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Mrs. Saint and the Defectives

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  11,523 ratings  ·  1,087 reviews
Critically acclaimed author Julie Lawson Timmer returns with a tale of how community can heal the brokenness in all of us.

Markie, a fortysomething divorcée who has suffered a humiliating and very public fall from marital, financial, and professional grace, moves, along with her teenage son, Jesse, to a new town, hoping to lick her wounds in private. But Markie and Jesse ar
Paperback, 336 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Lake Union Publishing
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SalCat I think we were meant to wonder if Patty was waiting tables or prostituting herself. In any case, she was doing what she could at the time to make it.…moreI think we were meant to wonder if Patty was waiting tables or prostituting herself. In any case, she was doing what she could at the time to make it. Frederick was attending AA everyday as he promised he would. I loved this story.(less)
Alisa Mirabella I think to show that the divided family was back together was the reason for Simone's visit and welcome by Markie. Markie did take over Mrs. Saint's r…moreI think to show that the divided family was back together was the reason for Simone's visit and welcome by Markie. Markie did take over Mrs. Saint's role and she and Kyle became the new Mrs. Saint and Frederic under his care.
I don't think it mattered where they were.

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.74  · 
Rating details
 ·  11,523 ratings  ·  1,087 reviews

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Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: could-not-finish
This book read very slow to me and it seemed to drag on and on-the fact that I did not like the main character Markie at all did not help to push me to finish this book. I chose this as my free book from Amazon prime read for July-not a good pick on my part. I am not sure where all the 5 star reviews are coming from???Maybe I will pick it up from where I stopped reading someday-maybe not.
Cindy Burnett
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: net-galley
The cover for Mrs. Saint and the Defectives is spectacular; it is one of my favorite covers this year. The story inside is cute too, and while I adore my current neighbors, I would love to have Mrs. Saint and her Defectives in my neighborhood too. Recovering from a very public humiliation, Markie and her son Jesse move to a smaller home hoping to get away from prying eyes. Instead, they gain the attention of their new neighbor Mrs. Saint who makes it her personal business to help those in need i ...more
Nicole (TheBookWormDrinketh)
What a beautiful, funny book!! I love Mrs. Saint and all of her “Defectives” Even though, as Markie points out, that may not be the nicest thing to call them! Ronda, the cook who can’t cook, Bruce, the gardener who takes more time re-planting things than doing anything else, Patty, the maid who spend more time sitting outside smoking than actually cleaning ANYTHING and Frederick…. no one really knows what he does! They are characters who just get more and more lovable as the story delves deeper ...more
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-for-review
Whenever I pick up a Julie Lawson Timmer book, I know I will be surprised at what is inside the pages. She can pull off many different types of writing styles and do it well. None of her books is formulaic so you never know what to expect.

Her books stand on their own but when I saw the cover for this one, I knew immediately I wanted to find out what was inside. Lake Union did a remarkable job of capturing the character of Mrs. Saint with the cover. How could you not want to pick this up?

The sto
Susan Peterson
May 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mrs. Saint and the Defectives is a quirky, humorous, but extremely heartfelt book. Markie has uprooted her son and herself following a divorce, far from the private school, country club life they were used to. The day she moves in, she is introduced to Mrs. Saint, a bossy, opinionated Frenchwoman, and her employees. As Mrs. Saint ingratiates herself into the lives of Markie and her son, Markie is annoyed, not only because she wants to be left alone, but because Mrs. Saint is less than forthcomin ...more
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
All of my reviews can be found on

I have to start by gushing over the cover, it’s so great and perfectly sets the stage for what’s inside. Mrs. Saint and the Defectives was a charming, quirky read with some great themes and hidden gems.

Markie and Mrs. Saint do not have very much in common, Markie is introverted and has no desire to get involved in her neighbors lives, she wants to heal from her divorce and concentrate on her son, Jesse. Mrs. Saint is abrasive, bossy and crosse
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
*Thanks to NetGalley, the publishers and the author for providing me with a free e-copy of this book in exchange for (CLEARLY) honest and free review!*

Sometimes i read a book, finish it and go on goodreads and see this big list of 5 stars reviews and just... don't understand? Did i read a different book?
Get a different kind of story? Read it wrong? How can it be that everyone else seems to LOVE It and i am sitting here thinking- what did i just read?
and not in a good way?

