The Patron Saint of Liars CD Audio CD – Audiobook, September 4, 2007
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Audio CD, Audiobook, Unabridged
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From the Back Cover
St. Elizabeth's is a home for unwed mothers in the 1960s. Life there is not unpleasant, and for most, it is temporary. Not so for Rose, a beautiful, mysterious woman who comes to the home pregnant but not unwed. She plans to give up her baby because she knows she cannot be the mother it needs. But St. Elizabeth's is near a healing spring, and when Rose's time draws near, she cannot go through with her plans, not all of them. And she cannot remain forever untouched by what she has left behind . . . and who she has become in the leaving.
About the Author
ANN PATCHETT is the author of seven novels, The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, The Magician’s Assistant, Bel Canto, Run, State of Wonder, and Commonwealth. She was the editor of Best American Short Stories, 2006, and has written three books of nonfiction, Truth & Beauty, about her friendship with the writer, Lucy Grealy, What now? an expansion of her graduation address at Sarah Lawrence College, and, most recently, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, a collection of essays.
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The story is about a young woman who felt trapped in her life. She's a devote Catholic and doesn't see divorce as an option. Instead she decides to leave her life and go as far away as possible. Unfortunately, she must leave not only people with whom she feels trapped but also her beloved mother. She leaves with no real plan except to find a good family who will take her baby.
Not to spoil the story, I will leave it there. You'll have to read it to find out more. But, I will say that it is written in three clear and distinct points-of-view in sections. Each tells more about the inner workings of those three characters and their relationships to one another. That's one of my favorite kinds of books to read. That's why Susan Howach is one of my all-time favorite writers.
Patchett writes with wonderful simplicity and clarity. Yes, there's a lot of inner dialogue and yes, there's a lot of backstory. But, the author handles both so well. This is the kind of book that is so touching, that tears form in your eyes as you read.
Here are some especially stunning quotes:
People think you have to be going someplace, when, in fact, the ride is plenty.
There was a loneliness in being answered, as if God and I had less to say to each other now.
It was a time in my life when a Junior Mint could meet the difference between happiness and unhappiness.
If people do have more than one life in a lifetime, they should be careful to make sure the different versions of the past never overlap.
...missing people was a full-time job, being sorry about what was gone was going to take every waking minute now, so much time and energy that I had no choice but to stay right on that spot until they decided to come back.
This is a book about loneliness. I felt the rawness of Rose's loneliness from the first page. She could love deeply and she could hurt others deeply.
My only negative in this first novel is the redundancy. We heard how beautiful Rose was one or two or three times too many. As a reader, I wanted to say, "Okay, I get it!" But, overlooking that sleight, I can say this is a must-read and on my list of all-time favorite books.
At any rate, I enjoyed the book despite the central character being my least favorite type of character, a woman who seems to be "half a bubble off of plumb" who, upon discovering she is pregnant decides to ditch her loving husband in Marina Del Ray, California, jump in the car and take off for who knows where. She ends up in a home for unwed mothers (formerly a luxury hotel set up to take advantage of the local springs) in Kentucky run by a group of nuns. I won't spoil the plot details but she ends up staying beyond the target date for some rather interesting reasons. (Reminds me in a way of the Cheryl Strayed character who bails on her husband when her mother dies as feels the solution to her problems is to hike the Cascade Trail despite no experience or training. Brings up the line "I know two ways to deal with women. Neither works."
But I digress, despite the inexplicable (to me, at least) premise, I enjoyed the story and the characters. Those who have not been exposed to Ann's writing might find this an interesting start. And ladies, before you dump on me, read the story and see if you can 'splain the reason she bailed on her first husband! Probably great grist for a book club discussion.
Top international reviews
In Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett, Rose is a mystery.
Rose is married to a sweet man, who allows her the freedom to spend all day doing what she loves – driving. For Rose the destination isn’t important, just the journey and the freedom it brings.
Rose discovers that she’s pregnant and takes off driving across to the other side of America. She leaves her husband a simple note.
Rose heads for St. Elizabeth’s. St. Elizabeth’s is a former hotel, that is run by Roman Catholic Nuns. It is a place where women go to complete their pregnancy, give birth and then give their baby up for adoption.
But nothing works out like Rose planned. Rose meets Son, a handyman more than twenty years her senior. She finds a place in the kitchen, helping Sister Evangeline out with the cooking. Sister Evangeline and Rose become close friends, but that’s because Sister Evangeline accepts that Rose will never open up about her past or herself. Rose also meets the kind June Clatterbuck, who owns the land St. Elizabeth’s is on and lives across a field.
There’s nothing I could writes in this review to explain the brilliance of this Patron Saint of Liars. The first person perspective is perfect and the changes between the three main characters happens at exactly the right times.
The description is ideal, informative and ignites the readers imagination. The pacing, set over a lifetime is impeccable. Each of the characters and their development is superb.
Patron Saint of Liars is a pleasurable read, that captivates throughout and will leave the reader wanting more. It is Patchett’s writing at her very best. It would make a blockbuster of a film.
I don’t grade reviews, but if I did Patron Saint of Liars would get 12 out of 10. You simply must read this fantastic and life-changing work of fiction.
Thoroughly enjoyed the book and we had plenty to discuss. We all had very positive things to say about the main characters, their relationships with each other and the plot. Kept you guessing whether all would or would not be revealed at the end.
A soft pen glides over a very mysterious story called the patron Saint of Liars.
A mother who wants to give up her child for adoption changes her mind in the last moment.
The main deceit is never revealed, not even hinted at, not even declared as to be found out.
But it's there. Maybe you will guess the same as I did, maybe not. As for myself I couldn't imagine the reason, maybe you will.
Write to me then...
A kind of detective story but then we know she knows who and why but she just won't not tell.
Not only Lying but also Writing by omission