I knew nothing about We Were Liars before going in (except that it had a good title and an appealing cover), and that’s probably the best way to approach this book – I’m going to have a hard time reviewing it without giving anything away.
The Sinclair family is beautiful, wealthy, and numerous. Normally spread across the country, they spend each summer on their own private island just off Massachusetts, in houses purposefully built for them by the wealthy patriarch.
Our narrator is the teenaged grand-daughter of said patriarch, and we meet her as she tries to piece together the events of one summer. Since an accident, which took place in the summer she was fifteen, she’s been unable to remember anything, and with her family remaining tight-lipped about what happened, she’s left to figure it all out on its own. What follows is a tale, told by an unreliable narrator, of love, family, memory and dysfunction, building a story with a real sting in the tail.
I read this book in one sitting and found myself gripped – even despite having cottoned on to the twist around a third of the way in. The slow drip of revealed information, unveiling the cracks beneath the beautiful façade of the family, the tensions and manipulations that hovered just under the surface and then, finally, just what exactly happened that summer, was incredibly well done.
I don’t want to say anything further for fear of giving anything away to those who haven’t yet read it, but if you’re looking for a compelling beach read, you could do a lot worse than with We Were Liars.