Liars And Saints is an utterly compelling portrait of a family, the twists and turns of their lives unravelled with extraordinary sensitivity and understanding. By turns laugh aloud funny and unbearably moving, it marks the beginning of a stunning literary carrer. Set in California, the narrative follows four generations of the Santerre family ...
Liars And Saints is an utterly compelling portrait of a family, the twists and turns of their lives unravelled with extraordinary sensitivity and understanding. By turns laugh aloud funny and unbearably moving, it marks the beginning of a stunning literary carrer. Set in California, the narrative follows four generations of the Santerre family from World War II to the present, as they navigate a succession of life-changing events. It is guaranteed to be loved by all those who devoured The Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
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I had a hard time getting into the story, and when it started grabbing me, it quickly turned from an acceptable, believable family history into a melodrama of too many coincidences and history repeating itself, which made it not enjoyable to read. Some of the events may be plausible, but all these incidences happening in ONE family is just too contrived.
Aug 11, 2009
This book is amazing, to say the least. I met Meloy at my university's literature conference and fell in love with her writing style. She read from her newest short story collection, and it was the first I?ve heard of her. But I?ve found that Meloy?s writing emanates true compassion for her characters. Not often can a book send you to another world like Liars and Saints---I felt like I knew the Family personally. I finished the book in two sittings and think about what the characters are doing because they seem so real, so close, like family. The chapters are short, with an omniscient speaker, giving insight into each of the character?s lives. If the book were written differently, I would not feel the connection I have for the characters. Some may find the content a little disturbing, but that?s because Meloy isn?t afraid to suggest that human nature isn?t perfect. Human relationships have vague boundaries for love. And manufactured love can't exist. Please read, if you like well-written, worthwhile books.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-04-28 The consolations of ardent faith, as well as the harsh demands of religious dogma, supply the leitmotifs of this dazzling novel of a Catholic family's life over five decades. Meloy, whose collection of short fiction, Half in Love, earned rave reviews last year, writes with wisdom and compassion about the secret guilt that shadows three generations of the Santerre family. Yvette Grenier and Teddy Santerre marry in California in 1945, just before Teddy ships out to the Pacific. Their wartime separation sparks Teddy's fears of Yvette's infidelity, and when naive Yvette is moved to confess an experience of sexual temptation to her priest, his strict penalty for her "sin of omission" creates enduring tension in the marriage. When one of their daughters gives birth at age 16, Yvette contrives to pass off the baby boy as her own son, convinced that God has chosen her to bear this burden. The strict injunctions of Catholic doctrine and the well-meaning deceit that follows trigger an intricate chain of events that finds history repeating itself in the next generation, bringing heartbreaking sacrifice and spiritual reconciliation. Meloy's unerring mastery of narrative is remarkable. The disciplined economy and resonant clarity of her prose allow her to present a complex story in swift, lean chapters. The alternating points of view of eight main characters shine with authenticity and illuminate the moral complexities felt by each generation. The rich emotional chiarascuro and fine psychological insight of this haunting novel mark Meloy as a writer of extraordinary talent. (June) Forecast: Widespread review attention for this novel should also spur sales of Half in Love, out in paperback from Scribner in July. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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