Miki Garrison's Reviews > Mothers and Other Liars

Mothers and Other Liars by Amy Bourret
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Jun 30, 10

it was amazing

While I often enjoy literary fiction with emotionally intense family dramas, they are usually the sort of book that I read off and on over a few weeks. With "Mothers and Other Liars", however, I finished it in one night -- by the point where I would normally put the book down for the day, I was drawn in too deeply and needed to see it straight through.

This is the story of Ruby, a young mother in a small New Mexico town who makes a startlingly personal discovery while reading the tabloids at work one day. The consequences of that discovery -- and her own choices a decade earlier -- unfold throughout the book, as Ruby struggles to stay single-minded and focused on doing what is right for her daughter Lark, even to the cost of losing almost everything else in her life. The book does an amazing job of showing the interaction of these events and the tapestry of Ruby's relationships.

Things I loved about this book?
* The setting in the small, New Mexico town felt fresh and different. I've read far too many family dramas set in the generic South, and this was a welcome change.

* There was an amazing amount of diversity and strength in Ruby's friendships, and the author did a great job of showing both how they'd built up to that point, and how they were affected by the events of the story.

* Even in the midst of all of this, Ruby's life wasn't *just* about the plot events. She still had other parts of her life that were important to her, that she struggled to keep in balance: her job at the salon, her reclaimed wood furniture business, her home and her dog, her friends and her relationship with Chaz.

The only thing about this book that frustrated me was a point at which Lark moves off-screen for awhile. While it makes sense, as the story is driven by Ruby's perspective, I was actually growing anxious and wondering what was happening to her -- which of course made reading about Ruby's struggles during this time all the more real. So while it was transiently frustrating, I think it added to the effect of the book overall.

This is one of these books that you can read, and then will suddenly wake up thinking about again, days later. Intense, thought-provoking, and genuine -- well worth the read.
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