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Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson
Ten Thousand Saints begins in rural Vermont in 1987. Jude Keffy-Horn, adopted son of unambitious hippies, and his buddy, Teddy, relieve their boredom by dabbling in drugs and inhaling different products to get high. At a party, Teddy meets Eliza, the daughter of Jude's estranged father, and they have sex. Teddy dies soon after huffing Freon. After Teddy's death, Jude moves in with his drug-dealing father to the East Village of New York City. There he reunites with Eliza and Teddy's half brother, Johnny. Johnny is part of the straight-edge movement, and when he finds that Eliza is pregnant, he decides to claim the baby is his. The young trio struggle to find a new path in life that their parents rejected. Eleanor Henderson's debut novel has received mostly positive reviews with the Washington Post saying, "Ten Thousand Saints is a whirling dervish of a first novel - a planet, a universe, a trip. As wild as that may sound, wonder of wonders, the book is also carefully and lovingly created, taking the reader far into the lives and souls of its characters and bringing them back out again, blinking in the bright light."