Review: Mrs. Saint and the Defectives by Julie Lawson Timmer

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Release date: August 1, 2017

Publisher: Lake Union

Genre: Contemporary Fiction


Markie, a fortysomething divorcée who has suffered a humiliating and very public fall from marital, financial, and professional grace, moves, along with her teenage son, Jesse, to a new town, hoping to lick her wounds in private. But Markie and Jesse are unable to escape the attention of their new neighbor Mrs. Saint, an irascible, elderly New European woman who takes it upon herself, along with her ragtag group of “defectives,” to identify and fix the flaws in those around her, whether they want her to or not.

What Markie doesn’t realize is that Mrs. Saint has big plans for the divorcée’s broken spirit. Soon, the quirky yet endearing woman recruits Markie to join her eccentric community, a world where both hidden truths and hope unite them. But when Mrs. Saint’s own secrets threaten to unravel their fragile web of healing, it’s up to Markie to mend these wounds and usher in a new era for the “defectives”—one full of second chances and happiness.


I have to start by gushing over the cover, it’s so great and perfectly sets the stage for what’s inside. Mrs. Saint and the Defectives was a charming, quirky read with some great themes and hidden gems.

Markie and Mrs. Saint do not have very much in common, Markie is introverted and has no desire to get involved in her neighbors lives, she wants to heal from her divorce and concentrate on her son, Jesse. Mrs. Saint is abrasive, bossy and crosses boundaries constantly, she is SO over the top but I couldn’t help but be charmed by her. The rest of the characters were a group of misfits and oddballs and each had a unique and quirky personality, but most importantly they were all relatable on some level.

There are so many great life lessons here and Mrs. Saint with her wisdom and guidance  teaches most of them. Family isn’t always about being blood related and sometimes bonds can be formed quickly and when you least expect it. I loved the last quarter, there were some unexpected surprises and a historical fiction vibe that was cool. There was a similarity to Maria Semple’s style her, so if you’re a fan of her work, you may like this.

Overall rating: 4/5

Thanks to the publisher for my review copy.

10 thoughts on “Review: Mrs. Saint and the Defectives by Julie Lawson Timmer

  1. Susie | Novel Visits says:

    I’ve been really curious about this book so am happy to see your review. It sounds a little like The Book of Polly in the life lessons from an older over-the-top female.

    Liked by 1 person

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