‘There Will Be Lies’ – Nick Lake

There Will Be Lies


The cover for this novel, which I picked up because it’s on the CILIP Carnegie 2016 Long-list, gives little away. It suggests the importance of truth to the story, and the images used are somewhat confusing. My response to the cover pretty much sums up my response to this novel.

Shelby is nearly eighteen, but is treated in many ways like a much smaller child by her mother. The reasons for this become clear later.

As I progressed through the story, I found myself wanting to know more about the predicament Shelby finds herself in. The main thread of the story is intertwined with unusual elements that draw on Native American stories/ideas. These were interesting, though I found it disconcerting initially as it tended to distract from the developments within the key story.

For me the main theme of the novel was about the lies people tell, and how we reconcile ourselves to their consequences. An unusual coming-of-age story.