Title: Mothers & Other Liars
Author: Amy Bourret
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin
Date of Publication: August 2010
Synopsis: (Publishers Weekly) Ruby Leander and young daughter Lark, the abandoned baby she took as her own at a truck stop years ago, when she was a runaway, are living happily in New Mexico. Ruby is pregnant with boyfriend Chaz's child and everything is going well until she sees Lark's picture in the newspaper as a missing child. Ruby realizes that to do the right thing and return Lark means losing everything she loves. When Ruby comes up with a way to keep Lark, her plan involves an untenable choice. The revelations aren't surprising and though the characters face weighty moral questions, the resolutions seem inconsequential. Bourret does manage to present an alternative to the standard family drama, and the writing is crisp despite a plot that moves along to a predictable conclusion.
About the Author:
Helen Keller said, “Life is an adventure or it is nothing at all.” My own adventure has been a raucous ride through Denver, Salt Lake City, Kansas City, Houston, Lubbock, New Haven, Dallas, Santa Fe, and Aspen. Now, I split my time between Dallas and Aspen, where I am working on my next novel.
Along the way, I earned diplomas from Yale Law School, Texas Tech University and Miss Julie’s School of Dance. One of my favorite clients liked to say that Yale told him I was real smart, but Tech told him I was real. I’m not sure what the other diploma tells anyone, other than that most of the time I can walk and chew gum at the same time and there are some black-mailable photographs of me in god-awful costumes.
The passion that fuels Mothers and Other Liars was sparked through my child advocacy work, as pro bono counsel in law school and in my practice, and as adviser to advocacy, foster care and child rescue organizations. Among other esteemed activities, at various times and in no particular order, I have also been corporate lawyer, gymnast, event planner, student, civic volunteer, judicial clerk, official neighborhood bee catcher, corporate communications director, and flower girl at a tadpole funeral. What I have always been is a writer, from treacly childhood poetry, to college and graduate school theses, to legal briefs and contracts, and, oh yeah, to Mothers and Other Liars, my debut novel. What I have never been is a mother or a liar. Well, at least half of that last statement is true. (http://amybourret.com/about-amy/)
Author Interview: What Women Write hosts interview with Amy Bourret
The title and cover of this book really is what made me grab it off the new fiction self at the library. In reflecting on the title, Mothers & Other Liars, I am left wondering who the other liars were. This book started off good for me, got a little slow in the middle, but picked up again towards the end. Mothers & Other Liars reads a bit like a book by Jodi Picoult. It is an emotional read that in the heart of it examines the debate of Nurture vs. Nature. The book though not very long it is comprised of 117 chapters. I really disliked the way the book was written in very short chapters. I felt this distracted from the flow of the story and left the story with a choppy feeling.
Mothers & Other Liars did have me thinking about what I would do if I found an abandoned baby. I have never been in the situation that Ruby was in, but as a mother I am not sure I would make the same decisions she did regarding her solution to her problem. As I was reading the book, I was yelling at Ruby and saying, “A mother would not do that”. My hubby thought I was crazy! It just wasn’t realistic to me and it bugged me. I do believe that Ruby loved Lark and would do anything for her. Once the twists are revealed the conclusion of the story became very predictable. The ending of Mothers & Other Liars was all tidied up and presented as a happy little package with a bow on it.
My Rating: 3.5/5 - I would have given Mothers & Other Liars a 3 rating, but emotionally the story did grip me. I may have even shed a tear or two, but parts were just too unrealistic for me. This book did not have me missing my beauty sleep.
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