Liars and Saints by Maile Meloy

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 5 Critic Reviews



With her 2002 debut story collection, Half in Love, prizewinning author Maile Meloy drew acclaim from readers and reviewers across the country. "Here is an author who knows how to jump-start the reader's interest," raved The New York Times. "Wonderfully wise beyond the author's years," said the Chicago Tribune. "What distinguishes Meloy is her insistence on old-fashioned plot and sensibility....Maile Meloy is a truly compelling discovery."
With her first novel, Liars and Saints, Meloy more than delivers on the promise of her earlier work. This richly textured, emotionally charged novel tells a story of sex and longing, love and loss, and of the deceits that can lie at the heart of family relationships.
Set in California, Liars and Saints follows four generations of the Catholic Santerre family from World War II to the present, as they navigate a succession of life-altering events -- through the submerged emotion of the fifties, the recklessness and excess of the sixties and seventies, and the reckonings of the eighties and nineties. In a family driven by jealousy and propriety as much as by love, an unspoken tradition of deceit is passed from generation to generation, and fiercely protected secrets gradually drive the Santerres apart. When tragedy shatters their precarious domestic lives, it takes astonishing courage and compassion to bring them back together.
By turns funny and disturbing, irreverent and profound, Liars and Saints is a masterful display of Maile Meloy's prodigious gifts, and of her penetrating insight -- into an extraordinary American family and into the nature of human love.

About Maile Meloy

See more books from this Author
Maile Meloy ( is the award-winning author of several short story collections for adults: Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It and Half in Love, as well as the novels for adults: Liars and Saints and A Family Daughter. The Apothecary was her first middle-grade novel. 
Published November 1, 2007 by Scribner. 276 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Liars and Saints

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Yvette’s warning that he’ll make Clarissa unhappy proves true, and when he puts his blossoming political career ahead of family, Clarissa divorces him.

| Read Full Review of Liars and Saints

The Guardian

See more reviews from this publication

Liars and Saints Maile Meloy 260pp, John Murray, £14.99 As one of six books picked out as good summer reads by Richard and Judy's book club, Maile Meloy's debut is poised to benefit from the magic touch of television.

Jul 03 2004 | Read Full Review of Liars and Saints

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Their wartime separation sparks Teddy's fears of Yvette's infidelity, and when naïve Yvette is moved to confess an experience of sexual temptation to her priest, his strict penalty for her "sin of omission" creates enduring tension in the marriage.

| Read Full Review of Liars and Saints

Star Tribune

See more reviews from this publication

Review: In a style that is almost too lean for a novel, short-story writer Meloy chronicles some joy and much sorrow in an American family from World War II through Y2K.

Jun 21 2003 | Read Full Review of Liars and Saints

Entertainment Weekly

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.

Jul 18 2003 | Read Full Review of Liars and Saints

Reader Rating for Liars and Saints

An aggregated and normalized score based on 60 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review