Book Club Pick: May 2019
Title: We Were Liars
Author: E. Lockhart
Series: Stand alone novel
Country: United States of America
Publisher: Delacorte Press
First Published: 2014
Pages: 227 pages
A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends – the Liars –
whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
The novel is narrated by Cadence Sinclair Eastman, the eldest grandchild of wealthy patriarch Harris Sinclair, who owns a private island Beechwood, near Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
The Sinclair family spends their summers on the island. Harris has three daughters Carrie, Penny and Bess.
Carrie has two children – Jonathan (Johnny) and Will. Johnny is three weeks younger than Cadence and is the second eldest grandchild.
Harris’ youngest daughter Bess has four children Mirren, Liberty, Bonnie, and Taft.
There is also Gatwick ‘Gat’ Matthew Patil, who is the nephew of Carrie’s partner Ed, an outsider to the family, who joins them every summer.
Cadence, Johnny, Mirren and Gat are known as ‘The Liars’
There is a Sinclair family tree provided at the front of the book, and also a map of Beechwood Island.
At age 15 Cadence has a romance with Gat. At the end of the summer she has an accident, but she cannot remember the details of what happened. What happened in the summer of her 15th year as Cadence refers to it is the mystery of the novel.
It is two summers later when Cadence returns to the island with migraines and on medication. In a fractured and disjointed narrative Cadence attempts to reconstruct what happened – unreliable narrator anyone?
The novel is also interspersed with many ‘Once upon a time’ fairy tales. In an interview with The Guardian Lockhart said she used fairy tales ‘to have Cadence tell truths about her family that she felt were unspeakable any other way. Lockhart added that ‘fairy tales get told and retold because they tap into truths about human beings.’
Source: I borrowed this book from my public library.