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on 1 August 2003
Just when you think you're getting to know Rose, the main protagonist, she slips away from you, as she does the rest of the characters in the book. Narrated by three separate narrators, first Rose, then her second husband 'Son', and finally her daughter Cecilia, this novel takes you into the lives of the inhabitants of a Catholic home for unwed mothers.
As usual with Patchett, the novel is beautifully written. So evocative. Her touch is graceful and light. She creates characters that you really care about, wonderfully quirky 3-D people that fill your thoughts and imagination long after you've put the book down. You'll want to read it in one go, and go back to it again and again.
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on 27 November 1996
I had an ache in the pit of my stomach for the
entire story. I haven't read such a sweet sad fragile
story in a long long time. Its rare that an author
(and a first-time one at that!) can write about human
failures and human hopes so eloquently at the same time.
Not once during the story did I stop hoping for a reversal
of character. A truly wonderful story . . .
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on 25 July 1997
The Patron Saint of Liars tries mightily to engage the reader with questions of faith, fidelity and human longing. Unfortunately, the insights into these things are at best standard, and at worst, facile or dull. Patchett writes well, (her prose rarely thuds), but she writes too much, thinking that a sea of sensory detail is enough to provide enlightenment, when what the reader craves is some honest insight. For a book that is supposed to be about our deepest humanity, it leaves one feeling oddly cold. It is apparent that Patchett's mind and eyes are sharp; it is her heart that needs work.
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on 17 May 2003
I really enjoyed reading this book, and if you are interested in stories about family relations, I highly recommend this book to you.
It is divided into four parts, the second one is the story told by Rose. (The first part of the ook reminded me of Gabriel Garcia Marques). Rose tells a little bit about her home situation (as a flashback). At the present time in the story she has just left her life behind to drive up to Tenessee from California to go to Saint Elizabeth's a sanctuary, run by nuns, for pregnant girls who will be giving their babies up for adoption once they have been born. She tells us about her life there and we meet some of the other girls and sisters aswell.
Then the book moves on to tell the story of Son, who lets us in on his past life. It is told by himself and while he tells us about his life, the story unfolds in the present aswell. The third bit of the book is narrated by Cecilia, who -in my case- helps us understand Rose a bit better.
I found it one of those reads you not very often come across, I miss it and keep thinking about it too. Thank you Anne Patchett.
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on 1 December 1998
Themes throughout the book - Those Who Stay and Those Who Leave, resonate, particularly through Son's narrative. The placement of the story is unique and offers a look at those who can neither stay nor leave, but are simply waiting. But while I was touched by sections of the story (particularly through Son's narrative), I was frustrated by Rose's actions. I reread her narrative and had a difficult time understanding the extremeness of her actions - what function in her past told her to run instead of facing those who loved her - and what would catapult her into the life she chose to lead. Other than that, the novel is lovely, soft and warm and sad. There's a lot to discuss. I look forward to reading more Patchett.
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on 29 January 2013
Chosen by my Book Club members . I have not read any of her other novels but will in the future.
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.
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on 16 March 2009
Really enjoyed the book - it was picked for our book club. I felt totally engaged with the characters and didn't want the story to end
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on 6 October 2003
Ann Patchett is a very interesting writer, avoiding the formulaic, straining at the leash of conventional fiction to produce quietly unconventional novels. Bel Canto, unsurprisingly, is a prize winner, so perfectly realised, The Magician's Assistant is probably my favourite containing real gold inside a somewhat messy structure, but The Patron Saint of Liars doesn't quite pull it off in the same way. It would be fair to say it is an honourable failure and still an ejoyable read, but I couldn't quite believe in Rose. Ann Patchett likes characters who bury themselves in secrets and mystery, but she remains too obscure - you keep questioning her motives but not receiving any insights which ultimately left me unsatisfied
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