In 'The Liars' Club', what is the thematic idea and statement of the story?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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One of the central thematic ideas in Mary Karr's memoir The Liar's Club is the idea of love, especially as it pertains to the bonds between children and their parents.  A thematic statement for the novel connected to the theme of love is:  Familial love can and will endure even through the most difficult hardships.  Karr repeatedly illustrates this thematic statement through her trying and often strained relationship with her mother.  Despite the mother's alcoholism, mentail illness, or painful relationships with terrible men, Karr's love for her mother endures, even more so after she learns the truth of her mother's tragic history. 

The Liar's Club challenges the notion of unconditional love between child and parent through its offering of some horrific instances of hardship and abuse, but ultimately reinforces the notion; in the end, Karr's novel closes with empathy and compassion for her mother and father.


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