Where to begin. Perhaps with the truth. Some people are going to love the sneaky slow twisty evil of this psychological novel set in England.
Others will prefer more structure; books that open with an evil event in the first chapter followed by the introduction of the “Sherlock Holmes” character with a nose for clues and the slyness of Columbo. A satisfying conclusion with justice served.
Pure and simple. Sometimes I Lie is a masterful head fake. To describe the book too intimately would ruin it for the next reader. In this case, my local bookclub.
NOW, BEFORE, and THEN. The story weaves its way through three time periods causing whiplash. The atmosphere of the whole book is heavy, dark, and claustrophobic. There is the feeling that everything is seen through heavy gauze – you ask yourself -do you really understand what is going on?
NOW we meet the paralyzed Amber and crawl inside her head. She awakens to discover that she can not move, speak or open her eyes. She is fully present but unable to communicate. At first she is unable to figure out what happened to her. As she listens to conversations around her she begins to put together the edges of a bizarre jigsaw puzzle – does this jigsaw picture forming in her head resemble reality? I’m not going to tell. There are some pretty heady and disquieting moments. But remember- she says, “Sometimes I Lie“.
BEFORE is presented in the form of a child’s detailed diary of her disturbed childhood. The complex friendship of two young girls from two sides of the track. One bullied and the other – her protector.
THEN happens when Amber awakens. Sorry no more clues but things really pick up speed in the book. You find yourself duped, if not questioning everything you ever knew about little girl friendships. And what an ending!
I wasn’t sure that I really liked the book. It made me feel queasy at times. I surely didn’t like the characters. That delicious feeling from a well crafted psycho thriller. But I find myself rethinking what does love really mean? Who or what was at play in the events that unfolded throughout the book?
Recommended if you like complex characters and an evil dimension not unlike some of Stephen King’s work.