Mary Karr's The Liar's Club was a very interesting read. I started reading this book at the end of September (along with about two others) for YET ANOTHER book club I've joined (I think I'm becoming a book club junky). This one is actually a campus book club made up of students and faculty. We meet once a month or so to discuss the book and eat food (the bonus of this club). That being said, the club started this book over the summer and I picked it up on September 19th after my summer department meeting. Needless to say, I had a later start than everyone else.
The book is actually a memoir about Karr's rather traumatic childhood. This poor girl grew up with an alcoholic father, an alcoholic and CRAZY mother, and had some pretty horrific things happen to her. From being raped by a neighbor boy to nearly being killed in a car accident with her mother, from being molested by a male babysitter to nearly being detained in Mexico for crossing the border illegally with a clueless adult, you would think that Karr would have a very jaded view of life. Not so. She manages to find the humor in every single situation she presents to the reader. You find yourself laughing despite the tragedies that continually occur. Karr presents a moving picture of her life in East Texas with her word choice and the images and episodes she includes in the text.
There were two aspects of this book that we hashed over in our meeting. The first that came up was the obvious jump from childhood in the first couple sections of the book to a time in her life that was nearly 20 years later. Why the jump? Why skip forward over so much life and then include with this portion? I've come to the conclusion that this purposeful jump toward the death of her father and the death of the Liar's Club as being two things that HAVE to end together. Neither is able to continue if the other is no longer a part of it (this makes sense to those who've read the book; I promise). She had to show that her father's death, the death of the Liar's Club, and, subsequently, her banishment from the Club were ALL connected in a way. The second question that came up and was heavily discussed in our meeting was the title and how is effects the way in which you read or conclude the book. The very title, The Liar's Club, automatically suggests that, maybe, not everything that you read is going to be true. Afterall, Karr was a member of the club. And furthermore, how accurate of a memory does a seven year old have? Something to be considered.
Ultimately, I really enjoyed this book. It was disturbing, heart-wrenching, comical, and sends your heart racing at times. Definitely worth the read.