Book 3, in the Cape Breton Trilogy
“Why Men Lie”, the last volume in the trilogy is actually an extension to “The Bishop’s Man” (book 2) where Priest Duncan MacAskill , known as the “fixer” was the center figure. This latest features Effie MacAskill- Gillis, Duncan’s sister, as the main player and is set mostly in Toronto and in Cape Breton during the late 1990’s. The story follows further the community and the family saga we have come to know in the previous installments. The central theme in “Why men Lie” is impotence: physical, mental, intellectual as well as sexual and revolves around lies and deception.
Narrated in the third person from Effie’s perspective, the novel chronicles the journey of a middle-aged woman and a highly regarded Celtic scholar making her way into the world of men that has populated her life.
I join those who have mixed feelings about this book. In one hand, this is undeniably a complex, well-crafted novel with excellent prose but on the other hand the plot missed to deliver intrigue successfully. IMO the novel resonates more as a domestic fiction with ever changing series of flashbacks to anything else. Mr. MacIntyre is a master in dialogue and the characters definitely talk a lot, in fact they ramble quite freely, at times in Gaelic. This is a very slow moving story that highlights the author’s love for the east coast and it takes him a long time to make a point. In reality it gave me time to pause and mull over the question “Why men Lie?”……In the book women lie as much……( is that so :))
This novel is interesting in many ways but it was just missing that captivating quality to be invested deeply into it or compelled to keep turning the pages at rapid pace. “Why Men Lie” is definitely not as great as its predecessor “The Bishop Man” but nevertheless worth spending time with.