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The Liars' Club: A Memoir Kindle Edition
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This book is so good, I thought about sending it out for a back-up opinion...it's like finding Beethoven in Hoboken. To have a poet's precision of language and a poet's insight into people applied to one of the roughest, toughest, ugliest places in America is an astonishing event. -- Molly Ivins, The Nation --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B008LY24II
- Publisher : Penguin Books; 1st edition (May 31, 2005)
- Publication date : May 31, 2005
- Language : English
- File size : 840 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 336 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #35,593 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Per Mary’s telling, her mother (whom she simply calls Mother) is a tortured artist, full of inner grandeur, and stifled by the bounds of poverty. She’s philosophical, passionate, and brilliant in her own ways, but she’s immobilized by mental illness and alcoholism. Her artistic flamboyance is so out of place in Leechfield, no one knows what to make of her, and the community writes her off as lunatic. But their assessment doesn’t seem unfair. Mother’s wildly destructive behaviors are the primary thrill factor of the book. Only the glowering, disapproving grandmother can subdue her, to the astonishment and disappointment of young Mary.
Mary’s father (Daddy) is the saner parent. He’s an alcoholic too, but since he’s unplagued by mental illness, he isn't ostracized. He holds a job in the oil refinery, feeds his family, and dotes on his little girls. Daddy is famous in Leechfield for his masterful telling of tall tales among friends (inspiring the title "The Liars’ Club").
Although Mother and Daddy do love Mary and Lecia, Mother’s illness overshadows every aspect of their lives with insanity. Mary and Lecia have few boundaries. While Lecia assumes the responsibility that her mother shirks, Mary grows sassy and wild.
When Mother comes into some money, they all move from oil-permeated Leechfield to an idyllic ranch in Colorado, where the girls roam the wild countryside on horseback in mountain-fresh air under wide open skies. But as it has been said, no matter where you go, there you are. Addiction and illness follow them. Mother and Daddy divorce soon thereafter, and the children are abandoned to themselves and tossed around with fantastical carelessness.
To conclude the memoir, Mary skips to her young adulthood. Mother’s new money has been squandered, Mother and Daddy have reconciled, they’ve returned to Leechfield, Daddy is bedridden, and a great family secret is disclosed. Suddenly, the insanity makes sense. But don’t read ahead. You need the blindness to appreciate Mary’s bewildering, focusless upbringing.
Throughout the book, Mary hints that she and Lecia have grown into contributing, productive humans, but as she describes her childhood, you may wonder how that outcome is possible. Maybe this is what saves the girls: Despite all the chaos, a thread of love is evident. The girls are not rejected by either parent, nor by each other. They learn attachment.
Karr’s narrative is a mashup of childish perspective and grown-up introspection. Her lexicon is deliberate and selective. She crafts each sentence like a poet (which she also is). In her writing, you’ll see glimpses of the good genes she’s inherited. She’s an artist, like her mother, and a taleweaver, like her father. Enjoy "The Liar’s Club" like wine: Some of it is unsavory. Some of it is exquisite. All of it will alter your outlook.
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But if you've had any type of abuse in your childhood, it makes sense that you would really find comfort and understanding here.
I gave it four stars because it was well written and, I think, a very important book. Well done, Mary Carr.
Karr provides a level of detail that no small child could remember. She recounts her father telling tall tales to "the liars club". She's a chip off the old block. I kept thinking what is the point of all of the over-the-top embellishment? I feel like someone is trying to sell something to me.
Top reviews from other countries
There is no story. Okey, I can understand it, because it is a memory of the author.
But Narration is bad. Wring style is certainly not fun to read, so much raw, dry, tasteless rambling with trivial details.
After 50 pages I have decided I wasted enough time.