I was tired from the day’s nothingness. Everything seemed static. I had accomplished nothing that day. I just spent all those hours thinking about how NORMAL my life had become – devoid of any REAL excitement. NOTHING. And that was when I spotted the book, just lying on my side table.On top of it was a half-finished cup of coffee and a piece of cake. SEE, I WAS THAT TIRED!! I did not even finish my CAKE!!! But I mustered strength enough to pick up the book, dust off the crumbs and finally LOOK AT IT. It’s blue cover – the deep of the sky. A girl sitting with her back to my face. I wondered what she was thinking. I wondered what she might be looking at. AND THEN I READ THE TITLE. LIARS AND SAINTS.
It intrigued me. WHY ‘Liars and Saints’? What will I encounter once I start reading it?? And ALL THOSE THOUGHTS GAVE WAY TO ACTUALLY START FLIPPING THE PAGES AND THEN….
‘They were married during the war, in Santa Barbara, after Mass one morning in the old Mission church.’
SUDDENLY, I was not inactive anymore. There was SOMETHING about the words – the urgency behind the solemn words that pulled me in right from the beginning and did not let me out of their grip until the end. AND I KNEW THAT I HAD FOUND ANOTHER ‘otherworldly’ BOOK AND I WAS LIKE…..
I KNEW I WAS FUCKED.
At the heart of ‘Liars and Saints’ are SECRETS. It’s hard to not get caught up in them, Both for the reader AND the ones living amidst them – TRYING TO OUTLIVE THEM. Maile Meloy’s debut novel left me wondering if a simple life would be too bad? If general happiness sans passion would be too disastrous an outcome for a person like me – who lives in the hopes of excitement and ardent affection?
Just as soon as Teddy and Yvette are married, he has to leave his wife for his duties as a war pilot. THAT’S JUST the beginning of the secrets that ALMOST destroyed the family.
NOO.WAIT A SECOND….
WHAT AM I SAYING??? It DID destroy the family.
Spanning across four generations of the Santerre family – FIFTY YEARS , I had some difficulty coming back to my own world once I started reading it.
Coping with the previous generation’s secrets and then, unwillingly, spinning some of their own, this is the kind of World War fiction that leaves you the danger of falling in love with the genre.
TEENAGE PREGNANCY. (and a frivolous mother’s desperate attempts to hide it by sending her daughter to France)
DRUGS AND HIPPIES.
AND to TOP IT ALL, a non-flowery prose structure which enables the plot to quicken as quickly as the heaving breaths of the reader.