Liars and Saints

Maile Meloy

With her 2002 debut story collection, Half in Love, prizewinning author Maile Meloy drew acclaim from readers and reviewers across the country.

“Here is an author who knows how to jump-start the reader’s interest,” raved The New York Times. “Wonderfully wise beyond the author’s years,” said the Chicago Tribune. “What distinguishes Meloy is her insistence on old-fashioned plot and sensibility….Maile Meloy is a truly compelling discovery.”

With her first novel, Liars and Saints, Meloy more than delivers on the promise of her earlier work. This richly textured, emotionally charged novel tells a story of sex and longing, love and loss, and of the deceits that can lie at the heart of family relationships.

Set in California, Liars and Saints follows four generations of the Catholic Santerre family from World War II to the present, as they navigate a succession of life-altering events — through the submerged emotion of the fifties, the recklessness and excess of the sixties and seventies, and the reckonings of the eighties and nineties. In a family driven by jealousy and propriety as much as by love, an unspoken tradition of deceit is passed from generation to generation, and fiercely protected secrets gradually drive the Santerres apart. When tragedy shatters their precarious domestic lives, it takes astonishing courage and compassion to bring them back together.

By turns funny and disturbing, irreverent and profound, Liars and Saints is a masterful display of Maile Meloy’s prodigious gifts, and of her penetrating insight — into an extraordinary American family and into the nature of human love.

Explore the other winners

Longlist announced - 10th March

Stay in the loop

Enter your email to be the first to know the latest news from the Women's Prize For Fiction

VOTE

Vote for your favourite #WomensPrize winner

Cast your vote for your favourite #ReadingWomen book and decide who will be our Winner of Winners in our 25th year.

Favourite book Ended

  • A Spell of Winter
    7% 413 / 5.7k
  • Fugitive Pieces
    2% 160 / 5.7k
  • Larry's Party
    1% 98 / 5.7k
  • A Crime in the Neighborhood
    1% 72 / 5.7k
  • When I Lived in Modern Times
    1% 64 / 5.7k
  • The Idea of Perfection
    1% 58 / 5.7k
  • Bel Canto
    5% 294 / 5.7k
  • Property
    0% 34 / 5.7k
  • Small Island
    12% 735 / 5.7k
  • We Need to Talk About Kevin
    9% 544 / 5.7k
  • On Beauty
    5% 328 / 5.7k
  • Half of a Yellow Sun
    26% 1.5k / 5.7k
  • The Road Home
    2% 147 / 5.7k
  • Home
    3% 178 / 5.7k
  • The Lacuna
    3% 200 / 5.7k
  • The Tiger's Wife
    2% 128 / 5.7k
  • The Song of Achilles
    17% 1k / 5.7k
  • May We Be Forgiven
    1% 98 / 5.7k
  • A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing
    3% 203 / 5.7k
  • How to be Both
    6% 347 / 5.7k
  • The Glorious Heresies
    2% 117 / 5.7k
  • The Power
    7% 413 / 5.7k
  • Home Fire
    7% 440 / 5.7k
  • An American Marriage
    8% 505 / 5.7k
  • Hamnet
    6% 347 / 5.7k
Win a set of all 25 Women's Prize winning books

Sign up to the Women's Prize for Fiction newsletter and win all 25 Prize winning books, including our 2020 winner Hamnet.

You'll be the first to hear about exciting author events and our latest news, and you can unsubscribe at any time.