Impossible Saints by Clarissa Harwood

Impossible Saints

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 ...

Details Impossible Saints

TitleImpossible Saints
Release DateJan 2nd, 2018
PublisherPegasus Books
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Romance, Fiction, Feminism, European Literature, British Literature, Historical Romance

Reviews Impossible Saints

  • Rachel McMillan
    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 more 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 s...
  • Wit & Wonder Books
    *** ARC provided by the author for an honest review ***Learn how a true suffragette balances life and love in Impossible Saints by Clarissa Harwood. Meet and fall in love with the kindness and strength of Ms. Lilia Brooke.Lilia Brooke is the only child to the local headmaster. Her dreams and ambition have never been curtailed by her father. She was able to attend one of the best colleges that allow women, and graduated at the top of her class. As...
  • Ashley
    I received a free e-copy of Impossible Saints by Clarissa Harwood via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Impossible Saints by Clarissa Harwood is a one of a kind book. It will stay with me and become one of the books I read over and over again. It’s not because of the romance aspect but because of Lilia, the portrayal of the suffrage movement and Paul. There were many times I found myself laughing, smiling and pressing a hand to my che...
  • Laura
    Of course I love this novel - I'm her agent! If you love fierce and fiery suffragettes, complicated romances, and Grantchester on PBS/BBC, this book is for you!
  • Annarella
    A wonderful debut, a solid plot, and intriguing characters. A book i would advise to people who are looking for historical fiction with something more. A bit too sedate and emphatic at times but really good on a generale level.It surely deserves five stars.Many thanks to Netgalley and Pegasus Books for giving me the chance to review this book.
  • Jennifer Klepper
    There are two things I love to get from historical fiction, especially when I am thinking about whether it's a good book club book. First, does it teach me something I didn't know and make me want to learn even more? Second, does it lend itself to spirited discussion and debate? IMPOSSIBLE SAINTS nailed it for both of these considerations. Clarissa Harwood clearly loves London of the early 20th Century, as well as the history of the suffrage move...
  • Tiffany S
    It is hard to wrap your mind around the fact that barely over a 100 years ago, women were giving up their lives for the right to vote. Women were imprisoned for fighting for the right to vote. Women were ostracized for wanting the right to vote.Impossible Saints reminds us of all these facts and more. I definitely recommend adding it to your to read lists.Lilia Brooke is a protagonist you root for as she leaves a small town in England to fight fo...
  • Theresa Therrien-dacey
    Temptation takes many forms and IMPOSSIBLE SAINTS by Clarissa Harwood explores the theme of temptation in different ways. Paul, an ambitious clergyman, has fallen in love with Lilia, a temptation that causes him to question the things he thought were important. Lilia aspires to be like her hero, Joan of Arc: strong, passionate and independent. Though she is undeniably attracted to Paul, she believes she cannot give into the temptation of love and...
  • Genna
    I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.Okay, jeez, finally reviewing this.Bored and unsatisfied with her life as a schoolmistress, Lilia exchanges the tedious doldrums of her rural village existence for one of drama and danger with the suffrage movement in London. Advocating not only for the women's vote, but for the highly controversial issue of contraception, Lilia is thrust into the center of a charged, often vio...
  • Kristin
    I made it through a whole two chapters before giving up. The writing is so bad that I wanted to stop after the first chapter, but I was entertained enough to keep going. I kept reading lines out loud to my son and we laughed hysterically. I felt like I was reading a first manuscript. It's just bad writing that should have made an editor cringe. I also didn't believe the descriptions belonged to 1907. The whole tone of the book (well, the first tw...
  • Dorine
    Rated 4.5 - IMPOSSIBLE SAINTS by Clarissa Harwood fascinated me with its unusual subject matter for a historical romance. It’s uncharacteristic, as well as depicts strong women who fought for their rights in the early 1900s. This “new” woman was sexually aware, smoked, and went to jail for what she believed in. These were the women who fought for our equality in a time when no one believed they could win. But they did.Lilia Brooke taught at...
  • Courtney Clark
    When authors I love endorse or excessively talk about stories they love, I try to pay attention — even if a story is outside my “normal” reading scope (i.e. new authors, small publishers, different genres). When author Rachel McMillan gushed over Impossible Saints by Clarissa Harwood, a general market historical romance, I knew I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. And, I really liked it!Impossible Saints is a flowing, layered genera...
  • Sarah
    I was drawn to this novel mainly due to the subject matter. The suffragette movement strikes a chord with me and I'm sure many women and seemed especially relevant to today's recent events. I did not know much about the movement in England, so from a historical point of view I found it very interesting. The story of the women involved and especially their treatment from society and in jail was especially compelling. However, I felt at times the s...
