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The Patron Saint of Liars

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  26,210 Ratings  ·  2,651 Reviews
Since her first publication in 1992, celebrated novelist Ann Patchett has crafted a number of elegant novels, garnering accolades and awards along the way. Now comes a reissue of the best-selling debut novel that launched her remarkable career. St. Elizabeth's, a home for unwed mothers in Habit, Kentucky, usually harbors its residents for only a little while. Not so Rose C ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published 1992)
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Joy Drinnon No! There won't be much to discuss except why anyone would love this woman enough to put up with her nonsense.
Natalia yes, it was made into an unfortunately not very good TV movie in 1998.

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Chelsea Cripps
May 25, 2007 rated it it was ok
The story of Rose, a habitual abandoner, who finds herself in a home for unwed mothers in the 1960s. The story is about the place almost as much as the people--a place where people come for a brief, but life-altering, time and then move on. It is also the story of the people who stay there--Rose, with all her secrets, her daughter, the nuns and the groundskeeper. I loved the story of the place and I thought the writing was quite good. It held my interest and there were a few really lovely moment ...more
Mel
Dec 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
I have mixed feelings about this particular Patchett novel. I didn't want to put it down but I wasn't happy when I finished.

I was totally sucked in by the story's opening but then the tone changed and the character depth faded a bit. The turmoil the main character feels is never discussed once she finds her way to St. Elizabeth's, yet it drives the remainder of the novel. Just as the story picks up steam again, it's over. Given the story line and the characters I thought the story could have bee
...more
Wormie
Mar 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: women
Ann Patchett’s debut novel, The Patron Saint of Liars, is a beautifully written story about people, secrets, and lies. The book’s title intrigued me; “Patron Saint of Liars” – a conflict between virtue and dishonesty. Patchett’s writing is quiet and compelling as she shares the story of Rose Clinton, and how her lies affected her life and the lives of those around her.

After three years of marriage, Rose Clinton finds herself pregnant. Unsatisfied with her life, and questioning her love for her
...more
Fabian
Jul 13, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Bel Canto" was sooo amazing (drop-everything-&-read-now fantastic)I just had to review the writer's earliest work (just as I did with M. Chabon). "The Patron Saint of Liars" is a bit tepid, about a place for pregnant girls that used to be a hotel and miracles and family secrets. Ann Patchett is religious and tries to inject this, her first work, with lots of godly goodness and extra (not extraneous) sensitivity. & her characters, though fully-fleshed and complete, have seemingly simple ...more
Brandice
Aug 31, 2017 rated it liked it
The Patron Saint of Liars is a story about a young woman who leaves her life to head to St. Elizabeth's, a home for unwed mothers on the other side of the country. The story is told in three parts, in chronological order: first by Rose, the young woman, then by Son, the groundskeeper at St. Elizabeth's, and finally, by Rose's daughter, Cecilia.

I enjoyed Rose's portion the most, although the likability of her character waned for me as the story progressed. Her portion was engaging and got me hoo
...more
Danielle
Jan 18, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
Yeah, so I actually didn't love this book like I was expecting to. It was kind of depressing, and there wasn't an overarching moral lesson or something that made the unhappy ending worth it. Don't get me wroing, I loved Bel Canto, and that didn't end happily either, but I actually thought this story would have been better for a different kind of ending. At least a redemption of sorts. But no luck.
My biggest complaint, and this is kind of silly, but I thought the whole point with the healing spri
...more
Megan Baxter
Dec 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the third Ann Patchett book I've read. Of the other two, the novel I really disliked, and the memoir I found only so-so. They weren't enough to put her on my do-not-read list, but for authors that I only like a bit, I tend to figure that if I don't like them by the end of the third book, it's not going to change, and I can gratefully set them aside. That's where we were starting this book. I was expecting this to be my last. Now she has a reprieve.

Note: The rest of this review has been w
...more
Deborah Edwards
Jul 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: personal-faves
This is my third Ann Patchett novel. The first one I read was her miraculous gem of a book, "Bel Canto." The second was the solid, beautifully cadenced tale of a Boston family called "Run." When I discovered that "The Patron Saint of Liars" was Patchett's first novel, I assumed that the two books I named above, which came later and which I both adore, would be better crafted, more intricate, more resonant. Turns out her first novel is the one I love the best. And that's saying something. Patchet ...more
Holly Booms Walsh
Aug 07, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Alice Hoffman novels, people who yearn, Oprah's book club
Shelves: fiction
I just read this entire book in one sitting. The title is what caught my eye, such a wonderful title. It is beautifully written, and reminded me of the trance that Alice Hoffman books put the reader into, even though this book did not have the mystical, magical imagery that Hoffman infuses her books with. This is a story of Rose, a young woman that marries twice to men that she does not really love, and though she spends her life helping others, never really finds the unknown thing that she is s ...more
Heather
Mar 08, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: adult
Oh, Ann, this was really sub-par. I was initially interested in the set-up, but your lack of deeper exploration into the implications of it made me bored and disappointed. This book contains a potentially great premise (life for pregnant women in a home for unwed mothers, and life for a family who works there), and in my opinion completely falls flat. The book contains selfish characters whose reasons for being so are woefully unexplored. Main question: WHY does Rose always feel the need to leav ...more
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Patchett was born in Los Angeles, California. Her mother is the novelist Jeanne Ray.

She moved to Nashville, Tennessee when she was six, where she continues to live. Patchett said she loves her home in Nashville with her doctor husband and dog. If asked if she could go any place, that place would always be home. "Home is ...the stable window that opens out into the imagination."

Patchett attended hi
...more
More about Ann Patchett...
“I wanted to eat her pain, take it into me and make it my own.” 54 likes
“That was the way things worked. When you were looking for the big fight, the moment that you thought would knock everything over, nothing much happened at all.” 19 likes
More quotes…