We Were Liars
225 pages (hardcover)
Welcome to the beautiful Sinclair family.
No one is a criminal.
No one is an addict.
No one is a failure.
The Sinclairs are athletic, tall, and handsome. We are old-money Democrats. Our smiles are wide, our chins are square, and our tennis serves are aggressive.
So begins E. Lockhart’s much-hyped YA novel, We Were Liars. And, with these first lines, we immediately suspect that our young narrator, Cadence Sinclair, may not be terribly reliable.
Through Cadence, we meet the Sinclair family. At its head is Harris, Cadence’s grandfather, the patriarch of the Sinclair clan. He is a wealthy and powerful man who lords his wealth and power over his three useless, divorcée daughters, Carrie, Penny, and Bess. They vie for his affection (read: they try to lock down their inheritances), drink too much white wine, and bicker constantly. And, every summer, they bring their seven children and Gat (Carrie’s boyfriend’s nephew, who first summers with them the year he is eight) to the Sinclairs’ private island, Beechwood Island, a twenty-minute boat ride from Martha’s Vineyard.
Cadence is the oldest grandchild, but she, Johnny, Mirren, and Gat are all roughly the same age, having been born in the fall of the same year. The four of them are inseparable on Beechwood Island, and the rest of the family calls them, collectively, “The Liars.” They refuse to be involved with their mothers’ incessant efforts to plead their cases for this house or that piece of jewelry. Instead, they just enjoy the island and being together. They are happy. Continue reading