by Julie HaleJuly, 2004
Liars and Saints
A saga that spans five decades, this multigenerational tale follows the lives of the Santerre family, a Catholic clan living in California. Yvette and Teddy, a marine who served in World War II, struggle with their 16-year-old daughter, who threatens to bring scandal upon the family when she becomes pregnant. To save face, Yvette claims the baby as her own one of many family deceptions that occur. Presented in brief chapters narrated by various family members, the novel presents the reader with a kaleidoscopic look at the Santerres. The voices Meloy conjures here are authentic and fresh, and she does an expert job of capturing the tensions of the times, bringing to life the cultural tumult of the 1960s and '70s. Best of all, she writes with wisdom and generosity about the quirks and complexities of family life.