In We Were Liars E. Lockhart creates a modern gothic tale about a wealthy family torn apart by money and power and one girls secret that torments them all.
Cadence Sinclair is the oldest of the “liars” – the three oldest of the Sinclair cousins and the pride and joy of her grandfather, Harris Sinclair. The Sinclair’s, a wealthy family led by Harris and Tipper are beautiful and glamorous, and seemingly untouchable. Harris and Tipper’s daughters and their children know nothing but the best of everything. But behind closed doors the family’s dysfunction permeates all aspects of familial relationships. The loss of the family matriarch has the Sinclair daughters scrambling to prove their worth to their father who in turn abuses his power as both family patriarch and the one in charge of the family fortune.
But for Cadence and the Liars (Mirren, Johnny and Gat) these family truths are virtually unknown until “summer 15″. Every summer the Sinclair’s come together on Beechwood – their personal island – to spend the season together, for the Liars it is a time of freedom and happiness, almost a fairytale that exists outside of normal life. “Summer 15″ for Cadence is unlike any other, reeling from her parents unexpected separation Cadence finds solace in Gat, the nephew of her aunt Carrie’s boyfriend. But as the aunts grow more and more desperate to secure a bigger inheritance the Liars come to realize the rampant dysfunction in their family. Tired of the fighting and the backstabbing they begin to lose faith in everyone but each other. But before anything can be done a mysterious accident lands Cadence in the hospital.
Unable to remember what happened Cadence finds herself suffering serious memory loss, extreme fatigue and weakness and PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.) It is not until the following summer when Cadence finally returns to Beechwood, the Liars and the scene of the accident that the mystery begins to unravel.
Haunting, dark to the point of almost macabre, We Were Liars is a a modern Gothic tale of a wealthy family with too many secrets and too much pride. E. Lockart writes in a way that is both poetic and captivating. From start to finish she reels you in with the intensity of her story and of main character Cadence’s desire for the truth. The story builds and builds to an explosive crescendo. Once the truth behind everything comes tumbling out words flow like a runaway train.
Why You’ll Love It
Old money, family dramas and an utterly suspenseful mystery – We Were Liars is absolutely captivating.
Choice Quote: “If you want to live where people are not afraid of mice, you must give up living in palaces.”
We Were Liars is published by Delacorte Press
*This review first appeared on The O’Deary Library