A darkness spreads beneath glittering surface
We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart Dell Publishers
I have no idea where to start with the beauty of this book, on the cover and of course within. Despite the mysterious and almost terrifying cover and blurb there is nothing that could have prepared me for the plot twists.
As I began my journey I was greeted with an almost poem-like beginning, a theme prominent throughout the book, that became clearer with every word as I progressed through a rollercoaster of a plot. I found myself flipping back to the first page many times, bringing clarity to what was once no more than an exquisitely written warning.
There is such certainty and confusion mixed in with that beginning poem, something that is reminiscent of denial. The sense of denial is something I found underlying every aspect of the story.
The plot follows Cadence Sinclair, heiress to a kingdom of private islands, expensive, meaningless objects and perfect lies. As hazy summer days on her family’s private island are depicted with sweet romances and a storm of debt beneath I found the best use of my favourite story trope. The perfect surface with a dark underbelly is clear and brilliant in every moment as we watch the four Liars grow up.
The Liars consist of our main characters; of course Cadence, as the book is written from her perspective, Johnny and Mirren, Cadence’s cousins, and Gat, Johnny’s best friend who Cadence finds herself falling for over the course of the summers. In the first part of the novel the reader witnesses the set up of the gradual fall of a perfect, wealthy family and drama among The Liars but further in the plot takes a much more sinister turn.
Cadence is involved in what, as far as she is aware, was an accident at the lake. During her recovery she was left with recurring headaches and an opaque memory of just how she was hurt on her 15th return to her family’s summer home.
After the incident Cadence is left as a shell of her former self, she dyes her hair black, in a stark contrast to the natural blonde, is rarely at school and always seems sickly and quiet, unable to keep up the confident, flawless act of the Sinclairs anymore. We learn a lot about Cadence’s family in the later parts of the book, what they mean to each other, and just what they will do to keep up their lies.
I loved watching the journey of Cadence as she lost aspects of her family and found herself, and of course discovering the truth of summer fifteen and all the fascinating parts of the events of that day.
This is a book I would recommend to all, with a gripping writing style and relatable characters. E. Lockhart is exactly what I’ve been looking for in an author and can’t wait for the movie of this thrilling literary adventure.