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Extended Audio Sample Liars and Saints: A Novel Audiobook, by Maile Meloy Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,356 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Maile Meloy Narrator: Kirsten Potter Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2010 ISBN: 9781455198733
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With her first novel, Liars and Saints, award-winning author Maile Meloy more than delivers on the promise of her highly acclaimed debut story collection, Half in Love. This richly textured novel tells a story of sex and longing, love and loss, and of the deceit 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. In a family driven as much by jealousy and propriety as by love, an unspoken tradition of deceit is passed from generation to generation. 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 the nature of human love.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Maile Meloy writes with both fearlessness and true compassion.”

    Ann Patchett, author of Bel Canto

  • “A spectacular first novel.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Maile Meloy combines the meticulous realism of domestic fiction with the witchery of a natural-born storyteller.”

    New York Times Magazine

  • “Meloy manages to avoid melodrama through the precision and restraint of her writing…She is also a deft sociologist, charting the ways in which the social upheavals of the second half of the twentieth century have gradually reshaped our ideas of family…Meloy’s achievement is to have written one that leaves you wishing it were longer.”

    New Yorker

  • “A tour de force.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Remarkable…Bittersweet, wise, with a fantastic sense of character and history…Fifteen minutes after opening this book, a reader is apt not just to care about the Santerres but also to feel like one of them.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “The consolations of ardent faith, as well as the harsh demands of religious dogma, supply the leitmotifs of this dazzling novel of a Catholic family’s life over five decades. Meloy, whose collection of short fiction, Half in Love, earned rave reviews…writes with wisdom and compassion about the secret guilt that shadows three generations of the Santerre family…The alternating points of view of eight main characters shine with authenticity and illuminate the moral complexities felt by each generation. The rich emotional chiarascuro and fine psychological insight of this haunting novel mark Meloy as a writer of extraordinary talent.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Meloy is an outstanding short story writer, as evident in her collection, Half in Love (2002), and her signature clarity and concreteness also grace her first novel…[Meloy] deftly probes the parameters of faith and love.”

    Booklist

  • “A multigenerational first novel told with remarkable compression and precision.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Gross | 2/13/2014

    " Not as good as her story Proxy Wedding which appeared in the New Yorker, but still really vivid writing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Badly Drawn Girl | 2/10/2014

    " I had higher expectations for this book. While it was a fun and easy read, and I found myself reading it to the exclusion of other books, it never rose above "good" in my mind. My biggest complaint was that there were too many shocking twists and turn, to the point where it felt forced. The family had enough going on without turning them into characters in movie on the Lifetime channel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dalia Azim | 1/20/2014

    " I loved her short story collection (Half in Love,) and was a little disappointed in this novel. Her prose is beautiful, but sometimes the economy of her language got in the way of letting the dramas of the book really explode. I like explosions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather Stiteler | 1/16/2014

    " Great read and a fantastic plot. A real page turner. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Crystal | 1/12/2014

    " I very much enjoyed this book. I saw that it got some bad reviews, that it did not dig deep enough into the characters, but I thought it did. They characters seemed very rich and real to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 1/12/2014

    " I liked this book. To me, it seemed like real life. The book highlights the major events in the lives of the family. Sometimes, I feel like everyday is a major event. This book helped to distract me from my own problems. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Drum | 1/6/2014

    " I loved this book! Different points of view from each person's perspective was a very interesting way to tell the story that never got old. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teresa | 12/21/2013

    " Liked the story and the characters, good writing, loaded with Catholic guilt.... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ann | 12/19/2013

    " being Catholic... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ross | 12/2/2013

    " This book is different. The whole time line is different from most making it an interesting read. I really liked te whole book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teresa Lees | 11/24/2013

    " Full of love, betrayal and family. a family generation were everything is twisted "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Megan Summers | 10/4/2013

    " This is a wonderful book. I cried and lauged. It is a wonderfully real story of a very complicated and functionally dysfunctional family. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Evelyn Leong | 9/24/2013

    " While I enjoyed this novel, I much prefer Meloy's short stories. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wendy | 8/25/2013

