The Patron Saint of Ugly
Catholic lore, American tales, and Sicilian superstition blend in this “clever, funny, heartbreaking, and heartwarming” novel (Publishers Weekly).
Born with unruly red hair, a sharp tongue, and wine-colored marks all over her body—marks that oddly mimick a map of the world and make her subject to endless ridicule—Garnet Ferrari would hardly consider herself blessed. So when an emissary from the Vatican shows up at her door, convinced that her seeming ability to cure the skin ailments of others qualifies her for sainthood, she’s not quite convinced—or pleased.
Garnet sets off on a quest to better understand who she is and where she and her unusual gifts came from. Tracing a twisted path that leads from Sicily to West Virginia, poverty to riches, romance to loss, reality to mythology, Garnet uncovers a truth far more powerful than any dermatological miracle: that the things of which we are most ashamed often become our greatest strengths.
“A cleareyed, touching fable of a girl learning the hard truths about herself and others.” —Kirkus Reviews
About the Author:
Marie Manilla is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop. The Patron Saint of Ugly (winner of the 2014 Weatherford Award) has been described as a blend of magical realism, Southern Gothic, and Sicilian malocchio. Daniel Wallace selected her novel, Shrapnel (2012), as winner of the Fred Bonnie Award for Best First Novel. Still Life with Plums: Short Stories (2010), was a finalist for both the Weatherford Award and ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year