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The Patron Saint of Liars

The Patron Saint of Liars

Scris de Ann Patchett

Povestit de Julia Gibson


The Patron Saint of Liars

Scris de Ann Patchett

Povestit de Julia Gibson

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4/5 (84 evaluări)
Lungime:
14 hours
Lansat:
Sep 4, 2007
ISBN:
9780061554360
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Descriere

St. Elizabeth's is a home for unwed mothers in the 1960s. Life there is not unpleasant, and for most, it is temporary. Not so for Rose, a beautiful, mysterious woman who comes to the home pregnant but not unwed. She plans to give up her baby because she knows she cannot be the mother it needs.

But St. Elizabeth's is near a healing spring, and when Rose's time draws near, she cannot go through with her plans, not all of them. And she cannot remain forever untouched by what she has left behind...and who she has become in the leaving.

A HarperAudio production.

Lansat:
Sep 4, 2007
ISBN:
9780061554360
Format:
Carte audio

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Despre autor

ANN PATCHETT is the author of seven novels, The Patron Saint of Liars, Taft, The Magician’s Assistant, Bel Canto, Run, State of Wonder, and Commonwealth. She was the editor of Best American Short Stories, 2006, and has written three books of nonfiction, Truth & Beauty, about her friendship with the writer, Lucy Grealy, What now? an expansion of her graduation address at Sarah Lawrence College, and, most recently, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage, a collection of essays.


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  • (4/5)
    I have enjoyed all of the Ann Patchett books I have read so far. This is her first novel and I can see her talent shine through. Her writing style is captivating. However, this is my least favorite of her novels I have read so far. "Run", "State of Wonder" and "Bel Canto" are novels I enjoyed much more. The premise really appeared to me being a Catholic girls schooled by nuns but novel dragged in parts and I did not get Rose at all. Plus the ending was unsatisfactory for me.
  • (3/5)
    I have to give Ann Patchett credit for creating memorable story lines and characters. Rose is a young, married woman living in San Diego. When she discovers that she's pregnant, she up and leaves her husband and mother and travels to Kentucky where she becomes a resident at St. Elizabeth's, a home for unwed mothers. At St. Elizabeth, Rose starts her life over again without confiding in anyone about her past. When it gets close to her due date, Rose changes her mind and decides to keep the baby whom she names Cecilia. Rose ends up marrying (without mentioning that she is already married) the handyman at St. Elizabeth's and staying on as the cook. Ultimately her husband from San Diego tracks her down and once again Rose disappears never to return. Rose can't seem to ever truly escape her past but succeeds in abandoning and likely destroying the lives of people she touches including both of her husbands, her mother and her daughter.
  • (4/5)
    This is the story of Rose, who leaves her unloved husband when she becomes pregnant. She flees to a home for unwed mothers in Kentucky where she ultimately makes her home. Patchett has such a sympathy for her characters; I felt I knew these people quite well as individuals after reading this book.
  • (4/5)
    Patchett's writing is at it's finest in this book!! loved it!
  • (5/5)
    One of my favorite authors!
  • (3/5)
    I liked this story of religious "calling", or finding your purpose in life: the writing was beautiful, but the overall experience of this book was somewhat unsatisfying. Rose has trouble with intimacy, and with staying in one place. She marries Thomas, thinking this is God's plan for her life, but soon runs away and spends almost 20 years at a home for unwed mothers as their cook. I couldn't understand Rose's motivations...especially at the end when her past life seems ready to catch up with her. I also felt that the author missed an opportunity to better resolve the issues. The voice changes from Rose's to Son's to Cecilia's. While this is common in today's fiction, in this case, I found it somewhat jarring and I think it contributed to my challenges in understanding what was motivating Rose.
  • (4/5)