This was one of those bo
Jo Jenner
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
My real problem with this book was the main character Markie. She is annoying and I really didn't care for her.
Through out the book she complains about how nosey Mrs Saint is but then she gets upset when Mrs Saint won't tell her anything.
She is very judgemental about some of the defectives but then at the end when she finally hears their stories she suddenly becomes more accepting.
She wants to know everything but give nothing.
The most amazing thing was how her and her waster of a husband managed
I can't resist a book about people with secrets, or about people who find community & family in unlikely places. This book fits both of those categories and I enjoyed it. At the same time, I can understand why people rated it lower. The main character is 45-year old Markie, the newly single mother of a teenage boy. Markie is trying to come to terms with a lot of things that have gone wrong in her life. She's depressed and she's stubborn, and she fails to see things that are obvious to the reader ...more
Mahoghani 23
Funny & Entertaining

When life throws you a curve ball, the best thing to do is start over. You pick yourself up and go through the motions until you get it right. This books characters are amazingly funny, somewhat incapable of dealing with society and willing to come together and help one another. All except Markie.

Markie has decided that her husband's infidelities are enough when she stumbles upon a group of mothers reviewing lewd pics of her husband and another woman. With not much support fr
Jul 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
This was a predictable book. I already knew what was going to happen (a big part of it, though not all of it) at the end. It could have been so much better, if told from a different character's perspective. What is revealed at the end is the most important part of the story, and deserves more room in the book. The narrating character is shallow and tedious, especially in the first 100 pages. I wish the book had been narrated by her teen-age son instead. ...more
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, kindle-first
This was my Kindle First selection for July 2017.
The good:
* Entertaining, easy read - I (and a lot of people by the look of reviews accumulating) finished this book within hours.
* The characters are interesting and likable. No one is totally good or always right, and no one is totally evil or always wrong. Like real people.
* The backstory of two or three characters are related to World War II, so people who know about those incidents mentioned could relate to it, and like the way it is prese
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful book about family, friendship and neighbors. Markie's life has fallen apart after a public humiliation about her husband's infidelity. She and her teenage son move to a neighborhood where she doesn't know anyone and plans not to make friends. Her plan is quickly ruined by a small older French accented neighbor who quickly tries to pull Markie and her son into her world. The neighbor, Mrs. Saint runs a different type of household and has various very quirky and down on their l ...more
Review to come closer to pub date.

Quick thoughts:

Prob more a 3.5 star read!

What a different world we would live in if we had a Mrs. Saint in our corner. Bossy, yes, but wants us to be the best version of ourselves possible. Sees the flaws, but doesn't make people feel bad- just accepts us and wants to remind us that we are something wonderful- even when we feel like life has kicked us when we're down

Marcie, on the other hand, I understood a lot of her motivations and thoughts, but I just wanted
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: book-club, 2019
We all have families we’re born into. The fortunate also have families they choose. This is a story about the latter.
Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was sent a copy of this book by the author for an honest review.
This is a very quiet, character driven novel. It starts out a bit slow but once you develop a better feel for the characters you are drawn in. Markie and her son Jesse move into a bungalow in a community very different from where they came from. Markie has gone through a divorce and a major downsizing in status and wealth. Due to this she wants to remain quite reclusive. This becomes increasingly harder as her new next door neigh
Kristi Lamont
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book could’ve been so much better if our main protagonist hadn’t been so willfully clueless/purposely obtuse. Some of the characters were actually a little charming and believable, as were some of the sub-plotlines. But, overall, this is middle-aged chick lit of a rather pedantic sort. And the only reason I’m bothering to write this much of a reaction to it is to remind myself down the road that just because I _can_ get a book for free as the Amazon Prime Kindle download of the month doesn’ ...more
Aileen Dlugosz
Great idea but poorly written

Awkwardly written, repetitive prose and flat characters. Pass this one by, even if it's a free Kindle First choice...pick another book!!
Ann Johnson
Easy reading

This book isn't hard to put down. The main character is not very likeable, and the story drags a little.
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed Mrs. Saint and the Defectives much more than I thought I would. It was a quirky story that falls into the contemporary fiction genre, a genre which I usually hate but I would gladly make an exception for this story.

Mrs. Saint and the Defectives gave me A Man Called Ove vibes in terms of the feelings it produced in me. I was trying to hold back tears in the end (especially since I was reading it in the vet's waiting room).

