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Liars and Saints

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Liars and Saints

Current Status:
In Season
Maile Meloy

We gave it a B+

As she demonstrated in her fine 2002 story collection Half in Love, Meloy favors simple, unadorned prose. So while her first novel covers four generations of the troubled, deeply in love Santerre family, she requires only 260 breezy pages. Meloy has real affection for her marvelous brood, and she can write as believably about Yvette, a devout Catholic matriarch, as Yvette’s daughter Clarissa, who late in life falls for a woman, and Clarissa’s wide-eyed grandson T.J. There are lots of buzzy dysfunctional themes here, like incest, infidelity, and divorce. There’s even a murder. But, as in any family, the eruptions are never as telling as the quiet moments of routine.