    " I have not enjoyed a book this much in a long long time. I read it in one sitting. While it was a bit odd at times the story was very well told and it was a very engaging and quick read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anne | 11/8/2012

    " Meloy has a young voice, perhaps naive, despite her cynicism. A nice portrait of family life. This book should be a two or three on writing skill, but it's sincerity is too endearing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Linda | 4/29/2012

    " Not one of my favorites. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julia | 2/27/2012

    " Easy read about a twisted, Catholic family and the secrets they keep from eachother. Made me think how lucky I am to have my family!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Arndis | 2/22/2012

    " slight. i kept waiting for it to go deeper, it reads like a skim of a much bigger book. still, it was enough to keep me up till 3:30 reading the whole thing in one sitting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 10/20/2011

    " One twisted family! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Molly | 9/30/2011

    " This book was really touching. The characters came to life for me in a way that made me not be able to put it down, even though there weren't any thrilling plot points or twists. I just liked the characters so much that I wanted to know what happened to them. A bit of a tearjerker, though. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kirsta | 9/27/2011

    " It's like watching a soap opera. You can get involved in the story line, but actually loose brain cells while reading it. Bubble gum for the mind. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie Busby | 8/31/2011

    " This is the first of a series. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 7/28/2011

    " Quick read - liked it, but didn't love it. Kept having the deja vu feeling - did I really read it before and it just wasn't that memorable? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle | 5/30/2011

    " Think about the story of your family-not the public story, but the story nobody wants to tell. Then read this book. Family stories should be told the way this story is told. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amy | 5/14/2011

    " I would give this a zero! I got half way through and had to stop. I did not like that there was incest written in this. I know incest occurs but the way it was described was that it was a good thing and ok to be in love with your niece/uncle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barb | 5/8/2011

    " You never know what lurks in a family's history "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 2/7/2011

    " Good Book...but WAY TOO much plot crammed in 260 pages...there was definitely good/moving parts which I really enjoyed...but it almost felt like the book was trying too hard to be dramatic and unpredictable...worth the read though! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lauren | 1/26/2011

    " made me weep on the train. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Izzy | 1/11/2011

    " I would give this a 3.5 if I could. I need to reread it. I remember enjoying it thoroughly, yet not being dazzled. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Bristi | 1/10/2011

    " I loved this book. The complexity of the family dynamics made me feel as though I was a Santerre "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicolette | 1/4/2011

    " I loved this book so much that I read it twice. Mind you, I was on a flight from Palm Springs to DC, so I did have a lot of time on my hands. Those Meloys have a way with words. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 O Valenica | 12/3/2010

    " It started off good, but the characters shifted too much and were unbelievable and unlikable. The story line was aimless. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 12/1/2010

    " It was a good read. It didn't knock my socks off, but it was good for having run out of books! Lots of family turmoil. Forgiveness and acceptance themes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Autumn | 11/28/2010

    " Meloy tells the complex story of the Santerre family over the course of about fifty years. She intricately weaves each character in and out of the story, seamlessly jumping from one family member to the next. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 11/11/2010

    " Quick read - liked it, but didn't love it. Kept having the deja vu feeling - did I really read it before and it just wasn't that memorable? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stacey | 10/26/2010

    " I've read this book twice. When it was first released and then now, 10/10. I have a clearer understanding the second time around. The deep religious undertones struck a chord w/me and took me back to my youth and memories of my own mother. "

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About the Author
Author Maile Meloy

Maile Meloy’s short-story collection, Half in Love, was a New York Times Notable Book in 2002. She won the 2001 Aga Khan Prize for best story in the Paris Review. Her work has also appeared in the New Yorker and Best New American Voices and has been nominated for a National Magazine Award. She lives in California.

About the Narrator

Kirsten Potter, who graduated with highest honors from Boston University, has narrated numerous audiobooks and has performed for television and in theaters across the country. She has won several awards, including eleven AudioFile Earphones Awards, and been a three-time finalist for the prestigious Audie Award for best narration. Her work has been recognized by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts and by AudioFile magazine, among many others.