We Were Liars
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We Were Liars
I read WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart in four hours. For those four hours, I blocked out everything else that was going on. And since I read it in manuscript back in October, I have thought about it and looked forward to sharing it with readers. For those who like taut prose, you have it here.
Our narrator is Cadence Sinclair Eastman, who is 17. She is part of the Sinclair family, which has old money, not new. Their wealth and privilege were born to, not earned. They “summer” --- and yes, they are the kind of people who use that word as a verb --- on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts. Cady’s mom is one of three sisters, and their father, Cady’s grandfather, is treated like a financial patriarch. But as always, there are family secrets and lots of lies and in-fighting. And Cady sees their family for what it is.
She and her cousins spend summer after summer exploring the island together, creating their own haven apart from the adults. There is an outsider here, too: Gat, who lives a more normal life. He is the nephew of Cady’s aunt’s boyfriend. I write it like that so you can see how removed he is. He is not a Sinclair, but Cady loves him. Maybe because he is not like the world of her family.
When we meet Cady, she is recovering from an accident and pacing out a story to us, the story that got her to where she is now. Working through it with her, we see what has upended her world.
Perception often is not reality --- and it certainly is not in WE WERE LIARS. This is a portrait of what “a perfect world' looks like on the inside and how it unravels once one of the players sees it for what it is. It’s pitch perfect in both plotting and character development. I finished it and wanted to go back to see how Lockhart had constructed the story. Her editor told me that there were 14 edits on this, and it reads like it was cared for that carefully. This is a great book for teens, twentysomethings and adults. I recommend sharing it and talking about it later. Oh, and read it in one sitting if you can. It will make the experience all the more special.