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Liars and Saints by Maile Meloy

Pub Date:

 

 

Liars and Saints
A Novel
Maile Meloy

Scribner
May 20, 2003
Hardcover/260 pages
ISBN: 0-7432-4435-4
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"The premise is compelling . . ."

"The experience somewhat resembles a coast-to-coast trip at highway speeds . . ."

"A poignant story populated with people I?d like to know better."

Maile Meloy has attempted a heroic task: condensing fifty years of a family’s lives, loves, and foibles into 260 pages. The premise is compelling; each generation’s personality quirks and missteps affect the next generation, building to a bittersweet ending that leaves room for hope in the future. Clearly, tossing a lie into the calm waters of a young marriage causes ripples that keep expanding to affect their offspring for generations to come.

 

 

Traveling through their various lives at such speed keeps the reader’s involvement minimal at times, requiring much “telling” by the author. The experience somewhat resembles a coast-to-coast trip at highway speeds, with occasional stops at photo outlooks to take snapshots, or a rock skipping over the surface of a lake. More in-depth scenes could better personalize the characters, enabling the reader to know them more intimately.

Though the characters need more depth, they are, nonetheless, unique. All are average people who mean well and still manage to disappoint each other. A poignant story populated with people I’d like to know better. This volume deserves another fifty pages to allow us to linger with this family.
Reviewer: Doris Lakey