Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Review: Mothers and Other Liars

I was lucky enough to get to review Mothers and Other Liars through my friend Jennie's blog tour, hosted on her blog Life is Short. Read Fast.  She was sweet enough to stick me on the tail end, even though I signed up for the tour late.  This is the story of Ruby, a single mother, who found a baby in a trashcan at a rest stop as a lonely young woman looking for herself.  She assumed the baby was abandoned and made the split second decision to keep her.  She has raised Lark as her daughter and they have made a home and life for themselves in New Mexico.  However, when Ruby learns that Lark's parents did not abandon her, and have been searching for her for the past eight years, she is faced with the consequences of her decision.

I wasn't a fan.  When I reviewed Room by Emma Donaghue, I talked about how hard I think it is for an author to capture and child's voice accurately and consistently (Donaghue does an excellent job by the way).  This is a case where the author's attempt to sound like an eight year old fell flat.  Instead of sounding consistently like a child, Lark sounds like an adult who is trying to sound like a child.  An adult who maybe hasn't been around kids all that much.  Lark is precocious - annoyingly precocious - and her voice really grated on my nerves.  I just wasn't able to believe her as a character in any way. 

There is also the issue of the ending, which wraps everything up in a neat little bow.  Happy endings all around.  Not that that is always a bad thing - I like happy endings sometimes - but I had a very hard time believing the ending of this one.

As much as I didn't really like Lark, I did enjoy the story.  This is one of those cases where I didn't really become invested in any of the characters, but I was really interested in what would happen with the plot.  The main character faces one of those huge Jodi Picoult-esque moral dilemmas that everyone hopes to never face in real life.  It's an engrossing read, not because of the characters, but because of the ethical challenges that are faced.  I think the author did a very good job of showing the fall out of those choices and how they affect characters beyond just Ruby and Lark.

The whole thing was very reminiscent to me of Jodi Picoult.  If you like that twist-ending, moral dilemma type of women's lit, I recommend this one.  I would say that in a lot of ways it really rings of "women's lit" though.  Just the stereotypical relationships, characters, etc.  If you've read Picoult or Quindlen or any of the other typical women's lit authors, you've read something similar to this.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the shout out! :) I found it to be very JP as well.