The Patron Saint of Liars

The Patron Saint of Liars

eBook - 2011
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Since her first publication in 1992, celebrated novelist Ann Patchett has crafted a number of elegant novels, garnering accolades and awards along the way. Now comes a beautiful reissue of the best-selling debut novel that launched her remarkable career. St. Elizabeth's, a home for unwed mothers in Habit, Kentucky, usually harbors its residents for only a little while. Not so Rose Clinton, a beautiful, mysterious woman who comes to the home pregnant but not unwed, and stays. She plans to give up her child, thinking she cannot be the mother it needs. But when Cecilia is born, Rose makes a place for herself and her daughter amid St. Elizabeth's extended family of nuns and an ever-changing collection of pregnant teenage girls. Rose's past won't be kept away, though, even by St. Elizabeth's; she cannot remain untouched by what she has left behind, even as she cannot change who she has become in the leaving.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011
ISBN: 9780547548401
Characteristics: data file
1 online resource (352 pages)
Call Number: eBook


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Aug 19, 2016

I loved the compassionate way that the writer presents and develops each of the characters - reminding me that there really are so many things that we really do not know about others, and that to judge is to really miss the essence of humanity..

Rosie Hartzler

Jul 17, 2013

A fine story of ordinary people told in an extraordinary way. As in real life, people can't change who they are and there are few Hollywood endings.

May 08, 2013

Another very good read from this author. She has a gift in drawing individual characters that feel like real people you can care about. This is a story of "small" lives that proves the maxim about the entire universe being contained in a grain of sand.

Aug 31, 2012

brianreynolds, who left a comment, sums up Ann Patchett's books the best, especially this one.

Her books are great to read, however the endings always seems to disappoint.

Regardless of the ending, this book is a wonderful read.

ontherideau Aug 18, 2012

Ann Patchett has 26 letters to work. Those letters magically create people we can care about.

brianreynolds Jun 25, 2012

I'm becoming used to Ann Patchett's endings; I am not a person who demands certainty or dislikes surprises, but simply refusing to finish is different than subtlety or craftiness or being hip. Avoidance is particularly annoying from an author who is already in her debut novel a master at storytelling. The Patron Saint of Liars grabs the reader very early and doesn't let go. She makes me lose sleep, lose track of time, lose perspective when I find myself lecturing her characters, cheering them one, weeping at their dilemmas, and wondering how in the world they got to be the way they are. The problem is, these are not just character studies, not even photographs sitting in the kitchen at Saint Elizabeth's home for unwed mothers. Even in that small setting, they move. They perform. The plot simmers from the start and reaches a rolling boil by the end. Chickens come home to roost. There are half a dozen ways the lies that hold everything together could come unglued. Patchett doesn't underline them, doesn't laugh at us. But they are there, little threads the reader would like to grab in the hope of unraveling her story. I'm spellbound. The writing, the story, the ideas behind the story. It's all here. And after now three times being led down her garden path, I give up. Her endings be damned; it was an incredible read. It's been awhile since I was so wrenched by a situation, so touched by a crossroads, so compelled to finish a book.

sharonb122 Apr 17, 2012

I enjoyed this book. It wove a spell for me into another world. The characters were intriguing and unusual. They were rather sad and I saw very little change and even less explanation for the way they were, even though Patchett presented them sympathetically. In a way, it made the book more realistic, because it is rare that we understand why people are the way they are and they change little over the years. I especially liked the wise old woman idea. She was friend, advisor and family to the main charaters.

patienceandfortitude Dec 05, 2011

I really liked this book, but not as much as Bel Canto, but enough to want to read everything else that Patchett has written. Some of my friends liked it much more than Bel Canto -- go figure. :)


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