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The Patron Saint of Liars: A Novel Paperback – Apr 19 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; Reprint edition (April 19 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547520204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547520209
  • Product Dimensions: 20.5 x 13.4 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #26,297 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
TWO O'CLOCK in the morning, a Thursday morning, the first bit of water broke through the ground of George Clatterbuck's back pasture in Habit, Kentucky, and not a living soul saw it. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 13 2002
Format: Paperback
Rose, the protagonist of "The Patron Saint of Liars" seems to have an answer for all of life's problems and it always seems to be the same...running away. Rose seems to think that out of sight is definitely out of mind.
When we meet Rose, she is a very confused, Catholic woman who realizes after some years of marriage (and despite the fact that she's pregnant), that she simply doesn't love her husband anymore. Perhaps she never did. Rather than getting help from her local priest or even a marriage counselor and, even short of confiding in her husband (about her lack of love for him or her pregnancy), Rose does what Rose does best...she simply leaves.
With no destination in mind and no money (Rose's preferred method of travel), Rose ends up in a home for unwed mothers in Kentucky. She lies to the nuns about her family and eventually meets Son, the handsome, charismatic handyman at the home. All the pregnant girls are in love with Son, but of course, it is Rose who ends up snaring him...and marrying him. The fact that Rose already has a husband is simply glossed over. This is a woman who doesn't want to be bothered with details.
Fifteen years later, Son is a good father to Cecilia, the daughter that isn't really his...at least in a biological sense. Whether Rose is a good (second) wife and mother, is a more subjection question.
Rose and Son have inherited the mansion belonging to the founder of the home and while both Son and Cecilia are happy to live there, Rose chooses instead to live in Son's small cabin. It seems, for reasons not made completely clear, that this woman simply can't bear life in a mansion with her gorgeous husband and daughter. Strange? Maybe for you and I, but definitely not for our Rose.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By marzipan on May 30 2003
Format: Paperback
Only being captive on a long Amtrak ride made me finish this book.
The main character isn't mysterious, as some have said, only implausible, dull and completely unsympathetic. Her departure from her husband at the beginning of her pregnancy seems to be more about a love of driving long distances at random than an escape from anything the reader can understand. Her deciding to take refuge in a home for unwed mothers made me more than annoyed--angry. The author makes a mockery of women (usually young girls) who, in pre-choice days were forced into such hideaways.
This author writes some pretty prose--too much of it in fact. That's unfortunate for readers, because it hides the nothing she has to say.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The setting for The Patron Saint of Liars is imaginative and the characters interesting but the story falls short of it's initial promise. Patchett's novel Bel Canto reveals a more mature writer who can create and sustain a gripping story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sandra Zickefoose on Jan. 13 2002
Format: Paperback
First, Patchett can write very well--she carries you right along on a beautiful stream of words--so she is a joy to read no matter what else you might say about her. What I would say however is that while this is a really good book, she gets better in later books. It is probably not fair to judge this book by what she accomplishes later--but ah, we are human - and so we do unfair things. Just like Patchett's characters. I like her characters...not personally but as literary devices. They are complex. They are not presented in neat little packages so that we, the readers, are given a complete overview of who they are and why they do what they do. They are often contradictory and we have to keep asking why are they doing this -or that. I think we look for characters that are easy to understand because we are so desperate to try and make sense out of the world-and we are hoping that literature will help us do that. But I think good literature helps us see how complicated it really is and that there are no simple answers about why people do what they do. So Patchett gives us characters that make us crazy based on the decisions they are making-but who are good people, regardless of their decisions. We realize in the process that people do not have to do specific things to be good people-and that we don't really know -and don't have to know why a person makes the decisions they do- you can still care about them. Why, for instance, would a married woman, with a husband who adores her abandon him and go to a home for unwed mothers. Why would a woman who adores her mother decide to never communicate with her mother again? You read along saying to yourself-no! Don't do that.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I loved this book! I have been trying to set aside time to "feast" on good fiction and this was a delicious find! The protagonist is achingly vulnerable, yet wonderfully mysterious. I also appreciated the fact that Ms. Patchett allowed the other characters (i.e. Son and Cecilia) to narrate their own stories. After starting the book on Saturday night, I snuggled in Sunday morning and finished the whole thing!
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Format: Paperback
I didn't want this book to end - I wanted to keep reading the inner monologues of Rose and Cecilia and Son. What better compliment or recomendation is there about a story? What captured me was the vulnerability and honesty, the unflinching self-evaluation of the characters. I loved the relationships, the language, the almost tangible landscape. Some moments between Rose and Cecilia, Son and Cecilia - were so rich and so raw - I had to look away from the page for a moment. That's writing worth reading - and sharing!
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