    Told in three sections from the point of view of Rose, Son and Cecelia.Rose turns up in Habit, Kentucky at St Elizabeth's home for unwed mothers....although she's not unwed, she just doesn't trust herself to become a mother. She takes over in the home's kitchen, as her pregnancy progresses. Son left his home and eventually wound up as a handyman at St. Elizabeth's, where he falls in love with Rose. Late in her pregnancy, he marries her and she gives birth to Cecelia, whom she sort of turns over to June and Son to raise, while she returns to the kitchen to continue cooking for the girls. The last part is told from Cecelia's perspective, as Rose's first husband shows up - and Rose takes off again.
  • (4/5)
    io 11 discsIn the 1960's we find St Elizabeth, a castle like former hotel, now a home for unwed mothers, in Habit Kentucky."Unanticipated pregnancy makes liars out of young women .... as they try to rationalize, explain, and accept what is happening to them.The illusive Rose Clinton arrives.She has deserted her husband in San Diego and plans to have the baby he'll never know about.The child will then be adopted."... to punish herself, she will also give up the mother she adores, the one person she really loves."Rose then decided to marry the groundskeeper and keep her daughter....beginning a simple life with the second man she doesn't love....simple bigamy.Her daughter Sissy grows up among the nuns, unwed mothers, a doting father and an indifferent mother.Patchett did a tremendous series of character studies in this her first novel.In successive narratives by Rose, Son and Sissy, you have a very explicit picture of their everyday life.There was a series of interwoven plots, and although there were a few questions (strange resolutions?), I thoroughly enjoyed the read.Julia Gibson portrayed Rose with the sharpness and edge the character had.The depiction of her indifference was striking....( she truly lives a series of extraordinary lies)Son and Sissy, the objects of her neglect and indifference, had extensive narratives.I couldn't help but become emotionally involved with the characters.For me, 4*and a recommendation to read this 1960's rendition of a sliver of the reality of the times.
  • (5/5)
    Homes for unwed mothers were built on lies. Compassionate lies perhaps, but lies just the same. Ann Patchett explored the nature of these lies in "The Patron Saint of Liars," her first novel, published in 1992. Pregnant girls, usually in their teens, would come to these hideaways, have their babies after a few months, give them away for adoption and then return to their homes and schools, pretending to have just been away visiting a relative.Rose, the central character of Patchett's novel, leaves the other liars in the story in her wake. She is not unmarried like the other girls. Rather she is married to a nice, devoted man whom she has never loved. She views her pregnancy as a chain that will forever link her to Thomas Clinton. So she climbs into his car and drives from California to Habit, Ky., where a Catholic home for unwed mothers is operated in a former resort. She doesn't mention the husband she left behind.Then things really get complicated. The middle-aged handyman called Son, himself a lost soul, falls in love with this tall, pregnant beauty and suggests she marry him so they can raise her baby together. She loves Son no more than she does her other husband, but she has nowhere else to go. Besides she has been helping out the old nun who runs the kitchen and realizes the place needs her, even if they are unwilling to pay her.The first third of the novel is told from Rose's point of view. In the middle third we learn more about Son's life, how he got shot in basic training before he would even get to a World War II battlefield, how the girl he loved in high school drowned and how he wound up in Habit. Cecilia, Rose and Son's now teen-age daughter, takes over in the final third, the most heart-wrenching because we see how the accumulation of lies impact the innocent. When Thomas Clinton finally tracks down Rose, the story approaches its climax.In novels about secrets and lies, we expect the truth to eventually be revealed to all. Yet in Patchett's hands, most of those secrets and lies remain in place, the lies perhaps just becoming a little whiter, a little more compassionate. This may be her first novel, but she already writes like a master.
  • (4/5)
    This was a pleasurable book to read. The writing was robust and clever. I can see why Patchett has so much buzz about her right now. I found the book to be easy to read and hard to put down.

