‘We Were Liars’ – E. Lockhart

We Were Liars


The cover for this novel creates a wonderful sense of nostalgia, and I definitely felt that creating this sense of yearning for things that had been was prevalent throughout.

What struck me first about ‘We Were Liars’ was the brusqueness of the narrative voice. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get past this; I never really felt like I warmed to Cadence ¬†as a character, and I think this impacted on my emotional engagement with the book.

As we are told more about the summers spent on the island with her fellow Liars, we gain more of a sense of what drives Cadence. Her inability to remember key details of her past does, however, mean we are left floundering a little as she tries to make sense of the memories she has. The interactions that she describes with the other members of her family give little away.

The focus on the slow deterioration of the family as they squabble over their inheritance was painful to read, but it kept nudging us towards the moment where Cady finally connects her various memories. In the sections where she explores her family, I was reminded of ‘King Lear’ and wondered if these parallels were intentional.

All in all, this was one of those books in which I could recognise the quality of the plotting and writing, but it just didn’t quite do it for me.