August 16, 2018

The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett...a book review

Generally, I don't read via Kindle unless I'm caught somewhere where I don't have a book or something else to do.  Not because I'm a Luddite; but more because I prefer the heft of a book in my hand.  And, to be perfectly honest, I haul around enough crap every day that I don't want to add a book to that equation.

Nevertheless, I found myself in that exact situation the other day (i.e., book-less and nothing else to occupy my time), so I utilized my Prime Membership and downloaded this book from Prime Reading.

The synopsis from Amazon:

"In 1992, celebrated novelist Ann Patchett launched her remarkable career with the publication of her debut novel, The Patron Saint of Liars.  On this 25th anniversary, read the best-selling book that is "beautifully written...a first novel that second-and third-time novelists would envy for its grace, insight, and compassion" (Boston Herald).

St. Elizabeth's, a home for unwed mothers in Habit, Kentucky, usually harbors its residents for only a little while.  Not so Rose Clinton, a beautiful, mysterious woman who comes to the home pregnant but not unwed, and stays.  She plans to give up her child, thinking she cannot be the mother it needs.  But when Cecilia is born, Rose makes a place for herself and her daughter amid St. Elizabeth's extended family of nuns and an ever-changing collection of pregnant teenage girls.  Rose's past won't be kept away though, even by St. Elizabeth's; she cannot remain untouched by what she has left behind, even as she cannot change who she has become in the leaving."

I can see why this story was a best-selling one (and can't believe I haven't found it before now); as it was very compelling and kept you guessing.  I thorough enjoyed this story though I must say that simultaneously I was and was not surprised by the character, Rose.  Without a doubt, this character is an enigma and by the end of the story you will find that she remains an enigma.  This isn't one of those stories that is formulaic or one, where from the very beginning you know how it will end - all tied up in a neat, little package.

Since this book's debut 25 years ago, this author has gone on to write nine more books (not all novels; from what I can surmise); most of which seem to have achieved the NY Times Best-Seller status.  When I chose this book, I knew the author's name sounded familiar but I couldn't place why it sounded so familiar...until I looked at the author's website...apparently, one of her later novels was on one of Man-Child's summer reading lists in high school.  He enjoyed it well enough (even though it really wasn't his "thing") that he passed it on to me - I only have a vague memory of reading the book and enjoying it (such as it is when one is BOTH aging and a voracious reader - unless I do a review on it, I generally only remember vestiges of the story).

After perusing her website, I feel sure that I could enjoy reading other titles by this author.


  1. Oh wow. This sounds good. I really only have time to read in the summer or when I travel. I hope I can find time to squeeze this one in. I NEVER know what to read. Just joined goodreads, so that has helped some.

  2. I'll check this one out. I've read many Ann Patchett but somehow missed this one. Thanks, Gigi, for the review. :-)