I perceived Mrs. Saint to be one of those irritating busybodies
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I gotta be honest. Markie could have raced down a mountain on a sled and saved Christmas with a heart 3 times bigger.... and I’d still hate her. but that didn’t happen and nothing about the plot going on around her was entertaining enough to salvage this book for me. I don't really know how to review this so I'm just going to make a list and rant because ranting is what I do best.

The Good

Jesse He's a good kid with shit parents. Maybe too good but his close relationship with Lola kept me reading
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book - it was my Amazon Prime free read for July.

There was always this underpinning of wanting to know more about who the characters REALLY were that kept me engaged throughout.

Highly recommended.
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don’t know what initially drew me to this book. Perhaps recommendations from other readers. Possibly the cover, which stands out from most covers I’ve seen lately. All I know is that I’m glad I had the opportunity to read such a sweet and heartfelt story.

Markie is instantly a sympathetic character, given that her husband cheated on her, financially depleted her and their son, and then made her look like the “bad guy.” Her parents weren’t much help in the emotional support department. So what’
Lori Spielman
May 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this novel! If you're a fan of Anne Tyler or Fredrik Backman, you'll adore Julie Lawson Timmer's latest story. Charming and poignant, funny and wise, MRS SAINT AND THE DEFECTIVES is a delight from start to finish. Highly, highly recommend. ...more
Lindsay Nixon
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. If you liked A Man Called Ove, this is a terrific selection for you. It's somewhat like the female version, complete with an ending that is bitter-sweet.

This was such a fun, great "domestic" read. I'd describe it as the perfect whipped dessert. Rich but not heavy, refreshing but not light or "all air." Good to the last drop!

It's an adult coming-of-age story. There's no shortage of novels about women whose perfect lives turn out not to be so perfect, everything is shattered, and they
Linda Zagon
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it

If things were difficult in your life, would you like the opportunity to have a second chance? In this charming novel, "Mrs. Saint and the Defectives", by Julie Lawson Timmer, the author discusses an "eccentric" community which has the feeling of family, and gives the people involved another chance for happiness

The genres of this novel are Fiction, Adult Fiction, and Women's Fiction.
The author describes her characters as "flawed
Laurie • The Baking Bookworm
Jul 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ehbooklover, margaret cook
Readers will be drawn to this book initially by its eye-catching cover but what will keep them reading is Lawson Timmer's heart-felt vision of family, second chances and redemption.

After a failed marriage and the public humiliation that accompanied it, Markie moves herself and her teenage son to a new town to start over. Her goal? To blend into the background, keep her head down and make some money.

But she didn't anticipate Mrs. Saint.

Mrs. Saint is a force to be reckoned with. She's an elderly
Glenna Pritchett
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humorous
I've said before in my reviews that I have a love/hate relationship with the free Kindle First selections -- I keep choosing a book each month (even though most of my selections end up on the DNF shelf) because every now and then I find a diamond. Mrs. Saint and the Defectives is one of the diamonds.

Humor and over-the-top characters can work very well to make a point, and Ms. Timmer used them masterfully here. The moral of this book, as I see it, is not only that we all should actively help othe
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books that I've read so far this year. The characters are well developed and the story itself is fantastic. While it wasn't exactly a light hearted read, there were super funny parts mixed with more serious parts. I absolutely love it and would recommend it to anyone. ...more
Christine Moore
May 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
Markie's life falls apart. Her husband Kyle cheats on her, they are completely broke, and she must quit her job. She moves with her son Jesse into a new house in a new neighborhood. As they are unloading the moving truck their new neighbor Mrs. Saint comes over and introduces herself. She plants herself firmly into Markie and Jesse's lives. She is overbearing but quite lovable. She has her team of "defectives" as she calls them that work for her at her house. They are people she has taken under ...more
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52 weeks, 52 books: Week 2017.27: Mrs Saint and the Defectives 2 44 Jan 25, 2018 05:17AM  

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Julie Lawson Timmer grew up in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, and now lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband Dan, their children and two badly-behaved rescued dogs. By turns, she is an author, lawyer, mom/stepmom, and fledgling yogi. She is the author of FIVE DAYS LEFT (Putnam 2014), UNTETHERED (Putnam 2016) and MRS. SAINT AND THE DEFECTIVES (coming August 1, 2017 from Lake Union).

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