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Book review: 'Elizabeth Seton' is an inspiring book about a remarkable woman

By Kelsey Hansen

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, May 6 2014 3:32 p.m. MDT

"AMERICAN SAINT: The Life of Elizabeth Seton" by Joan Barthel, Thomas Dunne Books, $26.99, 293 pages (nf)

The Seton family motto, from its 12th-century coat of arms, was "at whatever risk, yet go forward." Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton truly lived by this motto as she taught, preached and persevered through the challenges of her life.

Author Joan Barthel gives the reader a fascinating and in-depth look at Seton's life and work. As a young girl, she had already lost two mothers, and her father had gone overseas to pursue work. Later in her life, her husband died of tuberculosis. It was after his death that she converted to Catholicism.

In the relatively few years of her adult life, Seton was able to live a life of extraordinary holiness and has since been named a saint.

"American Saint: The Life of Elizabeth Seton" is inspiring, interesting and complex. Seton is an American saint deserving of being remembered.

The language is clean, and there isn't any violence or sexual themes. There are many religious and Catholic terms that could be confusing for those without a Catholic background.

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