    However, keeping me from giving this one 5 looks was the character around whom all others revolved: Rose. I found her to be a bit shallow and one-dimensional. I don't think this was the intention at all, in that I believe Patchett intended this character to be complex, brooding and unpredictable. I found her to be just the opposite. Rose was fervent in her lack of feeling and emotion, running when she got the good chance, and you knew she was going to run. Toward the end of the book, I found myself wondering if perhaps the author meant to give the impression that Rose suffered from Schizoid Personality Disorder. I was never compassionate toward Rose, and perhaps that was not the point, but by the end of the book, I didn't care at all about her.

    Son, Cecilia and Sister Evangeline saved the story. They were all very compelling, complete and full characters. I felt Son's trepidation, sorry and joy. I ached for Cecilia to find her own way, first at St. Elizabeth's, then a way out of the grand hotel. Sister Evangeline was the mother/grandmother/confidant we all wish to have. The way they all interacted with Rose and because of Rose was a good tale.

    I liked this book, and will read more by this author.
  • (4/5)
    "There was a weight to missing. It was as heavy as a child."Rose never stays anywhere for long. First she marries suddenly, then she spends days and weeks driving around California, then she runs away to Kentucky. She settles and brings up her child in the strange surrounds of nuns and pregnant girls at a home for unwed mothers.Rose is a surprisingly unsympathetic character with a lack of motive for being so - it's never really explained. Nevertheless, her reluctance to invest emotionally in other people makes for an interesting counterpoint to the warmth of the characters around her, especially Son, who is so caring and gentle. She constantly pushes everybody else away, and Cecilia is the only one we see really examine that.I guess there's a recurring theme here of religion and vocation - Rose marries her first husband feeling that it's her vocation, then that she must have been wrong. She stays at St Elizabeth's for years, cooking three meals a day for twenty years - clearly she feels some kind of vocation to be there. The assorted religious attitudes of the nuns at the home, of the girls in their varying states of faith... it wasn't until I finished the book that it hit me that this was a theme. It didn't really seem to go anywhere though - just a thread through every character.There's no denying Patchett writes beautifully. I read this 400 page novel in a day with no trouble at all. While I never felt totally sucked into the plot, the writing is smooth enough that you just keep turning the pages without noticing. I liked the way this book moved from one narrative point to the next about every hundred pages - from an initial third person narrator in Habit, to Rose to Son to Cecilia. It dealt with the passage of time neatly and gave us the chance to move through different characters without having that irritating back-and-forth that plagues the modern crime novel.The setting (and I'll ignore anything that's not Habit, Kentucky, because that's where 90% of the book is set) is evocatively enough written without ever becoming a character of its own. The huge hotel could easily have become a character of its own (as the house does in The Thirteenth Tale), and we feel Cecilia's frustration through the long, hot summers, the pitchers of iced tea, the swimming hole, without ever really having a strong sense of place.This lost 2 points out of 10 from me - one for the fact that it was good but didn't reach out of the page and grab you by the throat (the way that Bel Canto did) and one for the ending. I won't say much for fear of spoilers, but a deeply difficult and uncomfortable situation is engineered, without any kind of resolution. After 380 pages of stunning writing, this was so dissatisfying I didn't know whether to think the book was 20 pages too long (i.e. it should have ended before the twist) or 40 pages too short (the twist was unresolved - particularly with Cecilia having stumbled onto a big clue shortly before the end).One other thing - I've never heard of Mariner Books, the publisher, before... just looked them up and it seems to be an imprint of Houghton Miffler Harcourt. But worth a mention, because this was a really beautiful edition, considering it was just a standard paperback; there was something about the softness of the cover, the type of paper used for the pages... I don't know what it was. It was nice not to have to break the spine to lay it flat on the table while I ate my slow cooker beef stroganoff (yum).
  • (4/5)
    Vry nice multi-layered story...great characters you really cared about.
  • (3/5)
    I didn't dislike this book, but it ultimately wasn't as satisfying as I'd hoped it would be. Maybe there were too many loose ends at the end for my tastes.
  • (3/5)
    Rose Clinton deserts her marriage and her life in California, heads across the country, and winds up in a home for unwed mothers run by Catholic nuns in Habit, Kentucky. Sister Bernadette, upon Rose's arrival, predicts accurately that she will keep the baby. She ends up marrying a local man and continues to work in the home's kitchen. I had a hard time forcing myself to continue reading this book. It just didn't grab me. I didn't particularly care for any of the major characters. The plot seemed to drag in places as well. Part of Rose is hidden from the reader all through the book. Readers are left questioning what Rose is fleeing, which is the same question they have at the beginning.
  • (3/5)
    Favorite Quotes:
    "I'm making it sound like it was easy, when in fact it was not. It was sad enough to change my life for good, to make the blood reverse the course of its flow in my veins."

    "I looked at her name for a while, tried to remember what I had been thinking that night. I loved her. I loved her even as she was swimming away from me, even as I was hating her. That's the way it is, when you love somebody your whole life. It's like a direction you go in, even when you don't want to go any more. I lay back on the blanket and closed my eyes and felt the sun on my face. I listened to the sound of the Cecilia's strokes through the water and occasionally the sound of her diving from one of the rocks and thought, she'll stay out there her whole life rather than come onto dry land with me."

    "I wanted to sit down in the middle of the road and stay there for the rest of my life. Whenever someone came by and said, Hey, Cecilia, what're you doing there in the road, I'd tell them, missing people was a full-time job, being sorry about what was gone was going to take every waking minute now, so much time and energy that I had no choice but to stay right on that spot until they all decided to come back. I meant it as a joke at first, but then I looked down at the gravel and really thought about it. I couldn't wait for them. They weren't coming back. I'd been trying all my life to figure out what was going on, with my mother, with all those girls that come and then go away. But now I wanted to forget. Right then I decided, as much as I'd wanted to know before, from here on out I didn't want to know at all."

  • (4/5)
    Ann Patchett's first novel, published when she was 29, is not your typical autobiographical first effort. Although I don't think it is quite as successful as her later work, it is still a very good book.

