The Patron Saint of Liars

The Patron Saint of Liars

Book - 2003
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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.

Publisher: New York : Perennial, 2003.
Edition: 1st Perennial ed.
ISBN: 9780060540753
Characteristics: 336 p. : port. ; 21 cm.

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Oct 04, 2018

Rose, a beautiful and mysterious woman living at St. Elizabeth's home for unwed mother, has no intention of telling her mother or her husband about her pregnancy, until a healing spring near the home changes her mind.

Sep 11, 2018

This is the first novel that I have read by Ann Patchett. I was drawn to her characters, always wanting to know more about each of them. Rose was such a troubled soul. What came across to me was that, in her act of leaving her former life behind, she never recovered from missing her own mother. She transferred that love to the aging Sister Evangeline, but somehow couldn't form a bond with her own child. The story is filled with such wonderfully relatable characters: June, Sister Evangeline, Thomas, Son and Cecilia, to name a few. So much went unsaid among them. You could Feel Cecilia's pain and frustration in the inability of her parents to communicate, both to each other and to her. It was heartbreaking at times. A wonderful read, and I look forward to reading the rest of the author's books.

Dec 19, 2017

For a first novel this is astonishing. I read it in a day. I couldn't put it down, always wanting to know what was next. I can say that about very few authors except Stephen King.

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.

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