‘We Were Liars’ by E. Lockhart

We Were LiarsFrom the outside, they are the perfect family. Blond and tall with a strong chin and a strong tennis serve, they are the Sinclair’s and they stick together.

Since she was a child, Cadence Sinclair has spent every summer on her grandfather’s private island. Each year, she spends her days inseparable from her cousins, Mirren and Johnny, and Gat, the nephew of a family friend. Surrounded by boats, beaches and wealth, it seems like nothing will ever go wrong. But in the heat of the summer, tensions brew.

Now 17, Cady is recovering from an accident. But she has no recollection of what happened. In fact, she has very few memories of an entire summer spent on the island. With her family keeping secrets from her, Cady returns to the island in an attempt to uncover the truth about events.

To say much more about the plot of this book would ruin it entirely for anyone that hasn’t already read it, which makes it quite hard to review! Over the course of the book, we’re shown how Gat’s friendship with the cousins and his presence on the island forces the family members to examine themselves from the outside. As they grow older, Cady, Mirren and Johnny gradually become aware of what the darker side of being a Sinclair entails, and what the family is willing to do to keep their positions.

There are quite clear parallels to King Lear drawn throughout the book, as Cady’s mother and aunts find themselves increasingly set against each other in a family controlled by a strong and powerful family patriarch. This comparison sets the scene for a tragedy that is inevitably building, but it still doesn’t prepare you for what’s coming.

This really was a really fantastic read. You can see the ending coming as Cady’s memories start to gradually return, but it still caught me by surprise. It’s heart wrenching and well written, full of hard hitting metaphors and cutting, self-deprecating observations. I would definitely recommend it. It’s currently only 99p on Amazon’s Kindle store, so it’s a bargain as well.


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