it and mull on it and then revisit itI know I will interred again and again into my perennial collectionQUOTES Lillia had never given much thought to his physical appearance Indeed there was nothing remarkable about it except when he smiled And she realized now when he preached It was as if the cathedral was his natural setting the only place where a rare powerful illumination could blaze out from inside him The man and his setting were equally beautiful They lived in two different worlds that were often than not hostile toward each otherI don't know if you realize how lucky you areYou're free No man has a claim on you No man has conquered and enslaved you mentally physically or spiritually You're not free from all struggle and suffering of course you must feel lonely you must have desires but you haven't bound yourself to a man you'll come to despise Men don't want to be married to stupid or vacuous womenI'm starting to become suspicious of your motives for becoming a priest Your position is too convenient an excuse for breaking rules that ordinary people must abide byHe sent me copies of his lessons and corrected my mistakes I may be the only woman in Britain with an education from one of the best public boys' schools pre order 10 copies for your book club here DO IT need discussion questions? heck I'll write them for free pre order another 5 copies for all of your friends and family afterwardAdd it to your Goodreads to read shelf so you don't forget as if I would let you forget I won't I will be back in December reminding you and thanks thanks thanks to Pegasus and Netgalley for this ARC