    Except for a brief opening chapter about the novel's setting, the whole book is told in first person by three characters: Rose, Son, and Cecilia. The setting is St. Elizabeth's, a Catholic home for unwed mothers located in an old hotel in rural Kentucky. Rose doesn't really belong there, because she is married, but she has become increasingly restless and dissatisfied with her California life, and the discovery that she is pregnant appears to be the last straw. With the help of her priest, a family friend, she finds a place as far as possible from her home and takes off driving. It is 1968, but the ferment of those years seems hardly to touch her. Even the AWOL soldier she picks up hitchhiking doesn't really talk about the war. Rose seems removed from her time, even before she arrives at isolated St. Elizabeth's.

    At the home, Rose learns the rules, both written and unwritten; befriends the elderly nun who works in the kitchen, and discovers a talent for cooking. Shortly before her baby is due, she marries Son, the one man at St. Elizabeth's, and continues working as the unpaid cook for the home.

    Son (Wilson) is 25 years older than Rose. He is also removed from his time in that, while he had enlisted in the Marines on the day after Pearl Harbor, a stupid accident in boot camp removed him from the formative experience of men in his generation. Another accident caused him to leave his home and parents and wander the mid-South until he settled at St. Elizabeth's.

    Their daughter Cecilia, born in 1967, goes to school in the little town of Habit, Kentucky, but grows up amid the pregnant girls and nuns at St. Elizabeth's. She is also mothered by June Clutterbuck, who owns the land on which the home stands, and grandmothered by Sister Evangeline, the kitchen nun who mothers and befriends Rose. Cecilia feels deeply the emotional absence of Rose, who does all the correct physical tasks of mothering but none of the emotional ones, keeping her core self hidden from her husband, daughter, and even from Sister Evangeline.

    Many important events take place in this book, which might be spoilers if recounted in a review. At the end we are left with some understanding of Rose and Son, and of the peculiar family that is St. Elizabeth's; and we wonder what will become of Cecilia. Patchett is not the type of author who writes sequels, but I do wish that some day, with the craft and wisdom she has shown in later books, she would revisit Cecilia.
  • (5/5)
    Not quite as good as Bel Canto, but still a really excellent book.
  • (3/5)
    The story held my interest and the way in which the story was told from three different characters' points of view worked fairly well, I think (especially since one is a self-described liar, so I couldn't help but be somewhat suspicious of her account of things). I just didn't find the writing itself all that compelling. I really enjoyed Truth and Beauty and thought the writing to be quite good in that book, but this one just kind of fell flat for me. I didn't feel as much a part of the world of the novel as I would have liked. None of the settings really pulled me in, even though setting, I thought, played an important role in the story.

    Also, I found the birth of the twins to be a little unrealistic. As I understand, when they're born without pressure from doctors, the second twin doesn't often come quite so soon after the first as it did in this novel. The progression of the mom's labor was also a little unrealistic, I thought (labor was long enough for a first-time mom, just a little too formulaic). Small point, though. I'm just picky about birth scenes in literature.

