Review – We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart is the story of the seemingly perfect Sinclair family. The events of the novel take place on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts where they spend their summers. We see the Sinclairs and their dirty, often quite shocking secrets through the eyes of Cady Eastman, one of the “Liars”, the three older cousins of the Sinclair family and one of their very close friends. The events of the novel seem to unfold from their relationship, the accent being on Cady’s character and her relationship with the other three.
Although Cady’s first descriptions of their summers spent on the island are full of joyful and happy memories, the reader cannot help but feel that there is something more, something quite sinister is hiding in the background of that all-too-perfect facade. Cady’s way of presenting this happy memories sheds light on her childish naiveté that she has to learn to overcome.
As the events unfold, we get to see the greed, the jealousy, the covert racism that characterizes the Sinclairs. It is more obvious than anything else they try to convey as the epitome of the perfect American family. We experience all these things together with Cady, uncovering every hidden truth as we walk alongside her on this journey.
This novel is many things: it is a story about the fragility of human relationships that are only built on the carefully crafted image the world is supposed to see – about relationships that wither and die when they lack substance and communication. But above all else, it is the story of a young girl’s personal and emotional development from a naïve child to an adult who no longer wishes to bottle up her feelings. I think that We Were Liars is also about the ability to break away from long-standing family traditions and about finding one’s own way, one’s own personal voice to guide them through life. But it is not an easy-going, simple bildungsroman. For Cady to be able to grow as a person, she needs to go through some very (disturbingly) tough situations. While she does turn into a more self-conscious person by the end of the novel, she also loses her childhood innocence (and a few other things along with it). What I really liked about her character arc is that, in a way, the ending of the novel is actually the beginning of her story as a more self-conscious person.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart seemed quite boring at the beginning, and all those tiny hints about the rotten core of the Sinclair family annoyed me beyond words. I didn’t feel like reading about a family that is so plain, so ‘perfect’. What kept me going was that I knew that there’s more to it than that. I knew that this perfect image cannot be but a mirage and it will disappear into thin air if I wait patiently enough. It was worth the wait, I have to say. The ending surprised me and showed me once again what a bad detective I’d be. I couldn’t tell you the ending even if I wanted to. I promised the book that I would lie about it. So let’s just say it has a happy ending.
E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars is going to get a Four Fox rating from me. 🦊🦊🦊🦊
The ending deserves a Five Fox rating, but it did take a lot of time to get through the first part of the novel, hence the Four Foxes.
A relationship that is only touched upon is the relationship between Cady’s grandfather and Gat. What are the subtle details of this relationship that surprised you the most? Do you agree with Gat’s assumption about Cady’s grandfather?
Although some of it is explained in the book, why do you think Cady decided to change (pretty much) everything about herself?
The ending was a shock to me. What was your opinion about it? What do you think is going to happen to Cady next?
If my review of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart convinced you and you are determined to read this book, you can do so by clicking on one of the links below.
Also, don’t forget to check out some of my other book reviews as well!
Thank you for reading!💙