Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Family of Liars by E. Lockhart


After reading and being unimpressed by WE WERE LIARS, I thought I probably wouldn't continue with the Taft-Sinclair family and their WASP-y adventures.  There's something a little tedious about watching a rich, white, entitled American family get away with successfully covering up their crimes. I DON'T KNOW WHY OR ANYTHING.

Anyway, I found a copy of this book in the cruise ship library and decided to eat my words. The heroine of this book is the mother of one of the kids in WE WERE LIARS, only it's historical fiction because it takes place in the '80s (doesn't that make you shudder even more than the crime stuff did??). Caroline is the oldest, plainest Taft-Sinclair child. She has two younger sisters, Bess and Penny, who are way more attractive and liked.

As they spend their summer on the island, and gradually come of age, they meet a group of boys that are brought over by their cousin Yardley, and her boyfriend, George. This ends up being the first sign of doom, although nobody knows it then. Also, there's ghosts and stuff, because the girls previously had another sister, the youngest, Rosemary, who drowned in the ocean about a year or so before. And nobody talks about it.

I ended up liking this book a lot more than WE WERE LIARS. I'm a sucker for unlikable, flawed heroines, and Caroline with her lying, her need to make herself the heroine in her own twisted story, and her codeine addiction, really ticks all the boxes. She acts exactly the way you'd expect a privileged, entitled, and troubled girl to act. I also liked that it didn't rely on the cheap tactics of memory loss and amnesia to keep info from the reader, even though that's a trope I actually enjoy; I just feel like it's become a little too overdone over the last couple years. This book ended up having a much more haunting, melancholy feel to it, and I really enjoyed that.

I don't want to say too much else because spoilers but this is definitely a more mature work than WE WERE LIARS and I enjoyed it a lot.

4 out of 5 stars

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