    I realize that this sounds like a bad review, and I don't mean it to. I enjoyed the book, I just think I expected more from it than it delivered. So to speak.
  • (4/5)
    I love anything by Ann Patchett. This is one of her earlier novels and an engaging read.
  • (4/5)
    I loved Bel Canto and liked State of Wonder quite a bit, so I thought I'd give Patchett's debut novel, The Patron Saint of Liars a try. The story is told from three perspectives. First, we meet Rose, who travels from California to a St. Elizabeth's home for unwed mothers in rural Kentucky. The presumption is that she will give her baby up for adoption and leave St. Elizabeth's when she delivers, but she meets Son, the handyman, and takes a path that is different from that taken by the other girls there. Son picks up the narrative and provides us with a different perspective on Rose and on life at St. Elizabeth's. We also learn some secrets from Son's past. And finally, Cecilia, Rose's daughter, lends her voice to the story when she's a teenager, providing yet another perspective on the tenuous ties that bind families of all sorts.Patchett has definitely developed as a novelist throughout her career. I found this story to be a bit simpler than her more recent works. But the clean language and themes match the rural Kentucky setting. The challenges that Rose and Cecilia have connecting with one another loom even larger against a backdrop of girls who have made the choice to give their babies up for adoption. And the secrets unfold at a controlled pace that provide for a very satisfying read. Patchett has also created one of my favorite minor characters in Sister Evangeline, who understands Rose and Cecilia better than they understand themselves. In all, this was an enjoyable read.
  • (5/5)
    A beautiful story about the many kinds of love and the way people choose to love, set in a home for unwed mothers in rural Kentucky and centering on the enigmatic Rose and her daughter. Ann Patchett's debut.
  • (4/5)
    Reminded me of Cider House Rules. Quirky storyline. Wife leaves husband to go to home for unwed mothers where she becomes a cook. Takes place in the sixties. Mother emotionally unavailable.
  • (4/5)
    In listening to the audio version of this, as usual, I like the way Patchett writes---her main characters become visually three-dimensional as she describes them in detail, along with their evolving emotions over the span of the years involved in the story. I wanted more at the end---it just stopped short of giving a feeling that Patchett was really finished with this book. I need a sequel.....
  • (4/5)
    This was a very well-written novel about a young woman who flees from her loveless marriage when finding out she's pregnant. She basically hops in the car, leaves her home in California, & drives to a home for unwed pregnant women/girls in Kentucky. It sounds fairly simple, but the story is really quite complex & moving, and despite the reader's mixed feelings about the main character of Rose, it's hard not to become emotionally involved in this book. The novel is split into three parts, each told by a different narrator, and follows the months of Rose's pregnancy, as well as several decades following. The characterization of Rose in this story is unsettling. Despite being the main character, she is someone you feel you never really get to know, deep down. However, this doesn't take away from the enjoyment of the book because it is so well written. This was actually the first Ann Patchett novel I've read, despite having some others in my TBR stack, and now I'm anxious to delve into those as well.
  • (5/5)
    For a story in which I progressively liked the main character less and less, I loved "The Patron Saint of Liars". Rose was 25 and living in Southern California when she found herself pregnant and married to a man she didn't love. After seeking guidance from her priest, he reluctantly directed her to a home for unwed mothers that was run by nuns in Habit, Kentucky. So one morning, after making his breakfast and dropping off her husband for work, Rose took to the open road in his car, and began the trip to Kentucky, never looking back. So begins Rose's life of deceit and pattern of running away from her problems. In the home for unwed mothers, Rose finds support and guidance from Sister Evangeline and the other pregnant girls and is introduced to "Son", the home's handyman. The story is divided into three parts and each part is told by a different character, which serves to move the story through time, from 1969 to 1985. I thought this novel was deep and layered with cultural and religious themes. I am greatly looking forward to discussing his story at Book Club, as the rich storyline will no doubt lead to deep exploration of the story. The only part I didn't enjoy was the ending, as it was surprisingly disappointing and unresolved. However, it was definately a great story and one that I would recommend to others.
  • (3/5)
    It's not my favorite Ann Patchett book by a long shot -- but an enjoyable and servicable read.
  • (4/5)
    Patchett's writing is at it's finest in this book!! loved it!
  • (3/5)
    If there was anything that resembled a plot, I missed it, if there was an actual ending to this book, I missed it, and if there was any reason at all to like Rose, I certainly missed it. Yet, I read to the end. That must mean something, right?
  • (4/5)
    It is an interesting study of 3 main characters. Rose is a pregnant woman who leaves her husband one day and drives from California over to Kentucky to St Elizabeth's home for pregnant girls who would have their babies adopted when they're born. Nuns run this home and Rose finds solace, friendship and a mother figure with Sister Evangeline. Rose keeps all her emotions inside and doesn't say much, keeping herself detached with most other people, even the ones she loves. I think she's pretty unaware of how she's perceived by others but at the same time, she doesn't really care what they think of her.But after watching one of the girls deliver a baby at the home, she changes her mind about giving up her baby and decides to keep her daughter when she's born.A handyman at the home, Son, an ex-marine escaping from his own past, has come to love Rose's quiet fortitude and beauty. He asks her to marry him, and she agrees, sparing no consideration for her past and the fact that she's already married. He's had his share of heartache that he's not willing to share. But what he is determined to be is Rose's daughter's father.Into this family comes Cecilia, who grows up within the grounds of St Elizabeth and learns that all the girls who comes here will eventually leave one day to have their babies and not return. It's almost heartbreaking to watch the child crave her mother's attention and love and then to watch that adoration turn into teenage resentment and bewilderment as Rose remains to all extents, detached from her family.The book is divided into 3 sections, each narrated in turn by Rose, Son and Cecilia. Through them we are privy to the emotions and thoughts that they are unable or unwilling to share with others, and that helps us understand them a little better.I thought this was a good study into characters of different complexities. The lies that are told to protect oneself, and the lies told to protect others.
  • (2/5)
    has a great first half but then nosedives once the author tries to switch voices.