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Liars and Saints
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Rating
A compelling portrait of a family, and the twists and turns of their lives unravelled with extraordinary sensitivity and understanding. By turns laugh aloud funny and unbearably moving, it marks the beginning of a stunning literary career. Set in California, the narrative follows four generations of the Santerre family from World War II to the present, as they navigate a succession of life-changing events.
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Shortlisted for the Orange Prize - this wonderful debut novel about family secrets is a perfect book for the summer

About the Author

Maile Meloy lives in California. On publication in the US, Liars and Saints drew acclaim from readers and reviewers across the country. This is Maile Meloy's first novel. Her second novel, A FAMILY DAUGHTER, was published in February 2006, and her collection of short stories, HALF IN LOVE, in March 2005, both by John Murray.

Reviews

'Meloy has written an exquisite novel about the power of secrets -- and the redemption found in religion and love' -- Glamour 'Maile Meloy writes with both fearlessness and true compassion' -- Ann Patchett 'A beautifully written story about ordinary American life that's anything but ordinary' -- Company Magazine 20040701 'Most multi-generational sagas are dull forays into sentimentalism, but in the aptly titled Liars and Saints, Meloy has written a corker' -- Amazon.com 20040701 'An irresistable tale that will stay with you long after your tan has faded' -- Mail on Sunday 20040627 'The best of the bunch ... a fine book' -- The Scotsman 20040619 'For a first-time novelist, she is astonishingly poised, moving through a large cast and a long chronology with a light, assured touch ... sharp and vivid detail' -- Lindesay Irvine, Press Association 20040701 'It's funny and moving and looks likely to appeal to the thousands of readers who read Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.' -- Radio Times 20040612 'Packed from start to finish, this is an excellent debut novel from Meloy and a real pleasure to read' -- Lucky Break magazine 20041001 'It makes you think long after you've finished it ... it's earned fantastic reviews and is worth a read' -- Woman 20040809 'The novel's success lies in Meloy's emotional literacy. There is an unflashy intelligence underpinning her writing ... which makes her ordinary, flawed characters breathe. Lies and their consequences propel the plot convincingly ... In its examination of the gap between faith and free will, Meloy has written a compelling debut about the search for truth.' -- Literary Review 20040801 'An absolute delight ... an unfussy and unshowy narrative ... effortlessly charming and engaging the reader without relentlessly flaggging up the skill involved ... a fresh and welcoming perspective on the aspirations and disappointments of the post-war generation ... a powerful love-letter to family bonds, ably illustrating the insidious nature of a Catholic upbringing' -- Zembla magazine 20040701 'Certain to be a huge hit ... This touching narrative speaks of love and tragedy, nagging guilt and prejudice, which is sensitively dealt with by this talented novelist' -- Devon Today 20040801 'Moving, sometimes funny, sensitively told, it is a mini-epic demonstrating the scope of tragedy in the absence of truth' -- Oxford Times 20040716 'This remarkably assured debut novel ... succeeds in being both intimate in feel and broad in outlook, without becoming dragged down by detail. ... Meloy lets the story move forward with such fluidity that, despite the brisk pace and sudden switches of perspective, there is no lessening of impact. In turns moving, compassionate and amusing, it creates an emotional resonance that lasts long after the last page.' -- Daily Mail 20040604 'A tale worthy of the Greeks ... By the novel's close, Meloy's gallop through births, marriages and deaths leaves even her panting, but this choppy structure is what makes Liars and Saints interesting. While there is plenty of feeling its pages, none of it crystallises into sentimentality, forcing the reader to take the long view, even as her spare, sturdy prose springs sadness and heartbreak upon us.' -- Observer 20040627 'The quiet, unastonished precision with which Maile Meloy depicts the extent to which everything now goes haywire in so-called ordinary American life is an impressive achievement, literary and otherwise' -- Philip Roth 20040627 'Meloy, with her sparse, gentle prose, takes her tale very seriously indeed ... she is a keen observer of human emotion, but here she diffuses any potential melodrama ... a lovely debut, treading a delicate balance between epic family saga and minutely observed literary portrait.' -- Spectator 20040828 'There is plenty to praise in this sparingly rendered, relentlessly plotted rendition of Catholic family life ... it has a narrative which is swift and supple enough to unfold fifty years of disappointed expectations without recourse to sentiment ... Understatement is one of her greatest assets; it gives her narrative an authority which neither the brisk elision of years nor the obscure motives of her characters can undermine ... deftly written and insightful ... thoroughly readable ... impeccably plausible' -- Times Literary Supplement 20040625 'A constantly entertaining American family saga.' -- Red Magazine 20041101 'If Liars and Saints doesn't win, then there's no justice in the world!' -- Optima 20041101 'This remarkably assured debut novel ! succeeds in being both intimate in feel and broad in outlook ! moving, compassionate and amusing' -- Daily Mail 20040604 'A tale worthy of the Greeks ... While there is plenty of feeling its pages, none of it crystallises into sentimentality ... spare, sturdy prose' -- Observer 20040627 'Wise, witty, and beautifully written, Liars and Saints is that rare and wondrous thing: a literary novel you don't want to put down' -- Helen Fielding 20040627 'A spectacular first novel' -- New York Times 20040627 'Quiet, unastonished precision ! an impressive achievement' -- Philip Roth 20040627 'All the outrageous twists ! of a soap opera. But Meloy writes with such delicate insight that somehow you believe in it, even as you race to the last page.' -- Marie Claire 20040701 'Sparse, gentle prose ... a lovely debut, treading a delicate balance between epic family saga and minutely observed literary portrait' -- Spectator 20040828 'Meloy gives her story shape and depth by writing from each character's point of view ... there is something refreshingly conservative about the design of this novel' -- Independent 20050519

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