Kaion's Reviews > Mothers and Other Liars

Mothers and Other Liars by Amy Bourret
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's review
Jun 21, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: contemporary
Read from June 20 to 21, 2010

Nine years ago, when she was feeling utterly alone, Ruby found a baby with large eyes staring at her from the trash can of a truck rest stop. She took it as a sign, and carved out a happy life with "Lark" under the blue dome of sky of Santa Fe. Until she found out Lark wasn't as abandoned as she'd thought, and no matter what she does now, she stands to lose her daughter.

Another reviewer pretty aptly said that Mothers and Other Liars strains credibility. While truth is stranger than fiction, I think a lot of the problem is that the entire novel solely follows Ruby's point of view. It's all a little too weepy and subjective... after-school-special/non-titillating Lifetime movie rather than managing to illuminate social problems. The premise is plenty grabbing, but for some reason Amy Bourret often plays little games of "hideaway" with incredibly transparent plot developments. The tension in the story should result from Ruby's knowledge of how painful and hopeless each choice she makes will be, not "twists", so these writer-ly games don't add anything to the proceedings.

In fact, the whole novel feels like it's playing safe, too scared to really push past the rose-colored sunsets even when we're supposed to believe Ruby's heart-wrenching despair over her moral dilemmas. Here, children are always precocious, men always suck, best girl friends are always supportive, and good intentions always pay off. It's all so detached from the real world, that there's no real connection to the main character. Ironic, because Amy Bourret hasn't met an emotional metaphor that she doesn't love. Rating: 2 stars

**This is a review of the ARC I won through Goodreads.
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