The Liars’ Club
This is one of those books I feel everyone knows, and I have always been embarrassed because I hadn’t read it. But I found it at a local bookstore and had to buy it. Honestly, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get around to reading this one!
Mary Karr’s The Liar’s Club was an achievement in memoir writing from the 1990s. Set in Texas and Colorado, Karr writes about her childhood and coming of age.
It’s harsh. And Karr’s voice in the narrative is poetic, and at times jarring. For example, one chapter begins with the following line: “Maybe if Mother hadn’t taken it in her head to shoot Hector, we’d never have got back to Texas.” It sounds logical, but then you reread it and realize what it means. Karr narrates numerous traumatic events with such detail. While her parents made serious mistakes, Karr doesn’t paint her parents as one-dimensional beings, but rather as parents can be–loving at times, and also hurtful.
While the actual events are intense and very hard to swallow, I have to give credit to how well the memoir is written. Karr had a talent for writing even as a young girl, and her prose in this book is personally inspiring. This is one of those books where I want to keep it on my shelf, so I have the power to take it out and read her sentences, which flow so well and give me such a vivid mental picture of her childhood. Karr is now on my list of authors that I admire, but I am also extremely envious of.