Welcome to another addition of Between The Lines – the monthly book club to get you reading and discussing the topics. I have many opinions and thoughts about this book, so lets get started!
This month, we read We Were Liars by e. lockhart. To be fair, I didn’t know what this book was about. I just heard great things about it and knew I wanted to read it. It’s short and a very quick read, so I was excited to start it after I finished The Girl On The Train.
We Were Liars starts off with Cadence – or Cady – going to a private island that her family owns. Her grandfather is very wealthy and built houses for each of his daughters. There is no telling how he came to his wealth, but it is said multiple times that they are a distinguished family.
Cady meets up with her cousins – The Liars – as they have each year. When the Liars are 15, a chain of events happen that completely change their lives and the lives of their families.
Let’s get to the questions, because I will give things away if we don’t.
1. Do you trust Cady’s narration? Is she lying…or hallucinating?
I actually wouldn’t have thought she was lying until I read this question. I didn’t think she was hallucinating either, but I do think she needed The Liars to help her see the error of her ways and to know the truth. I don’t know how she was able to not know what happened and everyone else did, but I think she needed them to help her see it. She wouldn’t have known the truth if she didn’t go back to the island.
2. Were the Liars justified in any way to commit the crime they committed?
I don’t come from money and I didn’t really understand their way to going about things, but I do think – in their 15 year old minds – they justified what they were trying to accomplish. They wanted to try to destroy the money. They wanted to bring the castle down and get rid of everything that made their moms upset. They just wanted things to go back to the way they were before Gran died but everything got complicated instead.
I don’t think they went about it the right way, but I can see how they would think it would be justified. They just wanted to make everyone love each other again and to have their mom’s stop fighting with each other.
3. Is the Sinclair family acting of their own free will or are they in some way merely moving through patterns established in fairy tales that existed long before them?
I think the granddad is living in a land of fairy tales and old times. He can’t imagine his daughters with someone who doesn’t have money – even if she loves him. And he can’t imagine his oldest granddaughter with Gat. He ends up pushing the sisters to hate each other because he wants things his way – in his fairy tale ending. It just isn’t real life and his values and views are very distorted. Why can’t he accept the daughters/granddaughters choices in men instead of hurting them for it?
I think his daughters see the error of his ways, but they are so trapped in a world where his money is supreme and they depend on him so much. They change their lives to please him. I think that’s why Carrie never married Ed. I think that’s why Penny never remarried. Their father hated the idea that they had broken relationships and made sure that they knew it.
4. Was the ending a surprise…or did you see it coming?
I was shocked. Completely and utterly shocked. I’ve been shocked before by books, but this one hit home to me. The fire was something I was not expecting. The dogs were something I was not expecting. The deaths were something I was not expecting. And they died for a really dumb reason. I mean, who thinks it’s a good idea to have 4 people in a house and drench it with gasoline on 4 different levels? Who doesn’t check to make sure the people at the top made it down before you light your floor on fire? Who tried to rescue them but then can’t because it’s too late?
What shocked me even more was that no one was better. The fire and the deaths – which should never have happened – didn’t result in harmony like The Liars originally wanted. It was all for nothing almost. I mean, what was the point of it all if it ended the way it did? How could they not have seen that it could end badly? I truly have so many questions that I can’t possibly put into this post.
This isn’t part of the question, but I don’t even think Cady felt remorse after she found out the truth. She said she was “sorry”, but what she really? I guess we will never know.
May’s book has been chosen and it is:
1. How are Audrey Griffin and Bernadette Fox more alike than they realize?
2. Where’d You Go, Bernadette is, at its core, a story about a woman who disappears, both literally and figuratively. Do you feel Bernadette’s disappearance was unique, or do all women, in a sense, disappear into motherhood and marriage?
3. Bernadette often behaves as if she is an outsider. Do you think she is? If so, do you think her feelings of being an outsider are self-imposed, or is she truly different from the other members of her community?
4. Where’d You Go, Bernadette is told from the point of view of a daughter trying to find her missing mother. Why do you think the author chose to tell the story from Bee’s perspective? What light does it shed on the bond between Bernadette and Bee?