  • Dianne Freeman
    There's something magical about reading a book where the main characters are so well-drawn they transcend the page and pull you into their story. Paul and Lilia are two such characters. Their relationship does seem impossible (Paul is an Anglican priest and Lilia a suffragette) and their goals and ambitions do seem at odds with one another, but throughout the book, I kept hoping two such exceptional people would find a way to bridge their differe...
  • Melissa
    Clarissa Harwood's debut novel, Impossible Saints, tells the story of Lilia Brooke, an English school teacher and staunch supporter of the suffragette movement, and Paul Harris, an Anglican canon looking to further advance his career in the church. After moving to London, Lilia and Paul, old family friends, reunite. While the two have an intense attraction to each another, the worlds they inhabit are completely different. This becomes especially ...
  • Lauren Sapala
    I. COULD. NOT. PUT. THIS. BOOK. DOWN.I’m a big fan of historical fiction, and only a moderate fan of romance, but Harwood’s story pulled me on both fronts, and fast. I was actually surprised at myself because I became so invested in the two main characters—Lilia and Paul—admitting that they were madly in love with each other and finally getting together. However, what I REALLY loved was that Lilia and Paul’s “happily-ever-after” did...
  • Barb in Maryland
    This is an opposites attract romance set against the early 20th century drive to gain the right to vote for women. On the surface our hero (Paul Harris, an Anglican clergyman) and heroine (Lilia Brooke, New Woman and staunch suffragette) have nothing in common. He's an introvert--happiest working as a scholar, she is out-going--a teacher who becomes an activist with the radical arm of the suffrage movement. They have known each other since she wa...
  • Bradeigh
    Set in England in 1907, this lovely story follows Lilia, a free-spirited young woman who becomes involved in the women’s suffrage movement, and Paul, a family friend of Lilia’s who is rising in the ranks of the Church. Of course the two are attracted to each other, which leads to all sorts of interesting conflict and discussion about the very different causes they are passionate about.I thoroughly enjoyed the story! I immediately connected wi...
  • Amanda
    Wonderful, well developed characters and a great historical storyline.
  • Denise Hershberger (100 Pages per Hour)
    fantastic book! I loved the suffragette heroine and I loved Paul. it wasn't my typical genre to read but I'm so glad I ventured to read a historical. the setting was so well done. fabulous descriptions and great historical depth of such an important time!
  • Amy
    3.5 stars! This was a solid debut novel that fans of unique historical romance will enjoy. I wanted to read this book because it's set in the early 20th Century (my favorite!), and the author's great attention to historical detail really brought the story to life. Paul and Lilia made for an intriguing and fun-to-watch couple (an Anglican priest and a militant suffragette? yes, please!), even if their sparks and chemistry occasionally felt more me...
  • Sarah Wagner
    I didn't expect to like this book nearly as much as I did, but perhaps that's because I can identify almost too much with Lilia Brooke's character and I share her original feelings about clergymen. That being said, I thoroughly enjoying reading as Paul and Lilia fall in love with each other and struggle to figure out what kind of relationship will work for them. This is certainly the best written and most satisfying romance I've read in quite som...
  • Amanda Skenandore
    I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, set in early twentieth century England, both for its historical scope and its endearing characters. It was fascinating to learn about the plight of suffragists, as seen through the eyes of a rising member of the movement. Though I’m not particularly drawn to books where religion plays a central role, I quite liked how the author explored the Anglican Church at the time as well and juxtaposed one of its rising cl...
  • Debbie Handley
    This is a wonderful book that focuses on the women's suffragette movement in England. I enjoyed it very much.
  • Charlene Hochman
  • Suanne
    Impossible Saints by Clarissa Harwood depicts the struggles of suffragettes against well-entrenched British sociopolitical mores. She personalizes the struggle for women’s voting rights with by a love relationship between Lilia and Paul. Lilia, an strong, out-spoken young woman, is a leader in Emmeline Pankhurst’s Women's Social and Political Union, against her childhood friend, Paul, a quiet intellectual, is an Anglican priest. These two, de...
  • nikkia neil
    Thanks Pegasus Books and netgalley for this ARC.Wow, this novel has so many things going for it. It will appeal to the religious and nonreligious like me. Can balance be found in life? This is the grand question for these two people in this novel. They go thru hell to find out. YOu'll be so glad you read this book at the end.
  • Brandie
    ***Received via a Goodreads Giveaway from the publisher*** "Why is it that men's courage is called bravery but women's courage is called recklessness- or, even worse, foolishness?" Let's start with the cover: Stunning! My only nitpick would be the transition from the front (or back) cover to the spine. It's just too abrupt. It catches the eye right off the bat. It should have been much more subtle.I love the book! Great characters! Wonderful subj...