Staff Pick – Why Men Lie by Linden MacIntyre

Well, having read Linden MacIntyre’s Why Men Lie (M), I am no wiser about why men, or why people in general lie, but it certainly does make life more complicated.
Staff Pick - Why Men Lie by Linden MacIntyre Why Men Lie is the third book in MacIntyre’s trilogy of stories set in Cape Breton featuring the intertwined Gillis and MacAskill families. It’s not vital to read the books in order (beginning with The Long Stretch (M) and The Bishop’s Man (M)) but it does flesh out the story a bit. We meet the Gillis cousins, John and Sextus, in The Long Stretch and learn about the family secrets that threaten their lives and have destroyed each of their marriages to Effie MacAskill. In the Giller Prize winning The Bishop’s Man, Effie’s brother Duncan is featured as a priest who resolves church scandals.

Staff Pick - Why Men Lie by Linden MacIntyre Why Men Lie is set mostly in Toronto in the late 1990’s. Effie MacAskill, a middle-aged, comfortably situated Celtic scholar, faces a solitary period in her life, while still the hub for her ex-husbands. She doesn’t appear to stretch much farther in her relationships than Cape Breton, as she becomes involved with a man who was involved with her set of friends in the 1970s. Despite the fact that the men in her life have mistreated or lied to her, she surrounds herself, with the exception of her daughter, with men. The new man in her life, JC Cameron, a television reporter/personality, is at first charming, protective and attentive, but quickly shows himself to be harbouring dangerous secrets.
Staff Pick - Why Men Lie by Linden MacIntyre Overall I would describe this novel as domestic fiction, yet it has the feel of a literary thriller. The lies and secrets are revealed (or mostly revealed) in an ever changing series of flashbacks and it is not always immediately clear where we are in the timeline. The complexity of the plot and the rich character development make this novel an absorbing and rewarding read. Everything I read about this book refers to the three books as a trilogy, however I have to wonder if there might be a fourth story here. A new character, Paul, is introduced, and he doesn’t seem to fit neatly with the story. He appears to meet Effie by chance and pursues the relationship to the point of stalking, stealing from her an extremely personal possession. I never felt that his presence or actions were clearly explained and I can’t help but to think that his secrets could turn this trilogy into a quartet.
Staff Pick - Why Men Lie by Linden MacIntyre Another Maritime Giller Prize winner is Mercy Among the Children (M) by David Adams Richards. “When twelve-year-old Sidney Henderson pushes his friend Connie off the roof of a local church in a moment of anger, he makes a silent vow: Let Connie live and I will never harm another soul. At that very moment, Connie stands, laughs, and walks away. Sidney keeps his promise through adulthood despite the fact that his insular, rural community uses his pacifism to exploit him. Sidney’s son Lyle, however, assumes an increasingly aggressive stance in defense of his family. When a small boy is killed in a tragic accident and Sidney is blamed, Lyle takes matters into his own hands. In his effort to protect the people he loves — his beautiful and fragile mother, Elly; his gifted sister, Autumn; and his innocent brother, Percy — it is Lyle who will determine his family’s legacy.” Discover


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