Book Review – The Liar’s Club

The Liar’s Club: A Memoir, by Mary Karr. Check availability here

Wow! Where do I begin? Very fast paced, extremely vivid true story of a WILD childhood. I read this for hours on end over the weekend, staying up late because I was dying to know how it turned out. No matter what I say about it, I feel I’d be leaving such a gaping hole in the explanation, because it’s all so densely packed with searing description, and amazing detail. I relished learning about Karr’s mother, like her love for dangerous weather, and how when everybody was fleeing from a tornado warning, her mother threw open the doors and windows. It is a bit heartbreaking seeing this talented woman despised because of her education, and “differentness” in a place and time that wasn’t ready to appreciate her unique contributions. The language is so sharp and clear, I have many, many pictures in my head of all the people and events she writes about. I particularly liked her descriptions of the landscape in Texas, having never been there myself, and the crazy way life used to be, with kids running behind trucks spraying DDT to kill mosquitos because of the threat of encephalitis.

There is a lot of cruelty and mistreatment of children as well as adults and some very disturbing incidents described in her life story. Amazingly it is not a depressing book, but ultimately is very satisfying and often laugh out loud funny because she is such a great, honest, storyteller. I plan on diving into her next memoir, Cherry, which covers her adolescence. Highly Recommended!

Carolyn Boulay

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